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By Nathan Pace
Center Grove repeated as sectional champions Saturday with a 45-36 win over Franklin. The road was not easy for the Trojans as they squared off against the three toughest teams in the field. CG had defeated the Artesians of Martinsville twice in the regular season and found a way to win a third time in round one.
Martinsville won the Mid-State Conference but Center Grove won 52-44. Sectional host Whiteland was also out for revenge as the Warriors fell to the Trojans in the Johnson County Final. Yet Center Grove pulled away in the semi-final 46-23. The championship with Franklin proved too tricky. The Grizzly Cubs fell to the Trojans in the regular season 45-23 but held a 13-11 lead after the first quarter and trailed just 20-19 at half.
The upset was alive in the third quarter when Franklin grabbed the lead 25-23. Center Grove would respond with a 22-11 spurt to close the game to claim the title. Center Grove will travel to the Bedford North Regional Saturday at 10 a.m.
Roncalli comes close
Roncalli defeated Pike and Southport to reach the sectional title game against Ben Davis Saturday. The Rebels (16-7) had the lead against the favored Giants (16-8) 50-49 with under a minute remaining but Ben Davis with a go-ahead three from Cherrelle Newsom to win 52-50. Roncalli defeated sectional host Southport in game one Friday night 69-46.
Alana Vinson scored a game-high 23 points including her 1,000th career point. Maddie Bischoff scored 16. It was the final game for Southport's Ashley Raisor who scored 12. Kyra Duncan led the Cards with 13 as Southport ends the season 5-18.
Perry Meridian battled ranked Ben Davis in game two of the semi-finals and led 9-8 after the first quarter. The Giants pulled away in the third quarter for a 65-37 win. Ariana Booker led Perry Meridian in her final game with the Falcons with 17 points. Perry Meridian defeated Decatur Central in round one 45-44 on a defensive stand in the final seconds. The Falcons conclude the year 10-14.
Beech Grove makes title game
Beech Grove had a strong start to its postseason winning two sectional games for the first time since 2003, the year the Hornets won the state championship. Beech Grove drilled Herron Tuesday 76-49 and Manual 76-20 Friday. Beech Grove then took on heavy favorite Danville in the title game and lost 62-33. The Hornets finished 6-17. Lutheran ended its season 6-18 with a loss to Tindley 51-40 in the Greenwood Christian sectional.
Roncalli junior Alana Vinson (foreground) reached the 1,000-point career plateau against Southport in the semifinals Friday of the Ben Davis Sectional. Vinson is congratulated by Abbie Carr, assistant coach Jen Carroll and Madelyn Bischoff. The Rebels advanced the championship game against the host Giants but fell, 52-50, Saturday.