The Center Grove Lady Trojans go up against No. 1 ranked, two-time defending state champion Bedford North Lawrence Monday night at Bedford at 8 p.m. in the regional semi-final. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, was first postponed until Saturday evening and then later pushed to Monday night due to heavy snow and bad road conditions. Not only would defeating Bedford mean the Trojans advance to the regional championship, now set to be played on Tuesday evening, but it would also give the program credibility. “If we win this game, it would give our program respect. I feel like we do not get enough credit or respect that we should. So I definitely think winning this would give us a lot more credit than we already have,” senior Jess Norris said. “ It would also put us up there to be one of the top teams and actually prove that we are a good and solid basketball team.” The Lady Trojans played BNL earlier in the season, losing 33-46. However, senior Regan Wentland is confident the team has what it takes to upset the defending champs.
“We have more set plays on offense and I think that our team chemistry has gotten a lot better and everyone is playing up to their full potential,” Wentland said. While the team lost the first match-up, there were plenty of positives to take away, including junior Lauren Rau’s 19-point performance. “We realized watching film that they do not help on defense, so it is basically once we get past our one defender there is an open lane to the basket,” Wentland said. “I also think we realized that we weren’t shooting when we were open in the first game.” After watching film, the team was able to find both a defensive and offensive focus in hopes of changing the outcome this time around. “I would say that we need to stop their two posts (players), push the ball up the floor quickly, drive to the basket hard and look for our open shots,” Norris said. In order to advance, Center Grove will have to contend with two of the state’s top players, who have both earned Div. I scholarships. “[We have to] shut down their inside game because they have Jenna Allen, who is going to Michigan State, and Dominique McBryde, who is going to Purdue. And those two are extremely talented and skilled on the court,” Wentland said. “ So if we shut them down, we can contain all the rest.” The winner of the Center Grove-BNL game will advance to the regional championship to play the winner of Columbus North-Evansville Central. Because of weather, this game will be played Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.