LOOGOOTEE — Tournament time in Indiana is a special time. It is a chance for new beginnings. It is a fresh start and a brand new record. For Washington Catholic and the Shoals Lady Jug Rox, it was also the game that kicked off Sectional 63 Tuesday evening at Jack Butcher Arena.
The two teams met earlier in the season with Shoals pulling off a large victory, but giving WC chance for redemption.
But redemption would come up short in the hard-fought game that saw Shoals take a 46-32 victory, despite 20 points from WC’s Mary Anne Wichman.
“We thought we matched up pretty well with them,” said Washington Catholic coach Michael Hopkins.
The first quarter saw Shoals jump out to a big lead behind the hot shooting of Cailtlin Sanders.
“Caitlin Sanders got to the rim early and they hit some shots early .We missed a couple free throws and that set the tone early. They put us behind because we started flat and slow and it we didn’t really wake up until we were down 16-3 early,” Hopkins said.
Elizabeth Perkins did what she has been doing all season, got to the free throw line and knocked both free throws down to stop the Shoals run and end the quarter down 16-5.
WC started out the second continuing to cut into the Shoals lead with a basket from Kaitlyn Craney. Shoals then hit three consecutive baskets and extended their lead into double digits. A 3-pointer by Wichman with three minutes left in the quarter cut the Shoals lead to 10. The WC defense would hold strong the rest of the quarter and Shoals took a 10-point advantage to the locker room up 20-10.
The second half started out with four consecutive turnovers by WC, and Shoals jumped out to a 16-point lead early. Washington Catholic weathered the storm of the Shoals run with a run of their own getting in the bonus early and six points from Wichman. WC ended the quarter down 32-20.
The fourth quarter saw WC start out hot and cut the Shoals lead back to single digits. But anytime Washington Catholic would cut into the lead, Shoals answered with a bucket, and WC was never able to get the lead below seven. With the win, Shoals advances to Friday night game with Vincennes Rivet.
Washington Catholic was led by Wichman with 20 points followed by Perkins with six. Sydney Dunbar chipped in three points followed by Craney added two. Kasey Ivy rounded out the WC scoring with a point but was strong on the boards with 11 rebounds. Washington Catholic won the rebound advantage pulling down 38 boards, while Shoals had 30.Perkins and Kasey Ivy led the effort with 12 rebounds for Perkins and 11 for Ivy. This was the last game for Wichman and Perkins. Despite the loss Hopkins was proud of the season he had.
“You get attached to a team and get close to them,” Hopkins said. “The girls are such great girls, not once did they have a bad attitude and it was a fun year.”