MORGAN TOWNSHIP | Home court has its advantages.
Hosting the first two rounds of the 42nd Porter County Conference girls tournament, Times No. 6 Morgan Township rode a stifling defense to a 48-26 win over Washington Township on Tuesday night.
“I would like to think that we’d play like that no matter where we were,” Cherokees head coach Kevin Krieger said with a laugh. “This team has kept their focus really well. We had a 30-day layoff and they kept practicing really hard.
“We saw the results Saturday when we beat Kouts at the buzzer and (Tuesday night) when we took control of the game in the second half.”
Trina Coleman led all scorers with 18 points for the Cherokees (11-6) and freshman Kameron Stanko added 10. Morgan Township outscored the Senators 31-16 in the second half.
“Our defensive intensity was very good from the start to the finish,” Krieger said. “That was the best we played defensively and offensively in a long time. I thought at different points in the game, we had different people step up. I thought we played really well as a team.”
Morgan took the lead for the first time on a Coleman layup with just over two minutes left in the first quarter and would not trail again. The lead reached double digits on a pair of Stanko free throws midway through the third and hit 20 on Brianna Lueck’s jumper with just under two minutes left in the game.
Washington Township (12-4) led early but never by more than two points. The Cherokees took their first lead of the game, 8-6, at the 2:03 mark of the first quarter and led 17-10 at halftime, holding Washington to just three second-quarter points.
Bethany Kingery scored 10 points to lead the Senators while the Morgan Twp. defense, led by Alison Goetz, held Mid-Winter Classic MVP Heather Burton to just five points.
In the nightcap, South Central did its best to duplicate a 69-point win over the Blackhawks in the Mid-Winter Classic.
The Satellites (8-6) took a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter and never looked back in a 89-30 victory. Every South Central player scored.
Riley Popplewell led with a game-high 15 points for South Central while Jill Rosenbaum added 13 points and 12 rebounds. Katelyn Tucker and Madison Tomblin each added 11 points, while Hannah Stolte rounded out South Central’s double-digit scorers with 10.
Stephanie Popp and Mary Parkman each scored 11 for Westville (0-14).