WHEATFIELD — Kankakee Valley and Valparaiso both won semifinal battles on Friday night in the Class 4A Kankakee Valley Sectional to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
K.V. outlasted Michigan City 61-55 in the opener before Valpo turned back Portage 54-40, exorcising some demons in the process. Valpo snapped a seven-game losing streak to Portage dating back six years.
Lindsey Stokes and Sarah Martin each scored 16 points to pace the Kougars, who trailed 29-26 at the half.
“We just knew we had to pick it up, or otherwise they were going to win the game,” Stokes said.
K.V. (20-3) tied the game at 31-31 in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Catherine Cavinder, but City (12-11) pulled back in front 37-33. K.V. outscored City 9-4 the rest of the quarter to take control. Cavinder scored the first seven points in the period.
“She really gave us a big boost with a bunch of points in the third,” Stokes said. “She started taking it in and making all the bunnies which helped a bunch.”
Cavinder said she didn’t want her season to end.
“I knew that we needed something right away or we’d never get it back, and I just went for it,” she said.
K.V. went ahead 52-43 early in the fourth, but City cut the deficit to 56-55 on a bucket by Hannah Noveroske. K.V. sank 5-of-7 free throws in the final 1:27 to advance.
“Free throws win sectional games,” Cavinder said.