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Friday, February 28, 2020
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North Central to compete again at girls basketball regional

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Photo by B.J. HARGIS: North Central junior Jocelyn Cox is all smiles after getting her share of the sectional championship net.

SATURDAY’S
GIRLS BASKETBALL REGIONALS
CLASS 4A
LAPORTE
Crown Point (26-0) vs. Penn (25-2)
Munster (22-5) vs. LaPorte (18-7)
MARION
Fishers (23-1) vs. Northwestern (26-0)
Homestead (25-1) vs. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (17-6)
DECATUR CENTRAL
Ben Davis (13-11) vs. Lawrence North (22-4)
New Palestine (18-7) vs. Brownsburg (20-8)
COLUMBUS NORTH
Franklin Central (15-11) vs. East Central (22-5)
Bedford North Lawrence (19-5) vs. Evansville North (20-5)
CLASS 3A
JIMTOWN
Mishawaka Marian (22-5) vs. NorthWood (24-3)
Knox (24-1) vs. Lighthouse CPA (16-7)
BELLMONT
Norwell (21-4) vs. Winchester (23-3)
Benton Central (24-3) vs. Garrett (16-8)
GREENCASTLE
Indianapolis Ritter (16-9) vs. Brownstown Central (24-3)
Heritage Christian (18-7) vs. Danville (20-5)
CHARLESTOWN
Evansville Memorial (22-3) vs. Greensburg (23-3)
Washington (21-3) vs. Salem (22-3)
CLASS 2A
WINAMAC
Andrean (15-12) vs. Bremen (18-7)
South Central (Union Mills) (19-7) vs. Adams Central (19-7)
FRANKTON
Eastbrook (12-13) vs. Frankton (18-7)
Lafayette Central Catholic (19-7) vs. Rochester (18-7)
SOUTHMONT
Shenandoah (23-2) vs. South Putnam (18-6)
Triton Central (24-0) vs. Covenant Christian (17-8)
PAOLI
Evansville Mater Dei (10-14) vs. Linton-Stockton (21-5)
Eastern (Pekin) (18-8) vs. North Decatur (14-11)
CLASS A
CASTON
Fort Wayne Blackhawk (18-7) vs. Morgan Twp. (22-3)
Oregon-Davis (19-4) vs. Pioneer (22-2)
TRI-CENTRAL
North Vermillion (20-6) vs. Blue River (14-9)
Daleville (11-13) vs. Northfield (19-6)
SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)
North Central (18-7) vs. Bethesda Christian (18-6)
Greenwood Christian (21-5) vs. Jac-Cen-Del (21-4)
WEST WASHINGTON
Lanesville (23-3) vs. Tecumseh (18-5)
Trinity Lutheran (24-3) vs. Loogootee (23-2)


For the second consecutive season, the North Central girls basketball team will be making a trip to Southwestern (Shelbyville) for the Class A Regional.
The Ladybirds (18-7) will take on Bethesda Christian (18-6) in the opening game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The second semifinal at noon will have Greenwood Christian (21-5) vs. Jac-Cen-Del (21-4).
In the Hoosier Basketball Magazine poll, Jac-Cen-Del is ranked fourth, Greenwood Christian sixth, Bethesda Christian eighth and North Central ninth.
The two winners will play for the regional championship at 7:30 p.m.
“Bethesda Christian is a good team. But we are a good team too,” said Joey Davidson. “This is one of the toughest regionals in the state.
“Let’s find out where we stand. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Win, lose or draw. Let’s get it on.”
Both regional semifinals will be first-time matchups although the four teams have a history against the teams in the opposite brackets.
North Central lost to Greenwood Christian in the regional semifinals a year ago.
Bethesda Christian played Greenwood Christian this season, falling 58-46.
BC finally won its first sectional. In a recent seasons, they were eliminated in the tourney by powerhouse University and Indianapolis Tindley. They have only been playing in the state tournament series since 2010.
The Patriots tuned up for the sectional against some tough teams. They lost to University, Tri-West, Lebanon and Covenant Christian, who have a combined 72-25 record.
During the Indianapolis International Sectional, they defeated the hosts, Indiana Deaf and Indianapolis Riverside. Deaf School  finished with an 18-6 record.
The Patriots are a veteran team.
Senior Maddi Fulks leads the team in scoring at 23.5 points per game. She also has averages of 4.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 5.1 steals per game. She shot 48 % overall and 35 % on 47 made 3-pointers. She shoots 77 % at the foul line.
“Bethesda Christian is very good,” said Davidson. “They run a lot of dribble drive.
“They have a fine player in Fulks. She is hard to stop. She’s a corer. She can shoot the 3 and mid-range, as well she goes to the rim hard.”
Rachel Shafer also hits double figures at 15.2 ppg on 52 % shooting. She averages 5.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.9 steals.
Shafer also has made 29 3-pointers at a 31 percent clip. She made 72 % of her free throws.
“Their other big scorer is Shafer,” said Davidson. “She also is a good driver and can shoot it.”
Brooke Dodson tallied 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game.
Lena James averages 3.5 rebounds and 5.5 points as well as 2.8 steals and 2.8 assists per game.
Genna Steffey averages 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. She is third on the team with 19 3-pointers.
Fulks, Shafer, Dodson, James and Steffey are all seniors.
The Patriots average 59.3 points while allowing 40.1 ppg.
“They play a lot like we do,” said Davidson. “They like to diamond press.
“Their other players are very good defenders and they do a great job with their help side on man defense.  It should be a good game.”
The Ladybirds score 63.6 ppg and allow opponents to score 51.1.
The Ladybirds defeated Bloomfield 40-24 in the championship of the Clay City Sectional.
“I thought our defense was great,”  coach Joey Davidson said of forcing 23 turnovers. “We made it tough on them to score.
“Our shots were not falling (13 of 39, 33 %) and the pace was slow. But the kids did a great job of adjusting. We got some easy baskets in the second half, which allowed us to pull away. I was very proud of the girls.”
Averi Davidson (19.7 ppg), Jocelyn Cox (18.4), Courtney Williams (14.9) Brinley Stone (6.3), Katie Jones (2.6) and Makenzy Haviland 1.0) are coach Davidson’s top six. Avery, Cox and Williams combined
to score just 17 points in the win over Bloomfield. The junior trio has already went over 1,000 points in their careers.
“We had some key contributions from Brinley, Katie and Makenzy,” said coach Davidson. “It was truly a team victory.”
Stone leads the team in rebounds at 9.2 while Cox averages 8.1.
Williams leads with 5.8 assists while Cox (3.8) and Davidson (3.7) also distributes the ball well.
Davidson (3.0), Williams (2.7), Cox (2.7) and Stone (2.4) are among the team leaders in steals.
Greenwood Christian pulled away to beat North Central 80-62 at Southwestern (Shelbyville) last year.
“I think us being there last year will be a benefit. We won’t be too nervous and it’s not new to us,” said Davidson. “We are staying at same hotel, same practice time, same restaurant and same routine.
“We have the experience of preparing for the day and what needs to happen. We just trying to keep as normal as possible and have a great week of practice. But there will be nerves, it’s the regional. But at least we have the experience here. We have been working on a game plan the last few weeks for them, in case we did win the sectional, so we are ahead of the curve for preparation.”
From day one, Davidson said their goal is to win the regional.
“We know it will take two very good games in one day to accomplish that,” said Davidson. “The girls and coaching staff are looking forward to the challenge.
“But right now, we are focused on BC.”
Regional notes: Greenwood Christian has four players that score in double figures, led by Isabella Reed, who averages 23.8 points and 15.5 rebounds per game.
Reed played limited minutes in their sectional championship game rout over Providence Cristo Rey. The junior forward scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Paige Ledford, a 6-0 junior, averages 15.2 points and 11 rebounds per game for Jac-Cen-Del.
Tickets are $8 per session or $10 for both the semifinals and championship round.



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