Another day, another blowout for Greenwood Christian, which rolled into the championship game of its own Class A sectional with a 75-36 win against Providence Cristo Rey on Friday.
Like they did during Wednesday’s 50-point win against Central Christian, the Cougars took control early, leading 22-2 after one quarter and 39-9 at the half.
But GCA wasn’t as nearly crisp Friday as in that game, committing 12 turnovers in the first half and missing 11 free throws. That’s something coach Alan Weems knows his team will have to clear up before tonight’s matchup against third-ranked Indianapolis Tindley in the championship game.
“The key was the start that we got. It was important that we got to them early and I thought it took them out of the game,” Weems said. “We were never in serious trouble in the second half except that we want to play strong. We don’t to give them anything, and we got a little bit sloppy.”
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Cristo Rey (10-14) was outmatched from the start. Greenwood Christian’s withering press forced turnovers on the first three possessions and the Cougars quickly led 10-0. Alecia Thorpe broke the shutout with a putback basket for the Wolves, but GCA scored the next 24 points to blow open the game.
But it could have been worse. Turnovers and missed free throws took the Cougars out of their offensive rhythm, but the defense made up the slack, forcing 21 Cristo Rey turnovers and converting many of those into easy layups.
Greenwood Christian eventually built its lead to 49-13 midway through the third before Cristo Rey found its range and closed the quarter on a 10-0 run. The Tigers pulled to within 23 at 51-28 early in the fourth before the Cougars ripped off a 24-5 run of their own to put the game away.
Sarah Mangan led four Cougars in double figures with 21 points and Alexis Mead scored 17. Grace Peters added 12 points and Isabella Reed scored 11.
Thorpe led Providence Cristo Rey with 10 points.
Greenwood Christian, now 19-6 on the season, will face a much tougher test in tonight’s championship game. Tindley rolled over Indianapolis Lutheran 92-55 in the first semifinal Friday. The Tigers have outscored their two sectional foes by a combined score of 199-62 thus far.
The Cougars and Tigers have played five times in the past several seasons and Weems knows what his team needs to do to pull out the win.
“We certainly don’t want to get into a running game with them,” Weems said. “We need to play physical and we need to play good solid defense. Our kids will battle; that’s not going to be an issue.”