HAMMOND | Portage senior Nicki Monahan wanted to end her rounds of the Times Region Roundball Rumble 3-point Shootout on the left corner of the court.
That strategy paid off, especially in the finals, when Monahan drained eight of her final 10 shots, including the two-point money ball on the final attempt from the left to win the crown at the Hammond Civic Center.
Monahan, who tied for fourth last year, missed her first five shots in the final round, but she never lost faith.
"Once I got to that second rack, I felt a lot better with my shot," Monahan said. "I was shooting my shot, not thinking about the last one or the one coming up.
"I wanted to end up on (the left) side, because that's where I felt more comfortable in practice."
Monahan was one of five players to rack up double-figure points in a round, but she was the lone one to do it in the finals.
Crown Point's Abby Kvachkoff tied for the single-round high with 11 points in the second round. Whiting's Briana Blackwell had 11 in the first round, but she failed to advance to the finals.
Monahan began the final round, and Kvachkoff was the final participant. The Crown Point junior, who also finished second last year, hit her first four shots and finished second with eight in the finals. A money-ball make that rimmed out would have forced a playoff for the top spot.
Monahan didn't feel nervous, focusing not on Kvachkoff but the experience itself.
"It was a friendly competition," Monahan said. "(Kvachkoff) is in the Duneland Athletic Conference, so it was just fun to compete."
Monahan also thought her experience in last year's final paid dividends.
"I definitely knew what to expect," she said, "I shoot a lot of 3-pointers in games, and I practice them a lot also."
Chesterton's Caroline Puntillo was third in the finals with six, Lake Central's Gina Rubino was fourth with five and Washington Township's Heather Burton was fifth with four points.