The Wabash Lady Apache basketball team traveled to Lapel Saturday to battle for the regional title. The Lady Apaches won the Wabash sectional last week.
In game one Wabash faced Seeger, who eliminated the Apaches last year in the regional. Leading at all four stops, Wabash would get past Seeger 42-37 to meet the game two winner, which was the 21-3, #6 Eastern Comets. Trailing by just 5 at the half, the Lady Apaches faded in the second half, falling 48-32 to end their season with an 18-7 record.
In game one against Seeger the Lady Apaches fell behind 5-2 early in the game before Sarah Puckett converted a three point play to make it 5-4. After a Seeger bucket, Kyleigh Hampton would draw Wabash to within one with a bucket, then Charlie Pardo sank a three pointer to give the Lady Apaches a 9-7 lead after one.
Seeger would come storming back to start the second, scoring the first five points to take a 13-9 lead, holding Wabash without a point until Puckett hit with 3:27 to go. Lyndsie Thomas would then tie the game and Kyleigh Hampton would drain two-three pointers to end the half and Wabash led 19-15 at the half.
Wabash would out score Seeger 11-8 in the third. Lyndsie Thomas and Claire Cromer would lead the charge with 4 points each, with Pardo connecting on her second three pointer and Wabash led 30-23 with a quarter to go.
Wabash would come out in the fourth with the intention of taking time off the clock. The Lady Apaches played catch, forcing Seeger to extend their defense, finally fouling after Wabash had taken over two minutes off the clock. After a missed free throw, Seeger would score two straight buckets to make it 30-27 when Hampton would hit the lone Wabash bucket of the quarter. The last 2:58 Seeger would play the foul game, with Wabash converting 10 free throws for the 42-37 final.
Leading Wabash was Kyleigh Hampton with 14 points. Claire Cromer added 9, Charlie Pardo 6, Lyndsie Thomas 6, Sarah Puckett 4, Katelyn Vogel 2, Abby Stein 1.
With Eastern having to go overtime to top Winchester, one would have hoped the Comets legs would not last with the defensive pressure Wabash can apply. With IU bound cross country runners Brittany and Bethany Neeley having the ball in their hands the major part of the game, the Comets just never wore out.
Wabash kept it close early with a bucket from Kyleigh Hampton and two buckets from Sarah Puckett to trail 7-6 before Eastern scored the last 5 points of the quarter to lead 12-6 after one.
Claire Cromer would hit a three to start the second quarter and draw Wabash to 12-9, but the Comet speed and size kept pounding away, building the lead to 20-13 with 5:02 to go. Being a patient team, the Apaches kept their composure, with Hampton hitting a duece and a three to cut the Eastern lead to 20-18 with 3:48 on the clock. The Lady Apaches would not find the bucket the remainder of the quarter, while Eastern scored 3 points to lead 23-18 at the half.
After a Lyndsie Thomas bucket started the third quarter to make it 23-20, Eastern would score the next 7 points to open a 10 point lead at 30-20. Claire Cromer and Kyleigh Hampton would hit buckets to make it 32-24 before Eastern scored the last 3 points again to lead 35-24 with a quarter to go.
Sarah Puckett would score three times early in the fourth quarter to keep the Comet lead in single digits at 38-30 before the Apaches started to run out of gas. Eastern would out score Wabash 10-2 down the stretch to end the Wabash season 48-32.
Sarah Puckett led Wabash with 10 points. Kyleigh Hampton added 9, Claire Cromer 7, Lyndsie Thomas 6.