NEW CARLISLE — Wednesday night’s Class 3A New Prairie Sectional quarterfinals were decided in just two periods.
The opener went down to the wire, but the nightcap was decided at the outset as South Bend St. Joseph’s used a strong effort from sophomore Madeline Raster to hand John Glenn a 45-41 overtime defeat, and Plymouth rode a 14-1 first quarter to an eventual 57-20 rout of Jimtown to set up a semifinal match-up between the traditional rivals Friday night in New Carlisle.
Culver Girls Academy will play Mishawaka Marian in the opening semifinal Friday at 6 p.m. ET with the Pilgrims-Indians semi set to follow at 7:30.
PLYMOUTH 57, JIMTOWN 20
Several of Plymouth’s losses this season have been marked by poor starts on the offensive end, so coming into Wednesday’s sectional contest with Jimtown, the Lady Pilgrims coaching staff made a fast start an emphasis.
The players delivered.
Plymouth jumped out to a 19-1 start, not allowing the Jimmies a field goal until the 3.54 mark of the second quarter, and the Pilgrims never led by less than double digits in the quarterfinal rout.
Plymouth used a fullcourt press and halfcourt trap to wreak havoc on Jimtown’s ball handlers, creating 22 turnovers for the night as four different Pilgrims were credited with three or more steals — Lauren Tanner finished with four, and Haley Harrell, Allie Wright and Amber Redinger each tallied three — and the visitors on the scoreboard capitalized with 24 points off turnovers to snap a two-game skid.
“I thought right there in the first three or four minutes of the game we jumped out in a little bit of a trap and it kind of bothered them a little bit early. Maybe that’s the defense that set the tone for us,” said Plymouth head coach Dave Duncan.
“We don’t use that trap a lot. We just thought tonight might be a good time to break it out and try to get a little bit better with it, and you’ll probably see it again.”
The Pilgrims benefitted from a balanced scoresheet led by Hunter Stevens’ 10 points. With the Pilgrims in control early, the Plymouth reserves saw plenty of action against Jimtown as Andria Shook put up nine points, and Dylan Holiday scored eight on perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the floor. Senior starter Amber Redinger finished with eight points, Harrell scored six, Wright and freshman sub Shannon Stephenson chipped in four points apiece, and Tanner finished with three points.
Stevens nearly recorded a double-double with nine rebounds in the win, and she and Tanner notched four and three assists, respectively, as the Pilgrims converted on better than half their attempts from the field at 23 of 44 for the night.
“I thought it took a little while, but we finally started swinging the ball a little bit, and we got the right kids making the right decisions with the basketball,” said Duncan.
Jimtown was paced by eight points from Alli Vicsik and closed at 4-17.
Up next for Plymouth is St. Joe, which knocked the Pilgrims out of sectional contention en route to the tournament title last season.
“They’re a young team, and they just play hard,” said Duncan. “We’ve just got to match their intensity.
“I thought our kids played well and played hard, and we’ve got to come into practice tomorrow focused to get ready for Friday night.”
• PLYMOUTH 57, JIMTOWN 20
At New Carlisle
Score by quarters
Plymouth: 14 26 40 57
Jimtown: 1 10 14 20
PLYMOUTH (57): Lauren Tanner 3, Andria Shook 9, Hunter Stevens 10, Bailey Brown 0, Kirstin Riise 0, Kaydon Fosler 5, Haley Harrell 6, Allie Wright 4, Dylan Holiday 8, Amber Redinger 8, Shannon Stephenson 4, Libbie Portteus 0; Totals: 23 7-10 57.
JIMTOWN (20): Rachel Miller 0, Tori Henkler 2, Shawntel James 0, Ally Vicsik 8, Lindsey Stose 0, Maddi Beadles 4, Alli Brothers 4, Joy Moore 0, Mykayla Hurtekant 0, Logan Trosper 2; Totals 7 6-12 20.
3-pointers: Plymouth 4 (Harrell 2, Fosler, Tanner), Jimtown 0; Rebounds: Plymouth 27 (Stevens 9), Jimtown 17 (Stose 4); Turnovers: Plymouth 12, Jimtown 22; Steals: Plymouth 18 (Tanner 4, Harrell 3, Wright 3, Redinger 3), Jimtown 9 (Moore 4, Vicsik 3); Assists: Plymouth 14 (Stevens 4, Tanner 3), Jimtown 3; Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 18 (none), Jimtown 10.
Records: Plymouth 15-6, Jimtown 4-17 (final).
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH’S 45, JOHN GLENN 41 OT
John Glenn was 2-for-2 in overtime contests heading into the extra stanza with the Indians, including a thrilling 50-49 win in extra time at conference-rival Culver in the Lady Falcons’ regular-season closer last Friday.
But Glenn’s overtime luck ran out Wednesday night as St. Joe sophomore Madeline Raster put up nine of her game-high 21 points in the fifth frame — including all five points during a 5-0 OT-opening run by the Indians — to carry the defending Sectional 19 champs past the Falcons.
“My teammates did their job getting me open and passing me the ball, so everything’s to them,” said Raster.
“It feels good obviously, but we’ve got to get focused for practice tomorrow and come out ready to play Friday.”
“She’s such a player; I hate that she’s a sophomore, and we’ve got to see her again for two more years,” said Glenn head coach Kyle Amor of Raster. “I knew they were going to hit a couple shots, and we didn’t really respond offensively.”
Wednesday’s opener was nip-tuck throughout with five ties and five lead changes, and the Falcons actually led by a tentative 27-24 margin early in the fourth quarter.
With the game knotted at 32-32, the Indians pulled the ball out and played keep-away from Glenn for a full 2:55 spanning until a Raster pull-up off the elbow put St. Joe up 34-32 with just 1:17 to go in regulation.
Falcons senior Carah Ochs converted a clutch one-and-one with 54 seconds on the clock to force the eventual overtime, but the long spell on the defensive end seemed to stymie Glenn’s offensive rhythm, and after the interlude the Falcons scored just one basket from the floor the remainder of the game — a triple by sophomore Kyler Columbia from the wing at the 2:25 mark of OT.
“When they take off two or three minutes off the clock, their best defense right there was keeping it out of our hands,” Amor said. “We couldn’t get into a flow, we couldn’t get the ball back in, we couldn’t get looks, so credit to them for just keeping it away from us.”
Glenn went to the post for most of its offensive production as 6-1 sophomore forward Loren Vukovits scored a team-high 16 points to go with eight rebounds, and senior frontliner Katie Dreessen put up eight points for the night. Columbia finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists, Ochs scored four points, Natalie Shetler notched two points, and Morgan Eggleston chipped in a free throw for the Falcons.
“The biggest thing was getting it in to Vukovits, and she played a heck of a game. The problem was our guards felt like that was our only option, so they kind of took themselves out of the offense a little bit,” said Amor. “In retrospect I’d probably have Kyler running off a few more screens, getting her a few more options because she had the hot hand a little bit, and we weren’t able to get her open on shots. I thought St. Joe did a good job taking her out of the equation.”
The team closes at 16-5, a 180 degree turnaround from last year’s 4-17 finish, and Amor credited his four outgoing seniors — Dreessen, Ochs, Dillyn Schleg and Hannah Strange — with the about-face.
“The girls have persevered through a lot. In the last two years they’ve gone through a 4-16 regular season to 16-5, and that was a credit to them,” said the second-year Glenn skipper. “The seniors decided to refuse to lose, and they were able to mesh the personalities, mesh the girls and learn to win.
“They’re irreplaceable with their leadership and work ethic. This is a group that worked hard day by day as if we were preparing for a Bi-County championship or a sectional championship every night. Their work ethic kind of set them apart.”
• SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH’S 45, JOHN GLENN 41 OT
At New Carlisle
Score by quarters
St. Joe: 8 17 24 34 45
Glenn: 9 16 25 34 41
ST. JOE (45): Catherine Raster 6, Brooke Juday 2, Mary Freeby 9, Nicole Francouer 0, Madeline Raster 21, Samantha Flesh 0, Nicole Przybyslawski 7, Hannah Mauch 0; Totals: 18 3-6 45.
GLENN (41): Carah Ochs 4, Kyler Columbia 10, Dillyn Schleg 0, Natalie Shetler 2, Katie Dreessen 8, Loren Vukovits 16, Morgan Eggleston 1; Totals: 14 11-19 41.
3-pointers: St. Joe 6 (Freeby 3, C. Raster, M. Raster, Przybyslawski), Glenn 2 (Columbia 2); Rebounds: St. Joe 29 (Juday 8, M. Raster 7), Glenn 22 (Vukovits 8, Columbia 6); Turnovers: St. Joe 12, Glenn 14; Steals: St. Joe 9 (M. Raster 3, C. Raster 3), Glenn 3; Assists: St. Joe 7 (M. Raster 3), Glenn 6 (Columbia 3); Fouls (fouled out): St. Joe 22 (Francouer), Glenn 12 (none).
Records: St. Joe 8-13, Glenn 16-5 (final).