HILLARY SMITH: Celebrate the girls hoops season that was

2013-03-04T21:30:00Z HILLARY SMITH: Celebrate the girls hoops season that wasHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 04, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

The girls basketball season brought with it ends, beginnings and the start of something new.

The 2012-13 season that was claimed players to injury, brought surprises, and initiated a few amazing moments and its fair share of lasting memories.

Those paying attention will remember Rensselaer playing in its own regional, Merrillville ending its regular-season winning streak at 39 games only to start a new one the next week, Boone Grove recapturing the Kup then reaching a regional final, and week after week of gutsy performances.

Here's what we'll remember:

High competition: Crown Point hosted the first North Semistate in Lake County in 69 years.

Though the region put two teams in regional finals, neither reached the semistate level, sending the Class 3A and Class A games to the Hub. 

The north's only state title winner rolled through Crown Point as Fort Wayne Canterbury nabbed its second straight Class A championship on Saturday.

Got next: Members of the Class of 2015 have another couple years to impress, but they made their mark on the season.

Not just those sophomores that were on The Times' preseason all-area team — Merrillville's Victoria Gaines, E.C. Central's Tiajaney Hawkins and Michigan City's Michal Miller — but others reminded fans that basketball in the area has a big upside.

Grace Withrow at Valparaiso joins the arc duo of Tara Zlotkowski and Gina Rubino from Lake Central as Duneland Athletic Conference players who will fight for their rights to hit the 3. West Side will add young talent to its already loaded almost-junior class.

Bowman's Joshlynn King has two more years, as does L.C.'s inside presence of Lindsay Kusbel.

One or more of these players will break through the semistate ceiling.

End of the two-fer: The DAC double-round robin played its last game on Feb. 1 and that's hopefully the last we'll ever see of it.

The double-round robin prohibited teams from playing outside the area, or even teams like Lake Central from playing every team in its sectional.

After next year, there'll be two mid-season DAC tournament champions, in addition to a regular-season title holder.

Region fans should cheer that the days of the home-and-home series are over. In addition to better basketball, our players have an increased chance for state-wide postseason awards (ie. Indiana All-Stars) when coaches from around the state can see them play. 

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

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