By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune
---- — Lewis Cass was in a position to possibly beat Winamac for the first time in eight years in girls basketball Saturday night in Walton.
The Kings led by three points early in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors went on a decisive run to end the game.
Winamac pulled away for a 43-34 win to survive the scare at Cass.
“The turning point again for us, and it was the same thing in our last game, was the fullcourt pressure,” Winamac coach Jeff Wagner said. “I told the girls your defense won this game. We just didn’t do it soon enough and often enough because we didn’t do it consistently.
“I’m proud of the girls for sticking it out. We had a couple of people under the weather so it worked out pretty well.”
The Kings (1-1) took a 31-28 lead at the start of the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Maci Maupin. But the Warriors (2-0) ended the game with a 15-3 run. After Maupin’s 3-pointer, the Kings didn’t score again until a Bailey Gremelspacher 3-ball with 35 seconds left in the game, and Winamac led 42-34 at that point.
Stephanie Shorter scored seven of her game-high 23 points during the decisive run to end the game for the Warriors. At one point she blocked two shots in a row during the spurt.
Bethany Brogdon had three steals in a row and four steals overall in the fourth quarter for Winamac. Her steal and assist to Shorter gave the Warriors a 33-31 with 5:10 remaining, and she came up with another steal and assist to Ali Larkin 15 seconds later to make it 35-31.
Brogdon finished with eight steals, 10 assists and two points in the contest. Larkin scored eight points. Winamac outscored Cass 13-3 at the foul line for the game.
Freshman Olivia Collins led the Kings with 14 points. Maupin added 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Collins scored 10 points in the first quarter to lift the Kings to an 11-7 lead after one, and she had 14 by halftime as Cass led 21-19 at the break.
“I think the first half we played fantastic basketball. We did what we wanted to do the first half,” Cass coach Meranda Burnett said. “The second half, it was almost like it was a trickle effect. One thing goes wrong, one person gets in foul trouble, things start falling apart a little. So we need to do a better job adjusting whenever people get in foul trouble, our people coming off the bench need to realize that they can’t miss a beat.”
Collins’ sharp shooting lifted the Kings out to a fast start but she cooled off in the second half and had some shots that just rolled off the rim.
“She really lit a fire for us in the first half with her outside shooting, did a fantastic job,” Burnett said. “The second half there for a part of the time had the job of guarding Shorter. Shorter’s their best player. Bless her heart, she’s a freshman, it’s a big undertaking for a freshman in her second varsity game to be guarding a girl that caliber of a player.”
The Kings travel to Tri-Central on Tuesday. Burnett played on three state championship teams at Tri-Central from 2003-05. Tri-Central also happens to be Winamac’s semistate opponent in football on Friday.
The Warriors host Culver on Tuesday.
Caston 54, N. Miami 44
Mickayla Rans and Anna Brown scored 14 points apiece to lead the Comets to the win in Denver and a 2-0 start to the season.
Marli Leazenby added seven points for Caston, Sarah Holt and Jaycee Denton added six apiece, Tierney Rentschler had four and Madison Taylor added three.
“Our post players did a lot of scoring for us, Anna Brown had 14 and Mickayla Rans had 14,” Caston coach Carl Davis noted. “But our backcourt was very steady, especially in the second half. North Miami made a similar run at us that LaCrosse did. When North Miami made their run, our guards slowed the game down back to our pace and we went on our run.”
Caston led 26-21 at halftime and 41-35 after three quarters.
Makenna Brown led the Warriors (0-2) with 19 points.
“I thought North Miami played extremely hard. Coach [Ryan] DeMien had them ready to go,” Davis said. “They were short-handed, they had a couple of girls out, but they battled all night.”
Caston opened the season with a 43-26 win over visiting LaCrosse on Friday.
Leazenby led the Comets with 14 points, followed by Rans (11), Rentschler (8), Holt (4), Brown (3) and Denton (3).
The Comets led the Tigers 20-12 at halftime and 31-17 after three.
It’s the second straight year the Comets have started 2-0. They host Rochester on Tuesday.
Delphi 60, Pioneer 32
Pioneer dropped its season opener against visiting Delphi.
The Oracles led 11-9 after one and 32-20 at the half before pulling away in the second half. They led 48-28 after three.
Tatum Minier and Myka Roth each scored 13 to lead the Oracles (1-0).
Mati DeWitt led the Panthers with 10 points, followed by Brooklyn Mehrley (8), Megan Smith (6), Kayte Miller (6) and Monica Compton (2).