For the Daily Journal

Powerful Carmel showed why it’s the second-ranked girls basketball team in the state, rolling to a 64-41 win against host Center Grove on Friday.

The Greyhounds (17-1, 4-1 MIC) started fast and never looked back. Carmel ripped off a 14-2 run to start the game, led 34-19 at the half and built its advantage to as many as 25 before cruising to the win.

Center Grove (13-4, 2-2) entered the game with a chance to still contend in the powerful Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, which features the top four-ranked teams in Class 4A. But Carmel doused those hopes quickly.

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The Greyhounds scored the first nine points of the game and led 14-2 four minutes in. Center Grove rallied to cut the lead to five thanks to a 7-0 run, but that was as close as the Trojans could get.

Carmel led 21-12 after the first quarter and held Center Grove scoreless for the first four minutes of the second while building a 27-12 lead. Still leading by 15 at the half, the Greyhounds put the game away in the second half.

Center Grove never solved Carmel’s defense and ended up committing 20 turnovers while hitting just 12 shots from the floor. Cassidy Hardin led the Trojans in scoring with 10 points, but half of those came from the foul line. Mary Wilson and Ashley Eck each scored six.

Carmel, which committed just seven turnovers but was also only 9 of 19 from the free-throw line, had 10 different players score in the game with Amy Dilk’s 18 points leading the way. Tomi Taiwo chipped in 16 points for the Greyhounds.

As tough as Friday’s game was, the next contest could be even tougher for Center Grove. The Trojans travel to top-ranked Indianapolis North Central on Thursday. The Panthers entered Friday’s game tied with Carmel and Center Grove in the MIC with one loss. North Central plays Class 4A No. 3 Pike today.