Lebanon Reporter

February 15, 2014

Stars, Tigers to meet for sectional title

By Will Willems
Sports Editor

Dover — It will be an all-Boone County final Saturday night in the girls basketball sectional.

Western Boone and Lebanon both cruised to victories in the semifinals early Saturday to set up the match-up.

Stars 63, Crawfordsville 39

The Western Boone girls executed the gameplan to perfection Saturday in the opening game of the sectional semifinals.

The Stars took a 19-1 lead after a quarter and cruised to a 63-39 victory.

"I would say that first quarter we couldn't have drawn it up any better," Western Boone head coach Rich Schelsky said. "That is how we had it drawn up and came out and did exactly what we wanted to offensively and even more so defensively. That set the tone of the game."

The lead grew to 25 at the half and 30 after three quarters.

The Stars were able to bench most of their starters for a majority of the second half.

Asked if he was concerned about the 10 a.m. start, Schelsky said the Stars were able to think back to the Twin Lakes Tournament, in which they had an early game in the semifinals.

"I definitely think that helped; that experience was huge," Schelsky said. "We talked about that yesterday when we found out we were rescheduling. My biggest concern coming into today was making sure we were awake and ready to go at 10 a.m. and not sleep walking on the floor. We have a lot of great kids and good senior leaders and they weren't going to let us not be ready. We were ready to go."

BayLee Mitchell led the Stars with 13 points and Julia Hole had 12 for the Stars. Emily Harrison and Mackenzie Hoffman each had 10.

Rachel Ramey and Nicole Chance had eight and six points respectively.

"When we have been our best, that has been us," Schelsky said of the balanced scoring. "We have a lot of kids scoring, we have shared the wealth and don't put as much stress on Em that way. We know she will be there when we need her, but the more people we get to contribute the better. It was good to see that coming back."

Western Boone defeated Lebanon 58-52, in the regular season.

Schelsky said there are some keys for his team if they want to win.

"Defensive rebounding and taking care of the basketball will be the two keys on our board," Schelsky said. "Our kids know that when you play Lebanon they will play really good, aggressive defense. We have to set the tempo of the game and make sure it is our tempo and that we don't allow them breakaway lay-ups and scores off rebounds. We want to make them a half-court offensive team."

Tigers 57, Frankfort 38

The Lebanon/Frankfort sectional semifinal girls basketball game wasn't the prettiest game of basketball there ever was.

But at the end of the day, the scoreboard read in favor of the Lebanon Lady Tigers and that is all that mattered to head coach Beth DeVinney.

"They gave us trouble in the first half," Lebanon head coach Beth DeVinney said. "They were really aggressive and their coach has done a good job with them, they play really hard. It was a physical game and at this time of the year you just have to keep plugging on and it was an ugly game but we will take it."

Frankfort led 8-7 late the first quarter before Lebanon scored the final four points of the first quarter and the first nine of the second quarter to take a 20-8 lead.

DeVinney said the Tigers defense is what turned the tide in Lebanon's favor. She said the important thing for Lebanon is getting that effort the whole game.

"As our defense goes, we go," DeVinney said. "And we have been talking to the kids about that. We still want to take plays off and possessions off and don't always value the basketball. We have been talking the last two weeks about how we just throw the ball away like it is AAU where you have another game in 15 minutes so the game doesn't matter. Every game matters here in the tournament. It is infuriating actually. We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball. If we don't value the basketball tonight, then we will be on the losing side of things."

Lebanon led by as many as 15 in the second quarter, but Frankfort cut it to nine at the half.

Despite the Hot Dogs cutting the lead to seven midway through the third quarter, the Tigers were never not in control of the game and gradually pulled away in the fourth quarter.

DeVinney said the Tigers needed better focus early in the game, but said the early start wasn't a problem.

"Our kids are pretty resilient and have made it through every obstacle someone has thrown at us this year," she said. "It is a different time of day and a different adjustment. I don't think our focus was that good early, but as the game went on it picked up. Tonight is going to be one of those traditional battles and if we come out with that focus tonight the game will be over by halfitme. We have to have a much higher level of focus this evening."

Kristen Spolyar led the Tigers with 22 points. Brooke Montgomery added 9 and Carly Greene had 8.

DeVinney and her Tigers will be going for their fourth-straight sectional title this evening.

"We have to keep their shooters under control," DeVinney said. "We let (BayLee) Mitchell have 17 in the first game and we have to keep her and the other shooters under control. We have to try our best to keep (Emily) Harrison under control too. But rebounding will be a key. We haven't been doing a great job of rebounding and we have to have people crashing the boards and rebounding. That has been a concern and when we rebound with teams, we are very good. We played at Western, one of our better games I have seen us play this year, and we had 38 rebounds in that game and beat the No. 2 team in the state. When defense and rebounding is your priority, good things will happen to you. But if we play with our effort from earlier today, it won't happen for us."

The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight with doors opening at 7 p.m. at Western Boone.

Game will be broadcast on RadioMom 91.1 and twitter updates will be provided at @LRSports.