NEW CASTLE — It's something Region girls basketball fans have heard before. Time and time again.

"Traylor for two. Traylor scores. Traylor again ..."

Kayana Traylor is the niece of April Traylor, who was part of the Martinsville team that beat Crown Point in the 1997 state championship and Lake Central in 1998.

The 5-foot-9 senior guard who is bound to play at Purdue wasn't totally unstoppable in Friday night's consolation game at the Hall of Fame Classic, but she was good down the stretch to give the Artesians the 42-36 victory over E.C. Central.

The Cards trailed by two for three minutes plus but could not get a basket to drop. In the final 90 seconds Traylor hit on two drives and also made two free throws to ice E.C. (8-10). Traylor finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.

"We were gassed," E.C. Central coach Eric Kundich said.

After a last-second loss to Zionsville in the morning semifinal, the Cards went to Subway and came back to the locker room inside New Castle's fieldhouse and slept for a bit. Probably less than 30 minutes.

Then, like in the morning game, Martinsville (10-7) jumped out to a 10-0 lead. The Cards trailed Zionsville 12-1 at the start of the morning game.

"We were tired and then we let them jump out to that lead," Kundich said. "We've got to stop doing that."

As good as Traylor was, Kundich thought his star, Jenasae Bishop, was better. In her fifth game from coming back from an ACL tear, she scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Her legs seemed gone during stretches of the game.

There was a yelling match in the Cardinals locker room after the game, mostly coaches to kids.

"We have to play with more heart," Kundich said. "And desire. It doesn't matter how tired you are. I told the girls they have four days to figure out what they want to happen with this season.

"Either we get better or it won't last very long."

Taiyanna Jackson scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds with four blocks. But the 4-for-10 shooting was a concern for Kundich since most of the shots were around the basket.

"I was tired," Bishop said. "A lot of us were really tired. It's hard to play back-to-back games this tough with very little breaks in between. We didn't finish like us.

"I didn't finish like I should have."

Martinsville's Merideth Deckard hit three 3-pointers, which caused E.C. to chase her much of the second half, opening up lanes for the other Artesians.

"I think Jenasae showed today why she was a Core 6 Junior All-Star last year," Kundich said. "This was only her fifth game back and she was really good in both games. We showed that we can play with anybody.

"The question is are we ever going to get over the top?"


Sports reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.