ST. JOHN | In need of a point guard and nursing a three-game losing streak Friday, Crown Point girls basketball turned to 5-foot-5 Beth Ingram, who had started just one other varsity game in her career.
Ingram was tabbed with not only driving the ball upcourt, but guarding Lake Central's best player, Lizzie Seymour.
Ingram's job wasn't destined to be offensive, but she scored seven of her team's 18 second-quarter points and finished with 10 points as the Bulldogs broke their losing skid with a 61-48 win against the Indians.
"Beth Ingram, man, we put her into a starting role -- this is a kid who was on the junior varsity last year -- and asked her to guard Seymour," Crown Point coach Annie Equihua said. "Boy, did she step up. It's no secret that we're out two point guards and she stepped up and did everything that we asked her to do."
The sophomore Seymour finished with a game-high 21 points, but never scored more than five in any quarter after the first.
"I'm honored to be asked to guard her," Ingram said. "I knew I had to step up this week for my players and we can't dwell on the past. ... It doesn't matter where we finally win, but we had to win some games and get a different streak going."
The Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1 Duneland Athletic Conference) were led by 18 points from Courtney Kvachkoff and 14 from Kendall Brown. Buoyed by hitting 19-of-27 from the free-throw line, Crown Point went on an 8-0 run from the first to second quarters and a 6-0 run in the fourth quarter after Lake Central pulled within nine points.
"I'm disappointed we didn't play with that kind of intensity from the beginning," Lake Central coach Leslie Iwema said. "It took us being down for us to want to come back. I'm so tired of us just going through the motions in the first half. We're nine games in and I'm tired of seeing us get down and not have a winner's mentality."
The Indians (5-4, 2-2) shot 27.8 percent from the floor and were 15-of-23 from the free-throw line. In the first half, Lake Central shot 4-of-24, or 16.7 percent from the field.
L.C.'s Nikki Adams picked up two fouls and sat most of the first half. She finished with eight points and four rebounds.
After opening the season 4-0, the Times No. 10 Bulldogs played three games in a week, losing them all.
"We've learned how to get through the bad times and come out on the other side," Ingram said. "As a team, we're had to focus more."