By Jarit Clouse Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — It was a classic tale of two halves for the Washington Catholic Lady Cardinals Tuesday night against the North Central Ladybirds.
The balanced scoring of the Ladybirds was able to control the second half and they headed North on Highway 41 with a 70-35 victory at the Bird Cage Thursday night.
Both teams were aggressive early and tried to take the advantage away from inside the paint. Ivy Mangram was able to finally slip behind the zone and hit a layup followed by a Wichman foul.
After the three-point play North Central jumped out to a seven-point advantage early in the first. Mary Anne Wichman answered right back with a 3-pointer of her own. Wichman was able to hit a pair of free throws to cut the Washington Catholic deficit to three.
Two Elizabeth Perkins free throws cut the North Central lead to 10-9 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Aubrey Plaza and Katelynn Kennedy scored six quick points to extend the North Central lead to seven early into the second quarter forcing WC coach Michael Hopkins to take a timeout.
Out of the timeout Elizabeth Perkins got a good look inside and the lead was cut to five.
North Central’s Taylor Netherlain hits a three pointer and the North Central lead was extended back to eight. With 30 seconds to go in the first half, Hannah Lewis hits a basket but Brooklyn Allen answered right back for the Lady Cardinals. Knowing they had one shot left in the half the Ladybirds made the most of it and Gabby Kreischer hit a three to close out the half. The Ladybirds took a 24-13 advantage into the locker room.
The third quarter was not the storybook ending Washington Catholic was looking for in their tale.
North Central was able to use an 8-0 run to start the third quarter to push the lead to 32-13. Wichman ran into foul trouble in the third quarter after picking up her fourth foul of the night.
“Like I have said most of the year we are still just trying to find that third girl to step up and score for us,” Coach Hopkins said. “With Mary Anne in foul trouble we needed that girl to step up and we didn’t get that tonight and that was a disadvantage hard to overcome.”
Needing to put the WC offense on her back Perkins continued to get to the free throw line. It wouldn’t prove enough though as North Central exploded for 21 points in the third to take a 45-19 advantage at the end of three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter scoring was opened by two more Perkins free throws but quickly answered by North Central with a three pointer by Taylor Netherlain. Sydney Dunbar follows up with her own make and hoped to spark a WC rally cutting the lead to 25 early in the fourth.
After two North Central free throws Wichman found Perkins for a 3-pointer and WC cut further into the North Central lead. North Central closed out the game on a 9-3 run for the 70-35 win.
North Central’s balanced scoring saw four of their girls in double figures. They were led by Gabby Kreischer with 15 points followed by Taylor Netherlain and Aubrey Evans with 13 and Katelynn Kennedy with 10.
Washington Catholic was led in scoring by Perkins who went 15-of-17 from the free throw line and finished with 23. Wichman followed her with eight and Sydney Dunbar and Brooklyn Allen both finished with two.