After winning their 7th straight sectional title the Wabash Lady Apaches made the trip to Lapel Saturday for the second straight year in search of that elusive regional crown. It was no easy task as Wabash took on #9 Shenandoah in game one, holding off a late Raider charge for a 50-47 win and another shot at a regional title. Number 10 Fountain Central defeated Sheridan on a buzzer beater in game two, setting up the championship game. The Lady Apaches trailed most of the game before wearing down the taller Mustangs in the fourth for an exciting 60-52 win to earn the schools first ever girls regional crown.
In game one against Shenandah the nerves but both teams early as no points were put on the board the first minute and a half. Claire Cromer would stop the drought with a three pointer to put Wabash up 3-0. Sarah Puckett would get the next points to make it 5-2 when the Raiders hit back to back to take a 6-5 lead. Puckett would answer with a bucket followed by Cromer and Abby Stein connecting as the Apaches grabbed an 11-6 lead and led 11-8 after one.
Puckett would connect to start the second quarter followed by a Cromer three to open a 16-8 lead and increased the lead to 19-10 on Cromer’s second bomb. Shenandoah cut the Wabash lead to 19-13 when Puckett hit again followed by anther Cromer three to lead 24-13. At 24-15 Sydni Mullet scored on a steal with Cromer getting a second steal as Wabash led 28-15 at the half.
The Lady Apaches came out in the third looking like they might put the game away early when Kristin Cromer hit a free throw and a bucket along with Mullet scoring to get the lead to 33-18 when things changed. Shenandoah would catch a second wind that ignited an 8-0 run to cut the Apache lead to 33-26 when Madison Barden hit a free throw to stop the run. Wabash would get two free throws from Claire Cromer to end the quarter with a 36-27 lead.
Shenandoah cut the lead to 36-30 on a three point play to start the quarter as Wabash tried to take the air out of the ball. Pounding the ball inside the Raiders made a move when Sarah Puckett fouled out with 5:03 remaining and cut the lead to 38-36 with just over 3:30 to play. Two Cromer free throws made it 40-36. The chase began as the Raiders chased Cromer with two players, forcing other Lady Apaches to hit free throws down the stretch, which they did making 14 in the quarter for the 50-47 win.
Leading Wabash was Claire Cromer with 26 points. Sarah Puckett added 8, Kristin Cromer 5, Madison Barden 4, Sydni Mullett 4, Abby Stein 2, Shelby Stone 1.
|Jaycee Parrett (So)|
|Shelby Stone (Sr)||1||3||2||5||2||1|
|Madison Barden (Jr)||4||3||3||2|
|Sarah Ritter (Sr)||1||1|
|Sydni Mullett (Jr)||4||4||4||1||1||1|
|Abby Stein (Sr)||2||1||1|
|Claire Cromer (Sr)||26||1||1||2||3||3|
|Sarah Puckett (Sr)||8||2||2||2||1|
|Kristin Cromer (Jr)||5||1||1||1||1|
|Katie Mccauley (Jr)|
Wabash got off to a cold start in the championship game as Fountain Central raced out to a 7-1 lead after banking in a three. Sarah Puckett would answer the bank shot with a three point banker herself. Two Claire Cromer buckets and two free throws cut the Mustang lead to 11-10 before they made it 16-10. Kristin Cromer hit two free throws to end the scoring in the quarter as Wabash trailed 16-12.
Sydni Mullett would get the first points of the second quarter followed by a Sarah Puckett three point play and a Claire Cromer bucket to grab a 19-16 lead, but back came the Mustangs to score 5 straight and go up 21-19. Madison Barden tied the score before a Fountain Central three made it 24-21, but Wabash answered with two Claire Cromer free throws and a Sarah Ritter bucket to take the lead back at 25-24. Fountain Central would score the last two buckets of the quarter as they led the Apaches 28-25 at the half.
Fountain Central would increase their lead to 31-25 to start the third quarter before Sarah Puckett score three points followed by a Claire Cromer three pointer to knot the score at 31. The Mustangs answered the call with two buckets to grab a 36-31 lead before Claire Cromer went to work, scoring 7 points down the stretch as the Lady Apaches trailed 41-39 with a quarter to go.
Never in a panic mode Wabash would score the first 4 points of the fourth quarter on a Puckett basket and two Claire Cromer free throws to grab a 43-41 lead. Tied at 43 Puckett would hit a free throw followed by a Mullett bucket to go up 46-43 and led 48-45 on a second Mullett basket. Fountain Central made it 48-47 when Puckett connected again to make it 50-47 with 3:51 on the clock. The Wabash defense would hold and forced the Mustangs to start chasing and fouling. Claire Cromer and Madison Barden each hit a free throw to make it 55-47 before a Fountain Central bucket with 1:48 left made it 55-49. Two missed Apache free throws and two made by the Mustangs made it 55-52 with the clock down to 55.2. Missed free throws by Wabash gave Fountain Central a shot at cutting the lead to one or tying the score when a Wabash foul put them on the line. The Mustangs missed both free throws and the Lady Apaches made them pay. Claire Cromer hit two free throws with 20.8 remaining, then took a charge on defense. With 13.3 left Cromer would make it 58-52 with a free throw as Fountain Central missed their hurry up shot and fouled Kristin Cromer with 1.7 on the clock. Cromer hit both free throws as the Lady Apaches won their first ever regional title 60-52.
Leading Wabash was Claire Cromer with 30 points. Sarah Puckett added 14, Sydni Mullett 6, Kristin Cromer 4, Madison Barden 4, Sarah Ritter 2.
|Jaycee Parrett (So)|
|Shelby Stone (Sr)||2||2||1||1|
|Madison Barden (Jr)||4||2||3||5||1||1|
|Sarah Ritter (Sr)||2|
|Sydni Mullett (Jr)||6||3||2||5||2|
|Bailey Yoakum (Fr)|
|Abby Stein (Sr)|
|Claire Cromer (Sr)||30||1||3||4||3||5|
|Sarah Puckett (Sr)||14||3||3||1||1|
|Kristin Cromer (Jr)||4||1||1||2|
Claire Cromer was named the tournament MVP, scoring 56 points in the two games.
Wabash will now play #2 Ft Wayne Canterbury next Saturday at either Crown Point or Warsaw