KOUTS | Samantha Higgins knows just one more loss means the end of her high school career, and she’s going to do all she can to prolong her senior season.

The Washington Township forward had game highs of 13 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday night, leading the Senators to a 48-21 win over Covenant Christian in the opening round of the Class A Kouts Sectional. 

“As a senior, it’s very tough; you want to just have no regrets,” Higgins said. “I felt like we did that tonight really well as a team. The last couple of practices we’ve been really focused, giving it our all. We were prepared for tonight.”

The Senators (14-5) knew post offense would be hard to come by against Covenant’s 6-foot front court duo of Courtney VanderMeer and Calli Beezhold, but Higgins was able to score four field goals on the block, drawing a foul on three of them. She went 5-of-6 from the free- throw line.

"We prepared for them,” Higgins said. "(Monday) we did a lot of shot fakes and a lot more post moves. We were ready for the size."

Washington Twp. trailed 7-6 after the first quarter but went on a 13-0 run to start the second, outscoring the Knights 19-2 in the quarter to take a 25-9 halftime lead.

“We switched some offenses, changed some things up and we started attacking the basket,” Washington Twp. coach Chris Tomcsi said. “From there, we got on a little bit of a roll and got some stops when we needed them. That was the difference for us. Once we got in attack mode, they ended up having a difficult time stopping us.”

The Senators’ lead reached 20 points on a Bethany Kingery free throw with two minutes left in the third. Kingery finished with seven points,  while Heather Burton added 11.

Rachel Shurman led the Knights (13-6) with nine points.

Washington Twp. returns to action on Friday night against Marquette Catholic. Tomcsi will once again look to Higgins to lead the way.

“The entire season, she’s been great,” Tomcsi said of Higgins. “She always brings a positive attitude to practices. She’s a heck of a worker. It’s nice to have her come out and have a great game like she did. She had been kind of struggling a little bit, so it’s nice to see her right the ship, so to speak.”

Jim is a sports writer for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.