Senior staff writer
Heavily favored Center Grove breezed through its first two games of the Johnson County girls basketball tourney and the first quarter of the championship game Saturday at Greenwood. The Trojans easily disposed of Indian Creek 49-22 and Edinburgh 53-22 before running into defensive-minded Whiteland.
Center Grove jumped to a 20-5 lead in the first quarter in the title game against the Warriors and hung on for a 55-46 win.After taking a 12-1 lead, the No. 17 Trojans enjoyed a double-digit lead that grew to 17 points several times.
Whiteland, using full-court pressure, went on a 12-0 run early in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 43-38. Senior Emma Utterback ended the run with a short jumper, and Mary Wilson scored and Utterback added a layup for a 49-40 lead with three minutes left.
“We were always in a position to win; we just had to stick together,” said Utterback, who scored a game-high 22 points. “We had to stay patient.”
Senior Ella Thompson scored 18 points and Wilson came off the bench for the Trojans and scored 10 points while grabbing five rebounds.
“The way we played the first quarter was the most patient and purposeful we have been on offense in two years,” Trojans coach Kevin Stuckmeyer said. “We knew they would make a run. Emma got us going early, and Ella spearheaded at the end. And our role players came through.”
Raising the county championship trophy spelled relief for the Trojans who entered the tourney after losses at Brownsburg 54-48 and No. 1 Warren Central 58-34.The Trojans (4-2) visit Roncalli (4-0) in a Southside showdown Saturday at 1:30 p.m.The Rebels dominated visiting Cathedral 62-40 Saturday with Alana Vinson leading with 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Maddie Bischoff had 17 points and six steals. Sofie Carr had a career-high eight points.
Cathedral cut the lead to seven points with 3:47 to go, but the Rebels rolled with a 20-5 run.Coach Stan Benge’s chargers moved the ball well with 14 assists leading to 18 field goals.
Marion county tourney
The tourney begins Tuesday at eight different sites with Beech Grove at Perry Meridian in an all-Southside opener.
Games involving area teams find North Central at Roncalli, Southport at Brebeuf, Franklin Central at Decatur Central and Park Tudor at Lutheran. Tip time is 7 p.m. for all games. No. 1 Warren Central and No. 4 North Central are the favorites.Quarterfinals are at four different sites Dec. 6 with semifinal and championship games Dec. 8.
Note: Rob Brown, Roncalli sports information director, contributed to this article