DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
After losing a semifinal against Class 4A No. 3 Penn, the Center Grove girls basketball team seemed on its way to a win in the consolation game.
But the Trojans came up short.
Despite building a commanding lead early, Center Grove lost 56-48 in overtime to Jeffersonville in Wednesday’s third-place game of the Columbus North Holiday Tournament.
Earlier in the afternoon, Center Grove lost 68-52 to Penn.
In the consolation, the Trojans showed no signs of being flat. At least not early.
After surrendering the first basket to Jeffersonville, Center Grove got on the board on a steal and a layup by Lauren Rau and a 3-pointer each Emma LeMasters and Cassidy Hardin.
Center Grove’s defense took over from there.
The Trojans forced 10 first-quarter turnovers and limited the Red Devils to five first-quarter points.
The second quarter went equally bad for Jeffersonville.
Center Grove continued its defensive dominance and led 27-10 at halftime. But the Red Devils didn’t go away.
The methodical offense Center Grove ran in the first half stalled in the second half, as Jeffersonville clawed its way back, spending much of its time at the free-throw line in the bonus.
Jeffersonville cut the deficit to four in the fourth quarter after a Hailey Lacy 3-pointer with just fewer than two minutes to go.
In the fourth quarter, with just under two minutes to play, the Red Devils cut the lead to two. Their defense stood stout down the stretch, creating offensive opportunities from Trojan turnovers.
Jeffersonville’s Taylor Sykes sank two free throws to send the game into overtime. The Red Devils grabbed the early momentum in overtime, jumping to a five-point advantage and never looking back.
Rau led the way for the Trojans with 12 points.
Center Grove’s next game will be Saturday, when it travels to Fishers.