By Will Willems Sports Editor
---- — The past two years, the Western Boone girls basketball has been close to winning the sectional championship, only to fall to Lebanon.
Saturday night, the Stars turned the tables on their rivals. Western Boone topped Lebanon 55-37 to win its first sectional championship since 2010.
"I don't think words can really describe it, it feels unbelievable to win it," Western Boone head coach Rich Schelsky said. "I am so happy for our kids and especially our seniors. They deserve this. That is what this is about. They have put so much time and effort into all of our sports programs and they deserve to go out of here as big-time winners. I told them before we went out tonight, they have had success in other sports, but there is nothing like winning a basketball sectional in the state of Indiana. I am just so happy for them to have a chance to experience that, and for our younger kids to come in and step up and play the huge roles that they did was truly unbelievable and I am so proud of them too."
Western Boone took control in the first quarter, jumping out to 6-0 lead and ultimately led 15-9 after the first eight minutes.
Senior Emily Harrison had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first quarter and also adding five rebounds.
She finished with 17 points and nine rebounds in the game.
"We have been trying to get more balanced on offense, but we knew tonight that early and often we wanted to get Emily Harrison involved and pound them in the post," Schelsky said. "We thought they were a little weaker in the post defensively, not negatively, but they pressure so hard that we thought we could hurt them in the post a little bit. Our kids did a great job of executing and she finished like a stud."
The second quarter was a different story.
Lebanon started the quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 19-15 lead with 2:40 left in the half.
Western Boone shot just 3-of-16 in the second quarter, but ended the quarter on a high note when Rachel Ramey hit a lay-in with three seconds left to cut the deficit to one at the half.
"I thought we played well until the last 4.4 seconds of the half and when we gave up a lay-up," DeVinney said of the second quarter. "That was a mental mistake. We had the momentum and that was a momentum killer I felt like. Those are young mistakes and you can't make young mistakes in these games. You have to be focused on everything all the time. We just took plays off on defense. And we have seen that all year long in games that we have lost. But you have to give WeBo credit. They are very senior laden, they are physical, they are big; Harrison gave us trouble tonight and they were just better than us tonight. Period."
Schelsky said coming in at the half, the Stars had to regroup on the offensive end.
"We had to get calmed down and settled down on offense," Schelsky said. "In the second quarter, I didn't even know what team that was out there. We were taking shots we never take in practice, we were taking quick shots, we never really got into an offense, and we just had a heart-to-heart at halftime about settling down and running some offense. We did, we got the ball where we wanted to and we scored at will like we knew we could."
Whatever the message was at the half, it worked for the Stars.
Western Boone started the quarter on an 8-2 run, going up 30-25 on a basket by Nicole Chance.
They built the lead to as many as seven before settling for a 35-30 lead after three quarters.
In the third quarter, Lebanon had seven turnovers and only three shot attempts (making one). In the second half, Lebanon was just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) from the field and for the game, Lebanon shot just 12-of-41 (29.3 percent) while turning the ball over 19 times.
For more of this story, read Tuesday's Lebanon Reporter.