Whiteland girls basketball coach Kyle Shipp won’t need to dust off his best pregame speech this evening.
Pointing to the bracket should be enough.
The Warriors’ 70-25 victory against Edinburgh in a Johnson County Tournament semifinal game Friday night qualified them for tonight’s championship against Center Grove.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Franklin Community High School.
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“It’s always a good opportunity for our girls and our community to play in the championship game in the county,” said Shipp, who watched his club move to 4-0 led by 12-point performances from junior guards Natalie Stuck and Megan Harlow.
“Playing Center Grove, you might have a little extra intensity or a little extra adrenaline. Any championship game is a big game, and any game against Center Grove for us is a big game.”
Whiteland left no doubt against the Lancers, leading 25-3 after one quarter and cruising from there.
The sizable lead allowed Shipp to play all 12 players on his roster. Senior center Mackenzie Blazek, the Warriors’ leading scorer and rebounder, finished with six points and 11 rebounds.
Guard Taylor Klenner came off the bench to make three 3-pointers; senior Michaela Adams added eight points and sophomore forward Tori Joyner seven.
Sophomore guard Haven Link led Edinburgh (2-2) with eight points, with Abby Schooler and Vanessa McManaway grabbing six and five boards, respectively.
“I thought we came in and established ourselves early and really took care of business,” Shipp said. “We didn’t let them hang around. Our first group did a real nice job, but I thought we got great minutes off the bench from multiple people who came in and shot the ball well.”
Friday’s first game at Franklin was a preliminary matchup between Indian Creek and Greenwood Christian Academy — programs meeting for the first time in girls basketball.
The Braves, led by senior guard Addie Rund’s 16 points, downed Greenwood Christian 73-42 to earn the right to face Franklin in today’s fifth-place game at 4:30 p.m.
Rund missed her first four field-goal attempts but then proceeded to hit her next five, with all but one being a 3-pointer. Junior forward Caitlyn Snyder came off the bench for Indian Creek to score 10 points, while junior guard Katie Burkman corralled a team-high six rebounds.
Sarah Mangan, the Cougars’ lefthanded post player, led all scorers with 19 to go along with a game-best 10 boards. Senior guard Grace Peters added 10 points for Greenwood Christian Academy.