ELWOOD, Ind. — Nobody thought to bring any brooms to the Madison County girls basketball championship game.
But that doesn’t mean that a sweep was prevented.
The Anderson Lady Tribe followed the lead of the AHS boys the night before and captured the county crown with a convincing 77-35 win over Elwood on Tuesday night.
“We got beat by a better team,” said Elwood coach Mickey Hosier. “They might not be 40 points better, but they were tonight. They are the best team in the county.”
The Indians rode to the victory on the strength of team balance, sharing the ball and forcing the host Panthers into 31 turnovers. Those miscues and a few missed free throws enabled Anderson to put up a 33-0 run as Elwood went over 10 minutes without a field goal.
The Indians used 12 players, and all of them scored.
“We were able to get everyone quality minutes,” said AHS coach Chad Cook. “That is a great thing for our players to say they didn’t just play the last couple of minutes.”
Leading the way was senior Da’Sha Boyd, who put in 18, hitting 9-of-15 from the field.
“This one was important to us,” said Boyd. “We let it get away last year. This is definitely one of my team goals.”
Senior Chelsea Bentley was next with 14 points, followed by Dabriona Williams and Jacie Dickerson with 10 each.
The Tribe won the rebound battle 51-36 and, just as with the scoring, the wealth was spread around. Junior Shantez Goolsby had seven boards to top the winners.
“We wanted to play strong,” said Cook. “This is step 12 of our stage of 28 steps of improvement. We’ve got our sights set on great things down the road, but we’re still excited about beating Elwood and winning this county. It is harder sometimes when you’re the better team to stay hungry, but I thought we did that.”
Elwood was paced by junior Tenasha Stephens, who scored 11 points. She was closely followed by Katelyn Leisure with 10. Jessie Noone was limited to one field goal in 12 shots, but she had five free throws for seven points and topped her team with nine rebounds.
“We hung around early,” said Hosier. “But their pressure is so good. You always say that when a double-team comes, somebody is open. But they do it so well that you can’t see who is open or you pass it, and when the pass gets there, that person is covered up. We will learn from this.”
Anderson put the game away for good in the second quarter. The Indians were up 21-13 after eight minutes, and they outscored the Panthers 23-2 in the second quarter for a 44-15 halftime advantage.
The Indians get no rest as they visit Carmel for their next action tonight. Elwood will wait until Friday when the Panthers will host Alexandria in a girls/boys double-header.
Online extra For a recap of Lapel's third-place victory against Alexandria, visit www.theheraldbulletin.com.