For two quarters, Greenwood Christian did everything it could to hang with powerful Indianapolis Tindley. But in the end there was little that could step in between the Tigers and yet another sectional championship.
Tindley, ranked third in Class A and now 23-3 on the season, opened the third quarter with a 19-2 run to blow open a relatively close game and roll to an 83-53 win against host Greenwood Christian for a sectional championship.
GCA coach Alan Weems knew that his team needed to take care of the ball and hit shots if it was to have any chance at springing the upset. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they did neither.
“(Tindley) is strong from a basketball skill standpoint, and at every position they were probably quicker and they are great shooters,” Weems said. “Sooner or later they are going to put things together. We were able to hold them for a while. But there is a reason why they were seven or eight points from a state title last year, and I think they have an excellent shot of making the state finals this year.”
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The game plan for Greenwood Christian was simple: slow the game down, get to the foul line and keep Tindley from getting into the open court.
The Cougars executed that plan to perfection in the game’s first five minutes. Alexis Mead and Grace Peters each knocked down 3-pointers to stake GCA to an early 6-0 lead and two free throws by Izzy Reed later in the quarter tied the game at 8-8.
But the plan quickly began to unravel. Three straight turnovers led to easy points for Tindley and the Tigers quickly erupted for a 10-0 run and led 20-10 after one.
GCA used 16-of-22 shooting at the foul line to trail only 41-27 at the half but any thoughts of an upset dissipated in the first four minutes of the third. The Cougars turned the ball over on their first five possessions and Tindley turned each into points, jumpstarting a 19-2 run to essentially end the game.
Greenwood Christian hit just 13 field goals in the game while going 22 of 32 from the foul line. Reed took the bulk of those free throw attempts, going 17 of 20 as part of her team-high 19 points. Peters added 14 points for the Cougars.
Skye Williams erupted for 41 points to lead Tindley and blow past the 2,000-point mark for her career. Teammate Kendall Fisher, who went over 2,000 points in Friday’s semifinal win over Lutheran, scored 20 points as the pair outscored GCA by themselves.
Greenwood Christian closes out the season with a school-record 19 wins and graduates four seniors, Grace Apgar, Abigail Hickman, Sarah Mangan and Peters.
“This team is very special. They have obviously set a bunch of records this year,” Weems said. “But even without the wins, you’re talking about kids that are outstanding in the classroom, they’re outstanding citizens and they’re just outstanding kids and I know their families are proud of them as they should be.”