HAMMOND | Bishop Noll was testing Hanover Central, drawing out the Wildcats offense as the Warriors waited to see what they could and couldn't get away with.
That's how Hanover Central took a first-quarter lead. Secure in its knowledge, Bishop Noll's game plan before the second led to an 11-0 run and an eventual 58-34 win in Greater South Shore Conference play.
"After the first quarter, we knew what to expect and we tried a couple things just to see if we could make an adjustment," Noll coach Vanita Gary said. "We learned what we could do and what we couldn't, and it started working in spurts."
"We stuck to our regular game plan after the first," Warriors sophomore Naomi House said after scoring a game-high 23 points. "We played Bishop Noll basketball. We're not going to let anyone come into our gym and let up against them."
The Warriors defense forced Hanover Central into 26 turnovers and in many occasions didn't allow the Wildcats offense to set up its play.
Brooke Sterkowitz led Hanover with 18 points, including five 3s and 10 of her team's first 12 points.
"In the first quarter we were trying to make them come outside," Hanover coach Doug Nelson said. "But we've got to covert on the other end when we have the ball. We definitely didn't do that in the first quarter or the first half."
Noll's offense ramped up the energy in the fourth quarter, when Hanover Central pulled to as close as nine. The Warriors went on an 11-0 run for a 20-point lead to avoid any Wildcats rally tries.
"I think we showed a mental toughness," Gary said. "It speaks to our maturity. We didn't allow an early struggle to bring us down. We trusted the process and trusted the game plan."
Brenda Pennington added 12 points for the Warriors and Elena Sobilo notched a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.