CEDAR LAKE — Everything bad that happened to Munster on Wednesday night, happened because of Lindsey Simpson, Mustangs coach Jim Davidson said.
Times No. 8 Munster led for almost the duration of the winner’s bracket semifinal at Hanover Central’s Wildcat Winter Classic, until Knox’s junior guard grabbed a rebound and took it all the way to the other end for a bucket with 3.8 seconds left.
It gave Knox a 53-51 lead it would never relinquish.
“She got her hands on balls, got blocks, got steals. She was running out and getting layups,” Davidson said. “She had her hand in everything.”
Simpson scored 15 points, had nine steals, six rebounds and four blocks.
Knox (12-3) erased a 10-point lead with a full-court press in the fourth quarter.
“They (pressed) in the first quarter and we were fine. They did it in the second quarter and we got lazy, didn’t meet a few passes, things that we’d talked about and know to do and they made us pay for it,” Davidson said. “It’s just execution. We give them a layup to tie the ball game and it was simply because we just waited for the ball to come and (Simpson) wanted it more than we did. That’s just unacceptable.”
Davidson said Knox represented a chance for the Mustangs (13-3) to beat a good team.
“We have a good record but we’re not that good. You’ve got to do all the little things to win ball games,” he said. “We had them down, should’ve been able to finish them but we didn’t.”
Izzy Bednarowski scored 19 to lead Munster.
The host Wildcats (6-10) will meet Knox in the championship at 7 p.m. today.
Hanover Central topped Hobart 29-22 in a low-scoring affair.
“We needed a good win and it’s nice to win in our tournament,” H.C. coach Luis Roldan said. “We just put ourselves in a position, in our own tournament, to get to the championship and try to do something will be special.”
Hobart (3-12) held the ball near midcourt for almost four minutes in the third quarter with the game tied. It slowed the pace of the game and ensured neither team would reach 30 points.
“It gave our girls a rest because we’re not that deep,” Roldan said. “I told them to just make sure you finish. And they did that.”
The Wildcats advanced to the semifinals with a 35-34 win over Griffith.
“That game was a struggle for us. I’ve got to give credit to Griffith. They fought,” Roldan said. “We had a chance to extend the lead and we never could extend it.”
Games begin at 5 p.m. today.