The Wabash girls basketball team fell short at the Tipton regional Saturday. The Lady Apaches won their morning game over Winchester 71-58 and fell in the championship to Seeger 57-41.
Game one was no easy task for the Lady Apaches as they took on unranked Winchester, who boasted the state’s 2A leading scorer, Ball State bound Jill Morrison. Winchester had won 6 sectionals in a row and 2 regionals.
Wabash would start with a 5-2 lead on two Kelsey Cromer free throws and a Kyleigh Hampton three before Morrison would take over and Winchester built a 15-7 lead. Hampton hit her second three of the quarter with 1:27 to go and then Cromer drained a three with .55 left and Wabash trailed 15-13 after one.
Wabash would rally to start the second. Katelyn Vogel hit a free throw, followed by two Claire Cromer free throws and a Hampton deuce to tie the score at 18. After a Marin Hill steal, Vogel hit a driving layup the give the Apaches a 20-18 lead. On the insuing Winchester possession, Claire Cromer stole the ball and was on her way down the floor when the official blew a delayed whistle, calling her for a foul. That call didn’t slow the Apaches down and behind Hampton and Hill built the lead to 25-20. With 2:12 left, Kelsey Cromer hit, followed by Hampton’s second three of the quarter and Wabash led 31-22. Morrison took over at that point, scoring 10 quick points and Winchester led 32-31 at the half.
The third quarter would start fast as Winchester struck first, before Kelsey Cromer and Vogel hit back to back to put Wabash up 35-34. Morrison answered with a three and then Claire Cromer hit and it was all square at 37. On the next Winchester possession, Morrison was called for a charge and went down hurt and taken out of the game with it still tied at 37 and 5:27 to play. The Lady Apaches wasted no time taking advantage of the situation. Kaley Obenour converted a three point play and Morrison was put back in with 4:54 to go. Wabash kept the heat on with Kelsey Cromer hitting three straight buckets, one a three and Wabash led 47-38. Fired up on the offensive end, Marin Hill drew a charge on the defensive side and the Apaches were up 49-39 with 2:16 to go. A Morrison bucket sandwiched between buckets from the Cromer sisters and Wabash led 53-41 after three.
The Wabash game plan for Morrison came in to effect in the fourth quarter. Katelyn Vogel was assigned to chase Morrison and keep as much pressure as possible on her. Lyndsie Thomas, who was back from a knee injury and was always assigned the other teams best player last year because of her defensive tenacity, traded with Vogel and between the two wore Morrison down. Thomas chased Morrison to the baseline, where normally she would pull up for a shot, but with worn out legs, the high flying Kyleigh Hampton sent her last shot out of bounds with a monster block. The Apaches out scored Winchester 18-17 in the final quarter to win 71-58 and were in the regional final against Seeger who had knocked off Tipton.
Leading Wabash was Kelsey Cromer with 25 points, 1 rebound and 2 blocks. Kyleigh Hampton had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Claire Cromer had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assist and 1 steal. Katelyn Vogel had 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assist and 1 steal. Marin Hill had 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block. Kalie Obenour had 3 points and 2 rebounds. Lyndsie Thomas had 3 rebounds and 2 assist.
In the championship game against Seeger, Wabash went up first on a Kelsey Cromer bucket and then a series of early game jitters hit both teams with three consecutive turn overs before Seeger went up 3-2. Kyleigh Hampton and Cromer would trade buckets with Seeger and the Apaches trailed 8-7 when Seeger scored the last 5 points of the quarter and led Wabash 13-7 after one.
Cromer would start the second quarter with a three to draw it to 13-10 and Seeger answered with a three. Cromer hit and Seeger hit. Hampton would then hit her second three of the game to make it 18-15, followed by a Cromer bucket and it was 18-17. Seeger had the lead at 22-19 when Katelyn Vogel converted a three point play to tie the score at 22 with 53.2 remaining. Seeger worked for the last shot and hit with .04 on the clock and led Wabash 24-22 at the half.
Wabash would quickly take the lead to start the third quarter on a Cromer three that was answered with a Seeger three that was answered with two Cromer free throws and it was tied at 27. Seeger went up two when Hampton hit her third three of the game to put Wabash up 30-29 and was backed up with a Marin Hill bucket to build it to 32-29. Back come Seeger, scoring the next four points to take the lead back when Lyndsie Thomas hit to put Wabash up 34-33. Seeger hit again and Thomas tied it at 35 with a free throw with 1:12 remaining. Seeger would score 5 quick points the last minute and led 40-35 with one quarter to go.
Cromer hit to start the fourth quarter to make it 40-37 when things started to fall apart for the Lady Apaches. After a Seeger three and a two they had built their lead back to 45-37. On the next possession, Vogel fouled out with 5:27 to go and Seeger hit both free throws to extend their lead to 47-37. A minute and a half later, Claire Cromer fouled out and it was all down hill from there. Wabash went cold as Seeger out scored the Apaches 8-4 down the stretch to take the regional crown 57-41.
Leading Wabash was Kelsey Cromer with 22 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist. Kyleigh Hampton had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assist and 1 block. Katelyn Vogel had 3 points and 1 assist. Lyndsie Thomas had 3 points and 2 rebounds. Marin Hill had 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Sarah Puckett had 2 points and 2 rebounds. Kalie Obenour had 2 rebounds and 1 assist.