CEDAR LAKE | Knox came into the Hanover Central tournament with a single win on its resume.
But the Redskins leave with four wins and a trophy after beating the host and Times No. 7 Wildcats 51-42 in Friday's championship game.
Hanover led by as many as seven in the second quarter but never seemed to capitalize on its momentum. Going into the final frame, the Cats held a 35-33 lead.
Both teams were already in the bonus when the fourth quarter started, but it was Knox (4-10) that took advantage. Nikki Frasure hit five of six free throws and with four minutes left the Redskins led by six.
Tiphani Ward hit a pair of jumpers for Hanover Central and cut the lead to as little as three points, but Knox pulled away in the final minutes.
Hanover Central (8-3) played without the school's career scoring leader Blayr Poston, who broke her hand in practice last week and could miss several weeks. Rylie Singleton, the other starting guard, spent the game on the bench with crutches and a bandaged knee.
Ward was the only Wildcat to finish in double figures with 12. Frasure paced Knox with 18 and 10 rebounds while Kaitlin Zachary scored 12 and pulled down 10, as well.
The consolation game earlier in the night was clearly the bigger crowd-pleaser, as Wheeler slid by Griffith 43-40 in double overtime.
"We just played really good defense and did not give up," Bearcats coach Dustin Nelson said. "Our girls did as good of a job as they've done this year of recognition of what each girl could do, and that's something we talk about all the time."
Griffith (8-5) got the shot it wanted. A play designed to get Sammi Adams an open shot from behind the arc worked, but Adams rimmed it out.
The senior guard hustled for the rebound and stepped behind the 3-point line again, only to put the shot up just a big long.
"There's a little bit of luck in there for that ball to kind of rim out," Nelson said. "We didn't want her to get those kind of looks at the end, there's no doubt about that."
The Bearcats (6-6) got a big effort from sophomore guard Allie Stevenson, who has been having calf cramp issues. Stevenson hit key free throws down the stretch. She led all scorers with 21 points, 11 of which came at the free-throw line.
"We've played Griffith four times in the last two years and every one of them has been like this," Nelson said. "Any time you can take a win away from (Griffith), it's exciting."
Nickole Finch scored 11 for Wheeler to go with nine rebounds and four blocks.