Just four games into the young season, Center Grove girls basketball coach Shawn Sanders is glad he has sophomore Bri Gliesmann coming off the bench.
Four games. Four wins.
Gliesmann scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help lead the Trojans to a 47-33 victory against Whiteland during Thursday’s second semifinal of the Johnson County Tournament at Greenwood.
“Every time she comes in, it feels like she brings energy and takes us to another level,” Sanders said. “She’s played extremely well for us. She just has a toughness to her.”
Center Grove had to get the bulk of its first-half points from a couple of different players scoring a couple of different ways.
Gliesmann entered the game with a 4-all tie early in the first quarter and scored seven points on hard drives to the basket to help the Trojans take a 16-9 lead after the first quarter.
After a 5-0 Whiteland run pulled it within 16-14, Center Grove junior Madison Kolthoff drilled a trio of 3-pointers in just 1:33 to help the Trojans to a 25-18 halftime lead.
Kolthoff finished with 10 points. Sophomore Regan Wentland added 11.
The Warriors (2-2) got within five points late in the third, but Center Grove senior Shelby Shaffer hit a 3-pointer before the buzzer to put the Trojans up 35-27 entering the final quarter. They never got closer than that the rest of the game.
“I thought our effort was there,” said Whiteland coach Kyle Shipp. “Our girls played their absolute hearts out. Our seniors came to play.”
Whiteland senior Michaela Harris scored a game-high 20 points, including all nine of the Warriors’ first-quarter points, and grabbed seven boards.
“I can’t speak highly enough of her effort tonight and the way she played,” Shipp said. “She was strong all night long.”
The Trojans face host Greenwood, a 57-37 winner against Indian Creek in Thursday’s other semifinal, in a clash of unbeatens for the county championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Woodmen won the sectional championship last season, but lost the county title to Center Grove 46-36 last November.
“I’m sure they want to roll right through the county,” Sanders said. “And we got them last year in county. I’m sure there’s bulletin board material somewhere over there.”