Triton, Oregon-Davis advance to title rematch

HAMLET — Here comes Triton versus Oregon-Davis: The girls basketball sectional final sequel.
Defending champion Triton, led by freshman sixth man Kylie Mason’s 5-for-5 finish from 3-point land, shot 60 percent from the field in a 62-41 Class A Sectional 51 semifinal win Friday night at The Den.
In the nightcap, the host Lady Cats reeled off 22 unanswered points to open the game and held Westville scoreless through the first quarter in a 69-27 rout.
The Class A No. 7 Trojans, who ended OD’s four-year sectional reign last season, square off against the fourth-ranked Cats tonight at 7 p.m. EST at OD in the title bout.
Between a 21-for-35 showing from the field and a combination of halfcourt and full-court zone defenses, Triton tipped off its second season with a convincing win over the Dragons.
“The big thing we talked about was coming out ready to play,” Triton head coach Adam Heckaman said. “We played the early game once this season, and we didn’t play very well. You just never know how you’re going to come out in the early game. We wanted to get off to a quick start; we wanted to get after it defensively and let our defense lead to our offense.”
Mason, who knocked down a game-high 17 points, touched off a 16-2 first-half run that converted an 8-8 tie into a 24-10 Triton lead with 6:11 left in the first half.
“(Mason) can shoot, and she knows she has the green light,” Heckaman said. “She is getting a lot better at going to the basket, the whole team is. Our focus has been getting our guards going to the basket. When you do that, people collapse and that gives our shooters more room from the outside. Kylie was able to get her feet set, and when she gets her feet set she’s one of our best shooters as she showed tonight.”
Meanwhile, Triton’s full-court defense baffled Argos, even recording a pair of 10-second violations in the second frame.
“Triton played close to a perfect game,” Argos head coach Nick Medich said. “That’s the best we’ve seen them play. We were going to let them shoot, and we did, and we paid for it.
“Their pressure was similar to what we’ve seen all year, so I don’t know why we had so much trouble with it,” he added. “The stuff we normally do we didn’t do. Congratulations to Triton. This is a good sectional with good teams. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Sophomore Taylor Hatfield added 13 points and three assists for the Trojans. Her dribble penetration sent her to the charity stripe on four different occasions in the first 10 minutes of the game where she converted 7-of-8 tries.
Also for Triton, senior center Megan Howdeshell collected 10 points, and Breanna Lemler added eight points and four rebounds. Shana Anderson hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to open the game for the Trojans who never trailed.
“At this point they all understand what each of them needs to do for us to win,” Heckaman said. “(Lemler) is always in the right spot. People don’t notice her because she’s not doing things that show up in statistics, but she does a lot for us. Megan’s setting good screens. Both of them are doing things that lead to better offense.”
Junior point guard Jami Patterson finished with 11 points to lead Argos. Kayla Prochno pulled down a game-best five rebounds for the Dragons.
Argos winds up a winning season at 13-9, and bids farewell to seniors Carly McCay and Dani Fishburn.
“This is my second year and these seniors have had three coaches in four years, and that can’t be easy,” Medich said. “I give them credit for sticking it out for four years. Dani Fishburn broke her foot a couple of years ago in softball. She’s constantly in pain, but she never complains, shows up every day and works hard. Everybody likes Carly, she’s a real neat kid, both of them are. I’m proud of them; I’m proud that they’re Argos Dragons; they will be missed.”
At Hamlet
Score by quarters
Triton: 17 31 51 62
Argos: 10 19 27 41
TRITON (62): Kaelyn Mason 0 0-0 0, Taylor Hatfield 3 7-8 13, Breanna Lemler 4 0-0 8, Krystal Sellers 0 2-4 2, Becca Kennedy 0 0-0 0, Kylie Mason 5 2-2 17, Mallorie Jennings 1 1-2 3, Shana Anderson 3 0-0 7, Megan Howdeshell 5 0-0 10, Hannah Jennings 0 0-0 0, Alexandra Kann 0 2-2 2. TOTALS: 21 14-18 62.
ARGOS (41): Jami Patterson 4 2-3 11, Katie Williams 1 0-0 3, Kelsey Kring 0 0-0 0, Karlee VanDerWeele 2 2-3 7, Allison Flower 1 0-0 2, Shelby Sanders 2 0-0 6, Carly McCay 0 0-0 0, Amanda Middleton 0 0-0 0, Libby Moyer 2 2-4 6, Kayla Prochno 3 0-0 6, Dani Fishburn 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15 6-10 41.
3-point goals: Triton 6 (Ky. Mason 5, Anderson), Argos 5 (Sanders 2, Patterson, Williams, VanDerWeele); Turnovers: Triton 17, Argos 16; Rebounds: Triton 25 (Lemler 4, Ky. Mason 4), Argos 19 (Prochno 5); Assists: Triton 9 (Hatfield 3), Argos 8 (VanDerWeele, Flower 2); Steals: Triton 5 (Ky. Mason, Anderson 2), Argos 7 (VanDerWeele 3); Fouls (fouled out): Triton 11 (Howdeshell), Argos 14 (none); Records: Triton 16-5, Argos 13-9 (final).
OD landed four players in double figures, and despite bouts of sloppy play, easily raced past Westville.
Sophomore guard Alicia McIntosh led the high-scoring quartet with a game-best 17 points as well as five rebounds and six assists. Sophomore guard Ashley Campbell posted 13 points and six assists, followed by senior Katie Schwenk with 11 points, eight boards, and three steals. Sophomore guard Jesse Avarone chipped in 10 points.
“In a game like this you try to survive and get through it,” OD head coach Terry Minix said. “You like playing no matter what and competing, and I didn’t think we always competed tonight. At times it looked like we were going through the motions.”
The Cats held the Blackhawks scoreless until Hannah Lewis split a pair of free throws with 7:11 left in the second quarter. Westville finally collected its first field goal — its 17th attempt of the game — on Shaina Jacks’ bucket at the 4:47 mark of the second quarter.
Shelly Cunningham led Westville with seven points and seven rebounds.
Also for OD, Lincy Jones finished with a game-leading nine caroms, with Haley Collings right behind with eight. Kendra Sauer also swiped three steals for the Cats.
OD, which beat the Trojans 48-45 earlier this year, looks to avenge last year’s 62-48 sectional-championship final loss.
“It’s going to be a good ol’ time Indiana high school basketball game,” Minix said of the championship. “A large part of it’s going to come down to free throws and what we call 50-50 balls. According to the Sagarin ratings these are the best two teams in the field, and you like for the best two teams to play for the championship.
“I still remember last year like it was yesterday,” he added. “It left enough of a bad taste in the girls’ mouths that I won’t have to say anything — they didn’t lose their hair or their memory. We have to go out and do what we do. We’ll change up some things from when we played them earlier in the year and see how we execute.”
Score by quarters
OD: 20 40 63 69
Westville: 0 6 15 27
OD (69): Katie Schwenk 4 2-4 11, Ashley Campbell 6 0-0 13, Alicia McIntosh 5 5-9 17, Ali Stout 0 0-0 0, Jesse Avarone 4 0-1 10, Kendra Sauer 2 3-3 7, Ashley Clark 0 0-0 0, Haley Collings 3 0-0 6, Lincy Jones 2 1-2 5. TOTALS: 26 11-19 69.
WESTVILLE (27): Katie Piotrowski 0 0-0 0, Beth Piotrowski 3 0-0 6, Shelly Cunningham 3 1-2 7, Bryce Bromley 3 0-0 7, Shaina Jacks 2 0-2 4, Stephanie Popp 1 0-0 2, Hannah Lewis 0 1-2 1, Megan Henrich 0 0-0 0, Amber Haack 0 0-0 0, Krysten Wilson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12 2-6 27.
3-point goals: OD 6 (McIntosh 2, Avarone 2, Schwenk, Campbell), Westville 1 (Bromley); Turnovers: OD 18, Westvile 23; Rebounds: OD 43 (Jones 9), Westville 25 (Cunningham 7); Assists: OD 17 (Campbell, McIntosh 6), Westville 2; Steals: OD 15 (Schwenk, Sauer, Collings 3), Westville 6; Fouls (fouled out): OD 7, Westville 16 (K. Piotrowski); Records: OD 19-4, Westville 6-16 (final).