Perry Meridian’s Allison Rastrelli protects the basketball against Greenwood’s zone defense late in a Mid-State game Friday. Greenwood’s defenders are Brooklyn Bell, foreground, and Emily Metzger. Greenwood won, 51-28.
By Al Stilley
Center Grove, Greenwood, and Greenwood Christian Academy captured their final regular-season games last week in the final warm-up for the IHSAA girls basketball tourney that began Tuesday night.
Center Grove (13-9) finished its last season in the MIC with a 52-26 homecourt win against Lawrence Central as the Trojans notched their fifth consecutive winning season. CG broke open a 19-all halftime deadlock by dominating the third quarter. Ella Hobson scored a team-high 15 points.
Greenwood (12-10) stopped Perry Meridian, 51-28 on the Falcons’ court as the Woodmen, coached by Justin Bennett, guaranteed themselves of the program’s first winning season since 2016.
The Woodmen handled Perry Meridian’s fullcourt press in the second half and also showed good depth in winning seven of their last eight games.
Coach Bennett had to rely on his depth as the Woodmen were plagued by fouls. Greenwood scored an impressive 31 points in the second half as the Falcons played back-to-back games. PM downed Shortridge, 59-35 Thursday before hosting Greenwood in a rare girl-boy doubleheader Friday.
“We hadn’t been pressed like that for a while, but we figured it out and got some really good scoring opportunities from it,” Bennett said. “We got a big boost from our bench.”
Greenwood’s Lilly Howe led all scorers with 15 points with Brooklyn Bell adding 10 points with eight coming in the second half.
Ellie Scaringe scored a team-high 13 points for the Falcons after being held scoreless in the first quarter.
The Woodmen connected on 19 of 36 shots (52.7 percent) while the Falcons were as frigid as the outdoor temperature, 15.4 percent (4 of 26), scoring on a lone field goal in each quarter. Greenwood won the boards, 25-15. The Falcons committed nine more miscues.
Greenwood met Whiteland for the third time this season Tuesday at the 4A Franklin Central Sectional. The winner meets host Franklin Central (5-16) in the Friday nightcap. Favored Franklin opened Tuesday and was expected to collide with Center Grove in Friday’s semifinal opener.
Perry Meridian and Southport (11-12) collided Tuesday in the first game of the Perry Meridian Sectional with Circle City Conference champion Roncalli (11-12) meeting Decatur Central. The winners advance to the semifinals Friday as Pike and favored Ben Davis drew byes.
Southport had its two-game winning streak snapped last week by host Greenfield, 45-31. Roncalli also lost its finale on the road at Columbus North, 36-23.
Greenwood Christian Academy (12-11) dominated Indiana Deaf School, 51-24 Saturday. The Cougars 1-2-3 punch of Dory O’Dell, Dani Simon, and Ellie Bigelow combined for 46 of the Cougars points.
GCA coach Alan Weems has announced his retirement after 10 seasons at the Cougars helm and three consecutive sectional and two regional championships.
The Cougars and sectional host Lutheran (5-16) are in opposite brackets in the Lutheran Sectional that opened Tuesday with the host Saints facing Central Christian. Friday night, GCA meets Tindley in the semifinal opener with winless Providence Cristo Rey meeting the Lutheran-CC winner.
Beech Grove (4-17) scored only nine points Thursday in The Hive against league foe Triton Central; the Hornets only averaged 26.6 points on offense this season. BG met darkhorse Speedway in the Indian Creek Sectional Tuesday.
All sectional championship games are Saturday night.