Lady Trojans look to avenge regular season loss in regional

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.

The Girls Basketball Team poses after winning the Sectionals tournament.

The Girls Basketball Team poses after winning the Sectionals tournament.

“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.

Girls Basketball Conference Championship Preview

IMG_1352When the girls basketball team travels to Lawrence North for tonight’s game, they won’t just be playing their last conference game of the season. They will be playing for a conference championship, an honor senior Bri Gliesmann knows would give this team confidence heading into the post-season. “Winning conference would mean a lot to us,” Gliesmann said. “It would mean that we are able to play with and even beat the top teams in the state.” But, for a third year in a row, Center Grove’s shot at the title comes down to the last conference game of the season. Two years ago, the Trojans lost to LN 57-62 in overtime and fell 63-78 last season. Lawrence North has won the past nine meetings between the schools, but the Trojans hope to end that streak tonight. “A couple challenges are knowingin the back of our minds that theyare stronger and more athletic than us,” Gliesmann said.IMG_1108 (1) That strength and athleticism has resulted in a perfect 19-0 start for the Wildcats. “ I think that they are the most athletic team in the state,” Sanders said. “They’ve got size and strength and quickness. Once they get into the paint, they are just really good. They are also really defensively quick and they can force turnovers extremely well.” However, Gliesmann knows that the team has what it takes to win the school’s first conference title in girls basketball since 2006. “We can win this game if we just think about ourselves and think about each other and don’t get down on ourselves,” Gliesmann said. We cannot worry about what they are going to do.” With post-season play less than two weeks away, CG hopes to use this game as a measuring stick. “If we beat them, or hang with them, it will give us the confidence we need to tell us that we can beat the top teams, like Bedford North Lawrence or Columbus North,” Gliesmann said. For Coach Shawn Sanders, a victory tonight would be one for the record books, as the girls basketball team has only won the conference title three other times. “Winning this game will give us the confidence we need to keep pushing forward in the post-season because we only have two more games until sectionals,” Sanders said. Winning this game will also give CG something they have been working for all season: a conference title.