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Advantage on boards lifts Mooresville past Whiteland

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The Whiteland girls basketball team was at a disadvantage on the boards and the scoreboard Friday night at Mid-State Conference.

The result was a 49-34 win for the host Pioneers, who won their third straight game on the strength of a 34-18 rebounding advantage.

Warriors coach Kyle Shipp attributed the outcome solely to the discrepancy on the boards.

“They absolutely murdered us on the rebounds,” Shipp said. “We have to commit to boxing people out. That’s something we talk about constantly.”

The inordinate rebound figure created multiple second-chance scoring opportunities for the Pioneers (15-4), who also were solid defensively.

Mooresville limited the Warriors to 14 first-half points, then survived a spirited second-half rally.

Whiteland (9-11) played better in the third quarter and eventually trimmed the deficit to eight. But it wasn’t enough to overcome a poor first half.

“We felt good in the third and we’re playing well,” Shipp said. “We made the adjustments accordingly and were able to get the lead down to eight. That was a much better effort by us.”

Mooresville then made an adjustment of its own in the fourth quarter. Its shooting from the perimeter heated up.

Freshman guard Lauren McBryar sank two consecutive 3-point shots to push the Pioneers’ lead back to double-digits. From that point, they continued dominating the boards and kept Whiteland from mounting another charge.

Mooresville outscored the Warriors 12-5 in the final quarter.

Whiteland was led by seniors Katilyn Phillips and Chelsea Perry, who had 11 points each.

Mooresville had four players in double-figures, with Mandy Fisher leading with 12 points. McBryar had 10, as did Kellie Cavanaugh and Sarah Corbin.

Corbin had 12 rebounds, and senior teammate Brett Green had a game-high 13 boards for the Pioneers.

Despite the loss, Shipp was happy with the Warriors’ effort.

“We’re a bit at the crossroads, but we played well,” Shipp said. “We’ll continue to practice and get ready for the last game and for sectionals.”

Whiteland concludes the regular season Tuesday at Greenfield-Central. Girls sectional play begins the week of Feb. 4.

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