Center Grove girls basketball coach Shawn Sanders wasn’t pleased with the Trojans’ defense during consecutive losses to Greenwood and Decatur Central.
Each time, they allowed 55 points.
But on Tuesday night, Sanders was much more pleased as the Trojans scored 20 points off 19 Franklin turnovers and held the Grizzly Cubs to just 11 of 43 shooting in a 56-38 victory.
“Coming off the two losses, I think we cleaned up some of the problems that we had defensively,” Sanders said.
Center Grove (5-2) used a pressuring back-court defense to rattle the Cubs (3-3) and an effective half-court defense that limited easy baskets, especially in the second and fourth quarters.
Clinging to a 22-19 lead midway through the second, the Trojans used an 11-2 run to end the half with a 33-21 halftime lead, taking the quarter 15-6. And then they used a 13-3 fourth quarter to pull away.
“I think this team could be really, really good defensively if they just commit to it and play together and talk and just really work together with the mindset that they’re going to get stops,” Sanders said.
A good example of getting stops came late in the first half when the Trojans scored six points off three turnovers in the final minute.
They made 7 of 16 3-pointers, five more than Franklin made.
Senior Lauren Weidman led all scorers with 16 points. Sophomore Ali Line added 13 points, and classmate Regan Wentland scored 11.
Franklin coach Walt Raines wants to limit the Cubs’ unforced errors and defensive breakdowns.
“We have a lot to work on,” Raines said. “I’m proud of the way the kids played. We played tough and kept ourselves in the game.”
Franklin won the rebounding battle 36-25, but it struggled to score points.
“We just didn’t finish,” Raines said. “We had looks inside, looks we wanted.”
Senior Kylie Whittington led Franklin with 10 points. Freshman Whitney Shapp added nine points and seven rebounds.
Franklin has lost three of its last four games and hosts Mid-State Conference opponent Decatur Central at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Center Grove plays at Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference opponent Terre Haute North at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the last of four consecutive road games.
“We want to be a contender in the MIC, and you have to win games like this on the road,” Sanders said.