Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 6:00 am
BY AARON KENNEDY – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rossville girls’ basketball team had its season ended by the defending Class 1A state champion Lafayette Central Catholic Knights, 59-33, Wednesday night in the first round of the Seeger Class 2A sectional tournament at West Lebanon.
Central Catholic jumped out to a 5-0 lead and limited the Hornets to just two points until Rossville point guard Maggie Deboy scored the basket of the opening period to go into the second quarter trailing 14-4. After the Knights extended their lead to 18-4 in the first minute of the second frame, Deboy scored six points in Rossville’s 7-2 run to pull within 10 points, but Central Catholic responded with a 12-point run and went on to lead 32-15 at the half.
Cameron Onken opened the second half with a 3-pointer to push the Knights’ lead to 20 points, and the Hornets were never able to get back in the game. By the start of the final period, Rossville trailed by 30 points.
“We knew it was going to be a tough task coming in,” said Rossville head coach Chad Geheb. “They are obviously very well-coached and have a lot of talent. We talked about having to handle the pressure and knock down some shots, and those were two things that we did not do very well.”
The Hornets connected on just 31.7 percent of their shots from the field in the loss.
“We had an opportunity there down 20-11,” Geheb said. “We had two trips down the court where we had the opportunity to cut it to (seven or five points). We just didn’t knock shots down and, before you know it, it went from eight to 20 plenty quickly. At that point, it is just a matter of trying to keep pressing forward, keep working hard, and I thought we got a little better in the second half, but they are a good team. It was a very tough draw for us, and we knew that coming in.”
The Knights scored 21 of their 59 points off of 18 Rossville turnovers.
“We did a really good job on them in the halfcourt. We executed that pretty well,” Geheb said. “We wanted to sag off on Onken and some of their non-shooters and go out on (Lexi) Thompson a little bit. Otherwise, we were just packing it in. I thought we did a good job of that in the halfcourt. We just gave up too many transition baskets in the first half that really put us in a big hole.”
Deboy scored a team-high 16 points in the loss, while junior center Keely Criswell added 11, sophomore forward Julia Malson had four points and 10 rebounds, and junior guard Mallory Roberts finished with two points and five rebounds.
Onken led the Knights with 27 points, while Emma Gerrety scored 10, and Libby Bonner finished with nine.
With the first-round loss, the Hornets finished the season with a 12-11 record – their first winning season in six years – and earned third place in the Hoosier Heartland Conference Championship Tournament in January.
“I like the way these girls competed for an entire year,” Geheb said. “These girls kept taking steps forward, and they really did accomplish quite a bit, especially from where we have been as a program the last couple of years.”
Rossville will return most of its team intact next season after it loses Taylor Zink and Bekah McKee to graduation.
“Any time you lose the last game of the year, it is never fun, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” Geheb said. “We have some things to work on. I wish the best to our seniors, but I also hope our underclassmen take the opportunity to work on their game this summer and we come back better next year.”
HORNETS 33, KNIGHTS 59
Bonner 3 3-4 9, Gerrety 5 0-0 10, Onken 12 0-0 27, Thompson 2 1-2 7, Harkcom 1 2-2 2, Meister 1 0-0 2, Sheetz 1 0-0 2. Totals – 25 4-8 59.
Criswell 5 1-2 11, Malson 1 2-2 4, Roberts 1 0-0 2, Deboy 6 4-6 16. Totals – 13 7-10 33.
Central Cath. 14 18 19 8 – 59
Rossville 4 11 6 12 – 33
3-Point Goals – Central Catholic 5 (Onken 3, Thompson 2), Rossville 0. Fouled out – none. Rebounds – Central Catholic 31 (Onken 9), Rossville 27 (Malson 10). Total fouls – Central Catholic 9, Rossville 6.