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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette East Noble's Corie Jones brings the ball down the court in the second quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop against Carroll.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Leah Plummer brings the ball down the court in the first quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop with East Noble's Grace Erwin trying to catch up.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette East Noble's Lanie Allen goes up for two in the second quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop against Carroll.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette East Noble's Lanie Allen looks around the defense of Carroll's Laney Steckler in the second quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Macy Miller, of Carroll, goes up for two in the first quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop against East Noble.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Carroll basketball players congratulate each other after their win over East Noble after Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Andrea Myers keeps the ball away from East Noble's Halle Beiswanger in the first quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Kelli Damman looks for an open player around the defense of East Noble's Lanie Allen in the fourth quarter of Saturday's IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional at Northrop.

Saturday, February 04, 2017 7:18 pm

Carroll girls withstand East Noble

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

The Carroll girls basketball team endured poor early shooting, an East Noble team that repeatedly refused to be shouldered aside and the 1,000-point-eclipsing night of Knights senior Lanie Allen.

But nothing was going to stop the Chargers from winning the Class 4A sectional championship on Saturday night. Led by junior Kelli Damman’s 27 points, 15 of which came from beyond the 3-point arc, Carroll upended East Noble 55-46.

It was the seventh sectional championship for the Chargers, their first since 2014, and they have won seven of their last eight games and 13 of their last 15.

“We definitely hustle,” said Damman, who had 19 points in the first half, as the Chargers built a 29-24 lead at Northrop. “We played as a team and we played really good team defense. We’ve got to give (the Knights) credit, they played good and gave us their best. It’s a good experience to have that.”

The Chargers (18-6) will have to be battle tested with a regional game against fifth-ranked Carmel (22-3) on Saturday at Kokomo.

“It’s exciting,” Damman said of being the underdog. “People may not think that we can do it, but I believe that we can.”

It was Damman’s 13 early points, including nine from 3-point range, which ignited Carroll to a 21-13 lead after it had missed seven of its first eight shots. Her 3-pointer from just inside half-court, at the buzzer, robbed the Knights of the momentum they had started to build late in the first half.

Carroll’s Laney Steckler and Julia Miller, both juniors, drained 3-pointers for a 39-27 lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter. But the Knights regained some energy when Allen was fouled driving to the basket and made the shot despite falling hard for the 1,000th point of her career. Teammate Abbie Peterson, a senior, made a baseline shot at the buzzer on the next possession to cut the Carroll lead to 43-38.

Senior Rebecca Villanueva had seven of Carroll’s 11 fourth-quarter points – she finished with 11 – and East Noble’s shooting went cold after junior Kara Kline’s put-back cut the deficit to five points at 49-44 with 42 seconds left.

“We just wanted to slow them down and take away their penetration (in the fourth quarter). And then we had to go to a box-and-one because Allen was just killing us on the penetration and we were trying to keep the ball out of her hands as much as possible,” Carroll coach Mark Redding said.

East Noble (15-11), which came into the game having won 5 of 6 games, got 15 points from Allen and 10 from junior Corie Jones. Peterson and sophomore Grace Erwin and eight points apiece.

Miller had seven points for Carroll.

“(Damman) was able to open it up for everybody else and they were able to come through,” Redding said, adding that it’s not uncommon for the resilient Chargers to have to battle through some cold shooting like they did Saturday.

“Some days, we hit those shots. Other days, we don’t. It’s just one of those things where we didn’t hit shots. We had good looks that didn’t fall for us. But the good thing is the girls didn’t stop. They battled through and they were able to finish it.”

jcohn@jg.net