GBB MARION COUNTY: 4A #7 Lawrence North wins second title
December 11, 2012By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Lawrence North High School
By E. Shawn Aylsworth
INDIANAPOLIS – Class 4A seventh-ranked Lawrence North entered the ??th Annual Marion County Tournament as the favorite, and the Wildcats lived up to that billing by ousting four opponents – including five-time defending County champion Ben Davis – in five days Dec. 4-8 to capture the school’s second-ever crown.
LN (7-1) opened first-round play at home Dec. 4 against Perry Meridian. As usual, the Wildcats’ frenetic full-court defensive pressure was key as first-year coach Chris Giffin’s girls turned up the heat all over the floor in a 78-45 victory.
The Wildcats were particularly ferocious in the first and third quarters, when they outscored Perry by 24-10 and 26-10 margins. The latter spurt gave the ‘Cats a monstrous 66-34 lead heading to the fourth, allowing Giffin to rest his regulars for the quarterfinal battle with Franklin Central two night later.
Sophomore Amani Ferguson led the charge offensively with 17 points (including five 3-pointers), while senior Mikale Rogers added 16 and sophomore Lamina Cooper scored 10 as Lawrence North finished with 33 field goals to just 15 buckets for the visitors.
Perry Meridian junior Cassie Baird paced 27th-year coach Mike Armstrong’s Falcons (2-5) with 16 points, while senior Katie Kelly hit four threes for 12 points.
The LN starters would need that extra rest Dec. 6 in a low-scoring battle at Franklin Central, where LN rallied in the fourth quarter for a 39-36 victory.
The Wildcats led just 6-4 after one period and 15-14 at the half before the Flashes (5-2) piled up 15 points in the third to take a 29-27 lead down the stretch. But the LN defense rose to the occasion once again, limiting Franklin Central – whose only losses have come at 4A defending state runner-up No. 2 Columbus North (43-42 on Nov. 16), and against LN – to just seven points in the decisive quarter while scoring an even dozen to escape.
That win sent the Wildcats into the Dec. 8 semifinals at Speedway, where LN faced a rematch with a Ben Davis team it had rolled over at home, 78-29, just nine days earlier. The outcome was a little closer this time around as LN fought through another low-scoring affair to oust the Giants, 40-25. Rogers led the way with 12 points.
A third win in approximately 85 hours set up a championship match against surprising 4A No. 19 Roncalli, which had upset 4A 14th-ranked Pike, 45-44, on a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the other semifinal by Lindsay Corsaro.
MORE TO COME!!