Lady Eagles are regional champs again
PHOTO COURTESY OF JCD SPORTS
Class A No. 8 Jac-Cen-Del was a heavy favorite against 19-win Eminence on Saturday night and the postseason experience of head coach Scott Smith and company showed yet again, defeating the Lady Eels 34-25 to capture a second-straight IHSAA Class A Girls Basketball Regional Championship at Southwestern (Shelby).
Despite a fight from Eminence, the Lady Eagles notched a 10th regional crown in program history with this being the sixth title since 2011. Seven of the 10 regionals won by Jac-Cen-Del have come with Southwestern as the host site.
Offense? Not much of it on Saturday night as Jac-Cen-Del was forced to survive while also shooting a season low from the floor. But even a 23 percent shooting night could not spoil a gutsy effort and defensive showcase put on by the Lady Eagles who kept Eminence at-bay even through some crucial times.
With both teams getting a feel for each other in the first half, the Lady Eels were in contention but never out in front as Jac-Cen-Del led 16-13 at halftime. Ultimately, the third quarter proved to be the difference maker. The Lady Eagles mustered up enough offense despite their struggles to go on a 12-6 run in the opening eight minutes of the second half and that frame would practically provide the last of the scoring for either squad. Defense played out the rest of the way as the two teams combined for just 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Jac-Cen-Del’s clamp negated the cold streak and locked up a regional championship to bring back to Osgood late Saturday night.
Kelsey Borgman and Julia Meyer each scored 10 points to lead the way for Jac-Cen-Del in the win and Reagan Hughes was able to smile through eight points on an uncharacteristic shooting night as a pair of those points allowed her to become the newest member of the program’s 1000 career points club. That mark allows her to not only join an elite group but also allows her to continue to maintain a spot among the Top 10 career scorers for the Lady Eagles.
Kaylin Hinners and Sophia Sullivan rounded out the scoring with three points apiece. Sullivan had a team-high eight rebounds while Meyer had three assists and Hughes totaled three steals.
Jac-Cen-Del (21-5) heads to the IHSAA Class A South Semi-State Tournament on Saturday at New Albany and gets a major test right off the bat when they play in the opening game against No. 1 ranked Lanesville who serves as the defending state champion.
Lanesville (26-1) defeated Jac-Cen-Del 45-21 in last season’s semi-state championship game. Saturday’s other opening round matchup pits No. 12 Wood Memorial (16-10) against unranked North Central (Farmersburg) who comes in with an 18-10 record. Times for those games along with the championship that night will be provided later this week.