GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mixed Regional Results in Valpo

VALPARAISO – After winning the 4A sectional at Portage, and ousting the heavily favored, and undefeated, Merrillville Pirates, the Michigan City Wolves fell to Penn in the morning game of the Valparaiso Regional 59-55.

Michigan City’s story was somewhat like the David versus Goliath except Saturday’s version had a slight twist. David had to slay the Giant for a second time.

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Alas, in this version David reached into his bag for a stone, and the bag was empty.

With both teams wanting to set the tempo, the first quarter ended 17 to 13 in favor of the Lady Kingsmen, with freshman Michal Miller leading the way for the Wolves with seven first quarter points.

In the second quarter the Wolves continued to push the pace and forced to Kingsmen’s defense to stretch. “I felt they couldn’t guard us today” said Michigan City Head Coach Mike Megyese. “We wanted to push the ball.” And they did. The Wolves outscored Penn 17-11 in second stanza, and headed to locker room down 30-28.

The Wolves’ shooting hand went cold in the third quarter as City fell off the pace, hitting only four out of eleven shots from the field. However their charity stripe efforts kept them alive and at the end of the third still only found themselves down by two 41-39.

Although Michigan City’s efforts fell short in the fourth quarter, the hustling and diving  pleased Megyese. “They played a full 32 minutes. They played their hearts out and they didn’t back down at all,” sa1d the coach. “I told the kids that we could play with the best teams in the state, and I feel we proved it.”

Michigan City was led by Miller’s 18 points. Tica Murphy added 11 and Jameka Collins finished with 10.

Michigan City finished the season 18-7 and will return everyone from this year’s squad for the 2012-2013 season.

In the second game of the Valparaiso Regional it was the East Chicago Central Cardinals downing Elkhart Memorial 46-39 to advance to the championship tonight.

Like a Zen master, Cardinals coach Eric Kundich balanced and mentally prepared his team for the opening regional battle. “Before the game I asked the girls, ‘are you nervous?’ I told them it was ok to be nervous, heck, I told them I was a little nervous too,” said Kundich. “I told them there are three things to help you overcome your anxiety, be prepared, do you feel you are prepared?  Play together, and the third was play hard”

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The Cardinals fed off the pregame speech and found themselves in a dead heat at the end of the first quarter 9-9.

Senior Shanterra Jones started to find her groove and scored five of her total ten points in the second frame and gave the Cards some breathing room at the horn with a 20-16 lead.

The second half intensity picked up and senior Cardinal and season leading scorer Andrianna Moore picked up her third foul and coach Kundich needed to make some adjustments. “We needed to slow them down, so we mixed up our defenses,” Kundich said. By the end of third EC held a 33-29 lead.

The Cardinals closed out the game outscoring the Chargers 13 to 10 in the fourth to advance the Regional championship.

Excited about the victory, Kundich expressed his feelings. “No one gave us a chance coming out of the sectional. This feels great and now we are looking forward to playing the number one team in the state”

Moore topped the Cardinal in scoring with 19 points.

East Chicago will face Penn (24-1) for the regional crown.