FRENCH LICK — The Wood Memorial High School Lady Trojans had one thing in sight on Saturday; capturing the teams first regional title since 2007.
After a long day in French Lick, Indiana, the No. 1 ranked Lady Trojans topped the Crothersville Lady Tigers on Saturday morning and knocked out Blue Chip Conference foes and No. 2 ranked Vincennes Rivet on Saturday night for the regional title at Springs Valley High School.
It all started on Saturday morning against the Crothersville Lady Tigers, a game the Trojans won 73-57.
“Defensively we made some adjustments and did a better job of limiting their looks at the basket,” said Trojans head coach Johnnie Bartley following the win. “The offense started seeing some seams and we got going from there.”
The Trojans were slow out of the game, trailing 17-15 after the first quarter. With 6:10 left to play in the first half, Wood Memorial knotted the game up at 19 and later the Lady Tigers knotted the game up at 22.
After Chloe Bartley hit a layup with on the following possession, the Trojans never looked back. The team led 35-29 at halftime, 57-42 at the end of the third and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to grab the 73-57 victory behind a team-high 23 points from Brenna Maikranz. Sydney Day tallied 21 and Chloe Bartley scored 14.
“Sydney and Brenna played big like they always do in these types of games. “Even beyond those two kids the team played well. We’re a capable team of surviving one person having a bad day, but you don’t want to have to rely on that every time.”
After a six hour break that the Lady Trojans spent at Larry Bird’s old home, the team returned to Springs Valley High School for a regional championship final that pitted the No. 1 ranked Trojans against the No. 2 ranked Patriots.
At the end of the first quarter of the championship contest, the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 14-8 lead, but struggled before halftime.
The Lady Patriots rallied from the six point deficit, outscoring the Trojans 13-8 in the second quarter, to only trail by one point at the intermission, 22-21.
After halftime, the Trojans came out to finish the job.
The first basket of the third quarter was a Vincennes Rivet layup to give the Lady Patriots a 23-22 lead with 5:52 to play in the third. After the layup, the Trojans went on a 9-1 run that featured a couple of key blocks from junior Lexi Lashbrook for the remainder of the quarter, holding the Patriots to the one basket and one free throw to take a 32-24 lead into the final eight minutes.
Vincennes opened scoring with a pair of free throws, but the Trojans extended their lead to 11 points with 5:17 to play in regulation.
The Lady Patriots made a basket with close to five minutes left to play, the teams first field goal since the 5:52 mark in the third quarter.
The Lady Trojans led by 11 with 3:23 to play, but started to see their lead dwindle as the Patriots started to surge. Vincennes cut the lead to four points with 41.9 seconds and an opportunity to add two more from the charity stripe, but missed both the shots.
Once again, Lashbrook came through defensively, picking up a block on a wide open shot to keep the Trojans up by four late before Chloe Bartley hit a pair of free throws with 9.8 seconds left to secure the 46-40 victory.
“Every good team is going to make a good run at you at the end,” coach Bartley said. “We made some plays and key free throws down the stretch. These kids are resilient and tough.”
“I thought we played awesome all day long,” said Trojan senior Carsen Robinson. “We stuck in there. We did what we’ve practiced all week long and stuck to the game plan. We worked really great together and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Maikranz tallied a team-high 16 points in the victory while Chloe Bartley and Syndey Day both tallied 10 points. Lashbrook finished her night with eight.
“I’m really proud of (Lexi),” coach Bartley said. “We always get on to her about being tougher. She took that shot to the eye and I told her that she needed to get tough and get back in there because we needed her and she said ‘I’ll be there.” She responded in a big way and I’m really proud of her.”
Lashbrook added that, “this morning I wasn’t on my A-game. I think it was because it was a morning game. Tonight I was pumped and excited. I kept thinking ‘We can do this. We will do this.’ Now we get to go semi-state.”
The Lady Trojans continue their season on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. CST facing off against the Tindley Tigers at Jeffersonville High School.
“I’m so excited that we finally accomplished this,” said Robinson. “We’ve been working for this all four years I’ve been here and to finally get it is incredible.”