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Hainje, Roswarski give CC 1-2 punch

February 26, 2012
Lafayette Central Catholic High School

The cohesiveness between Central Catholic senior Morgan Hainje and junior Alanna Roswarski began long before they became high school teammates.

In the alley between their parents' houses, as 4-year-olds, they became teammates for life.

When Hainje was in first grade and Roswarski in kindergarten, they were coached by their fathers. When Hainje was the only freshman playing with the varsity four years ago, she knew it would be all right because Roswarski was coming to high school the next year.

"Along the four years, it's always been a 'me and Alanna' sort of thing," Hainje said. "We've been playing for so long together that when I was a freshman, I said, next year I will have her."

A knee injury cost Hainje most of her junior season, and she knew this was the last go-around for the duo. They vowed to make the most of it and now find themselves as improbable sectional champions.

This collection of Central Catholic girls was not going to be the one to break the streak of sectional championships, with Hainje and Roswarski as the leaders.

The Knights have four more losses than any other team playing in a regional tournament this weekend -- 18 of them.

But that is 18 lessons learned during what is rated as the toughest schedule in Indiana girls basketball this year for a Class A team by the Sagarin Ratings.

"I think about this season, reflecting on the whole thing, you learn a lot more from losing than you do winning," CC coach Pat Tharp said.

The Knights are playing in the regional round for the seventh year in a row, but only once, in 2006, have they advanced to the semistate.

That team won the program's first sectional title and went on to win a state championship despite starting the postseason with an 11-10 record.

Last year's team had four seniors and needed a late shot in the sectional championship against Tri-Central. All four of those seniors were key members on at least three sectional championship teams.

This season, Roswarski was asked to be the go-to player.

She excelled statistically, but the team went through a stretch where it lost 15 of 16 games. Twice the Knights went more than a month without a victory.

Opponents doubted them. Even friends did. But Roswarski and her teammates found power in persevering through those low times. Rock bottom came on Jan. 5, a 50-17 loss at Twin Lakes.

"This season it was kind of hard," Roswarski said. "We knew we had to stay positive. We took it upon ourselves. We didn't have that much support from many people. We had the coaches, the girls on our team and our family. But everyone else doubted us for the whole season.

"We had to keep ourselves positive by helping each other."

After beating Clinton Prairie on Jan. 10, CC lost seven in a row prior to the sectional. That stretch included zero Class A schools, a team ranked in each class other than Class A and three 4A schools.

They took some beatings but got better, and now, even with just five wins, go into the regional as a confident bunch.

"We're peaking at the right time," Roswarski said, "so we are ready for regionals."

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