Lady Rebs slug NW, win share of SAC title
The last time New Washington’s girls basketball team recorded a victory over South Central was in the 2001 Sectional 60 championship, 51-47.
At the time, the Lady Mustangs were one of Southern Indiana’s top 1A programs, having made a trip to the state championship in 2000 and winning a string of four consecutive Southern Athletic Conference titles.
South ‘ which is coming off a trip to the state final in 2006 ‘ returned to New Washington Saturday night, but this time it was the No. 10-ranked Lady Rebels who played the role of juggernaut, and it was the hosts who nearly spoiled the visitors’ party.
Backed by a stellar night by 6-0 junior forward Jillian Charlet, the Mustangs gave South Central a big-time scare, but fell in a close battle, 53-50. The victory locked up no worse than a first-place tie for the league championship for South, which still has one SAC matchup remaining Saturday afternoon at Borden (6-10).
Of New Washington’s 13 two-point field goals, 11 were scored by Charlet, who finished with a game-high 28 points.
‘There wasn’t much we could do with her,’ South coach Randall Schoen said. ‘I get on our post players to try and do more, but she was unstoppable tonight. We’ll be back up here in two weeks for the sectional, and if things go right we’ll probably have to deal with her again. We’ll just have to look at the tape and see what we can do different because we couldn’t do anything with her.’
The Lady Rebels (14-5, 4-0) started the game like gang-busters, leading 7-2 on deuces by Schoen and Candice Cartwright, and a three-ball by senior guard Karen Deaton.
Just when it looked as if South was going to run away with the game, New Washington stormed back with a 13-0 spurt of their own. Eight of the points were by Charlet.
Schoen slowed the bleeding with two free throws in the final 30 seconds of the first period, trimming the Lady Mustangs’ lead to 15-9.
The second quarter proved to be more to South’s liking as Kaela Orwick dominated the scoring line, putting in six of her 11 points in the stanza.
Orwick tied the game at 19-all, then, after a pair of frees by Ivy Ivers of New Washington, teammate Kayla Money knotted the affair again with her only points of the game.
Kingsley closed out the first-half scoring on a put-back, giving the Lady Rebels a 23-21 lead.
‘We made the run we needed to lead at the half, and I think that gave us a little more confidence,’ South’s coach said.
The third period was a see-saw affair that had five lead changes and two ties. A single free throw by New Washington’s Charlet with 11 seconds remaining gave her team a 32-31 lead heading into the final quarter.
Schoen, who had scored just nine points in the previous 24 minutes, came alive when her team needed her the most.
She scored nine of South’s first 11 points in the period, including an old-fashioned triple that capped a 9-3 run.
Charlet countered with a three-point play of her own, which was followed by a Schoen drive to the hoop between a pair of defenders.
Deaton hit two frees to make it a four-point game, but Ivers bombed a three at the 1:31 mark, setting the score at 44-43.
After the two teams swapped free throws, Charlet made things interesting by converting a three-point play to tie the game at 47-all with 41 seconds left.
Schoen hit a deuce, then New Washington blew a scoring chance as Callie Burgin missed two frees that could have tied the game.
At the other end, Orwick hit one of two charity tosses, making it 50-47 in favor of the visitors.
New Washington’s next possession ended with Schoen picking off a pass and getting fouled. She hit on free throw to extend the advantage to four.
Ivers nearly blew the roof off New Washington’s gymnasium as she threw in a triple from 21 feet with 3.8 seconds left.
After a South time-out, Deaton connected with Schoen on a long in-bounds pass, with Schoen dashing in for an uncontested lay-up with a second left in the game to cap the win.
Schoen finished with 25 points, including 19 in the second half. She hit 8-of-11 from the free throw line.
Orwick scored 11, Deaton had eight points, and Cartwright came through with three.
‘(Orwick) had some big baskets for us in the second quarter to help give us the lead at halftime. Money had a couple of big free throws, and Paige Kingsley had a huge rebound late when we really needed it,’ Schoen said. ‘This was a big win for us.’
Schoen also commented on the large, vociferous crowd on hand.
‘This is what we needed this time of year. It was a great atmosphere and hopefully it will prepare us for the sectional, because we’ll probably have to play (New Washington) again.’
The Lady Rebels hit 18-39 from the field while New Washington was 16-40. South was beat on the boards, 31-21, but committed fewer turnovers, 13-19.
South was coming off a disappointing 59-45 setback at the hands of Floyd Central last Tuesday night.
The Lady Rebels’ post players accounted for just one rebound in the first half of play (finishing with a measly 14 for the game), and the team committed 26 turnovers.
‘Defensively, we didn’t play that bad, but we just gave up too many offensive rebounds and gave up too many turnovers,’ Schoen said. ‘And they weren’t forced turnovers, either. We were chucking the ball into the third row.’
Schoen finished with 25 points, Deaton had 12 and Cartwright put in four.
The Lady Rebels travel to Silver Creek (3-14) tonight and Borden on Saturday afternoon, before closing out regular season action at home on Jan. 30 against Salem (9-8).
South Central’s junior varsity squad had an equally difficult time with New Washington on Saturday.
After falling behind 11-0 to start the game, the Lady Rebels rallied to force overtime.
Unfortunately for South, which was paced by the 14 points and four threes by freshman Whitney Pease, the Lady Mustangs squeaked out a 38-37 win.
ShyAnne Lemons, a sophomore, scored 11 for New Washington.