By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune
---- — Stephanie Shorter would run through a wall for her Winamac girls basketball team.
She did run through the doors on the east end of the Winamac gymnasium literally while hustling for a loose ball Thursday night.
She also put the Warriors on her back.
Shorter scored a career-high 39 points to lift the Warriors to a 61-60 over Knox in the season opener.
It was Shorter’s hustle that also led to the game-winning points. Trailing 60-59, she grabbed a loose-ball rebound following a Bethany Brogdon miss and was fouled. Shorter hit both free throws in the double bonus with 22.7 seconds left that held up for the game-winning points.
There was a wild finish from there. Sarah Coad, who led the Redskins with 20 points, had a driving shot in the final seconds do a 360 around the rim and roll off. A putback attempt by a teammate was off and Winamac was able to hold on for the win.
Shorter sprained her ankle on a rebound attempt on the last play of the game. She finished the contest with a double-double of 39 points and 10 rebounds.
“I had some really good help. If I didn’t have any of those passes I wouldn’t have had any of those points,” she said. “My team really stepped up toward the end and played awesome defense.”
The Warriors trailed 29-20 at halftime but dialed up fullcourt pressure in the second half and led 44-41 after three.
Bethany Brogdon finished with 12 points and five assists despite playing less than five minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.
“Beth, when we got her back off the bench because of fouls stabilized us there,” Winamac coach Jeff Wagner said.
Ali Larkin and Michaela Ingram chipped in three points apiece for Winamac, and Stephanie Crist and Mackenzie Howard each added two.
“We’ve got to get some more contribution obviously,” Wagner said.
Added Shorter: “We have a totally new set of girls this year and we’re still trying to work together to get there but I think we really pulled it together towards the end.”
Miranda Shepherd added 18 points for Knox and Kara Howard had 11.
“I’m not extremely happy that they scored 60 points, especially with all the shots around the basket,” Wagner said. “That’s something we’ll have to rectify quickly.”
Winamac shot 21 of 28 from the foul line for the game and Knox went 18 of 28.
Wagner thought the rules changes being made at the college level with the game being called closer effected how the contest was officiated.
“I like that except that we’re not used to that now. We have to go back and readjust some things,” he said.
Winamac travels to Cass on Saturday.
Cass 57, Rossville 22
The Meranda Burnett era has started off with a bang as the Lewis Cass Kings defeated Rossville.
Burnett was very pleased to get the season under way with a win.
“Two weeks of practice for a coach goes by fast, but two weeks as a player goes by very slow,” Burnett said. “The girls came out ready to play. They did a nice job. Defensively, we can be more aggressive, and offensively, we only had four turnovers in the first half, but in the second half, we had 12 turnovers. The 16 turnovers is less than last year’s average. We have to value the basketball more, and not throw it away. We have a lot to work on, and we play a pretty good opponent Saturday in hosting Winamac.”
Savannah Thompson led Cass with 17 points. Bailey Gremelspacher added 12, and Maci Maupin and Olivia Collins each had 10 points apiece.