MERRILLVILLE | Andrean's girls basketball team lost its sixth consecutive game Wednesday 41-37 to Hanover Central. That those losses have all been by less than 10 points came as little consolation, though it registered with the opposing coach.
"They're the best 2-7 team in the state of Indiana," Hanover coach Doug Nelson said.
It's a distinction that Andrean would rather not have.
"We're striving so hard and once we get that one (win), we're going to keep going strong," guard Jessica Gray said. "Once we get that one."
The 59ers (2-7) led by as many as five points early, took a 17-16 lead in the second quarter, then played catch-up the rest of the game as The Times 7th-ranked Wildcats (6-3) also won the rebounding battle 39-22, including 15 offensive rebounds.
Hanover senior Kristen Roper led all players with 14 rebounds and Poston, Hannah Blue and Rylie Singleton had five each. Lauren Stazinski led Andrean with 12 rebounds.
"We are competing, and that's great, but we're here to win and that's what we want to do, win," Andrean coach Tony Scheub said. "We have good shooters, and we score enough to win, I think, but we give up too many offensive rebounds and too many turnovers."
Behind 24 points from senior Blayr Poston, which included a 10-of-15 night from the free-throw line, Hanover Central held its lead even as Andrean pulled as close as a point in the fourth quarter.
"I told them before the game that if we get more offensive rebounds, we'll win," Nelson said. "I think defensive we played great. Down the stretch we executed better, we rushed a little bit, but made the free throws when we had to."
Hanover worked to shut down Andrean guard Brenna Boyle, and succeeded for the most part, holding her to six points. However, she hit two 3s, including one from an invisible NBA arc in the first half.
Gray led the Niners with 12 points.
"We're working really hard at it in practice, and then we come out and just ... " Gray said. "We really want to win, we really want to get it done."