The varsity girls basketball team took their perfect 11-0 record into last night’s Hoops 4 Pink Championship game against tourney host and fellow unbeaten Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Indiana. The Warriors came in with a 13-0 record while the Elks came in 11-0. A battle of two state powers was set to decide who would be the 2018 Hoops 4 Pink tournament champion.
Playing in front of a large, raucous crowd for the home standing Warriors, the girls knew they had their work cut out for them and would have to play together and smart. Riding the enthusiasm of their home crowd, the Warriors won the first quarter, 15-13, as this game was shaping up to be something special for everyone in attendance to watch. That continued in the second quarter. The two teams continued to battle and the Elks recorded the final blow as they scored just before the quarter ended to take a 28-27 lead to the locker room. Anxious for more great action from these two teams, the large crowd got just that and more in the second half. The Warriors had the last laugh this time as they scored late to take a 37-36 lead to the final eight minute of play. In that final quarter, the hosts tried to put a little distance between them and the Lady Elks as they took a game that was tied, 39-39, and turned it into a three-point lead, 49-46, with just 1:29 to go. The Lady Elks, however, responded like true champions and refused to go away. Down 53-52 with time running out, sophomore sensation Amy Velasco fell to her knees, but drilled the go-ahead shot from there to put the Lady Elks up, 54-53 with just six seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the Elks, that was just enough time as the Warriors’ best player somehow avoided the defense of three Elks and scored at the buzzer to give the hosts a thrilling, 55-54, win over the Lady Elks.
The Elks were led by Velasco with 16 points. She was joined in double figures by freshman Cotie McMahon with 13 and senior Alexis Hutchison with 11.
Now 11-1 on the year, the girls return to action on Thursday night when they travel to Springfield to take on perennial Division II state power Kenton Ridge. The JV game tips off at 6:00 and will be followed by the varsity at 7:30.