Boone Grove coach Candy Wilson watches a game against Hanover Central during the PCC quarterfinals on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at Morgan Township. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
41st PORTER COUNTY CONFERENCE (PCC) TOURNAMENT
Quarterfinals (at Morgan Township)
Washington Township 56, LaCrosse 40; Morgan Township 59, South Central 45
Morgan Township 59, South Central 45
Semifinals (at Morgan Township)
Morgan 37, Wash. Township 25; BOONE 46, Kouts 42 BOONE GROVE 40, Morgan Township 28 (championship)
BOONE GROVE 40, Morgan Township 28 (championship)
Boone Grove 47, Hanover 37
HANOVER CENTRAL (9-6) 6 - 9 - 10 - 12 == 37
BOONE GROVE (11-5) 10 - 18 - 9 - 10 == 47
1-17-13, PCC quarterfinals at Morgan Township
HANOVER (37) Blayr Poston 2-3-07, Hannah Blue 1-1-3, Frankie Turturillo 2-2-6, Kristen Roper 5-7-17, Alyssa Howard 1-0-2, Tiphani Ward 1-0-2, Danielle Schwalm 0-0-0, Nikki Hahn 0-0-0. TOTALS: 12 (13-19) 37
BOONE GROVE (47) Sarah Steinhilber 2-0-4, Nicole Malouhos 1-0-2, Claudia Cooper 4-2-10, Paige Aguilera 10-2-22, Faith Dummerall 2-2-6, Ellie Graeber 1-0-3, Sarah Brown 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20 (6-20) 47.
FREE THROWS: HANOVER (13-21, 61.8%) Poston 3-6, Turturillo 2-3, Blue 1-2, Roper 7-9; BOONE (6-20, 30%) Aguilera 2-6, Cooper 2-6, Dummerall 2-6, Steinhilber 0-2.
REBOUNDS: HANOVER (25) Roper 8, Turturillo 4, Blue 4, Poston 3, Schwalm 3, Ward 2, Pattison; BOONE (27) Cooper 10, Aguilera 8, Malouhos 4, Dummerall 4, Steinhilber.
STEALS: HANOVER (6) Poston 3, Pattison, Howard, Ward; BOONE (17) Aguilera 8, Cooper 3, Malouhos 2, Steinhilber 2, Brown, Dummerall.
ASSISTS: HANOVER (4) Turturillo 2, Poston, Ward; BOONE (4) Cooper 2, Aguilera, Malouhos.
3-GOALS: HANOVER (0); BOONE (1) Ellie Graeber.
Updated: January 22, 2013 12:20PM
MORGAN TOWNSHIP — It would have been a nice story if Hanover Central had won the Porter County Conference tournament in its last year in the league.
But it didn’t happen and it didn’t come close to happening.
Boone Grove (11-5) locked up the Lady Cats’ offense with a trapping half-court defense and HC could never adjust as the Wolves won a 47-37 quarterfinal contest.
This was a bad game that was poorly played. There are just no two ways to put it.
It was a very disappointing final game for Hanover in the PCC tournament before it moves to the Greater South Shore Conference for the 2014 season.
Boone seniors Paige Aguilera (22 points, eight rebounds, eight steals) and Claudia Cooper (10 points, 10 rebounds) made enough plays to keep the Wolves ahead by approximately 10 points most of the night while Hanover scored 37 points and committed 30 turnovers.
The victory, which turned over the Kup, the PCC’s traveling trophy, to the Wolves, said more about Hanover than it did about Boone. The Wolves moved on in quest of the PCC crown while HC took an unwanted week off after its worst performance of the season.
“I don’t know why we played with so much panic,” said HC coach Doug Nelson. “We have all these seniors (six) and we fall so far behind before we get going and cut it back to nine. I expected more from some of our people.”
Hanover Central committed eight first-quarter turnovers against Boone’s 1-3-1 half-court defense that double-teamed leading scorer Blayr Poston (19 ppg.).
The Lady Cats trailed 4-0, 12-5 and 18-6 with 5:15 left in the second quarter. They never led and were never in control of the game in any way.
“Boone throws something else you have to prepare. Aguilera is long and she’s quick and she’s hard to get around. On offense, she gets to the basket. She does what she does and she too it to us tonight.”
Aguilera, a 5-foot-10 senior, is the best match that anyone in the PCC has for Poston, HC’s 5-foot-8 1,000-point scorer.
Aguilera was the major reason that Poston scored only seven points, six in the fourth quarter when Hanover was well behind.
“Our kids did a nice job. We had intensity at the start of the game,” said coach Candy Wilson, who agreed that the chance to grab the PCC Kup always acts as a strong motivating factor.
“It sure does,” she said. “There’s a lot on the rivalry in this conference. We have another game Friday and you know how it is. We could lose it as fast as we got it. I wasn’t even sure where it was at but I bet the girls did.”
Hanover could not pass the ball across court without it being tipped or kicked by Aguilera, who played at the top of the 1-3-1 press, which immediately double-teamed Poston whenever she touched the ball and forced a pass.
Boone anticipated and deflected the passes to the extent that Hanover scored only 13 field goals in the entire game.
Boone used Claudia Cooper as a pseudo-point guard on offense in the absence of senior Brittany Slicker, who is out for the year with a torn ACL in her knee.
“Claudia did a great job out there at point guard and it was Paige’s defense,” Wilson said. “She’s physical and she’s intimidating to compete against. Blayr’s intimidating, too. She never quits.”
“People don’t realize until you’re the in that position that it’s tough to win this tournament when you are expected to. It’s pressure, especially when you have that Kup.”
Boone committed 25 turnovers, including 13 in the second half. It had problems handling Hanover’s full court press, which turned the game into a helter skelter scramble in the second half.
“We had to get better spacing,” Wilson said. “Once we got where we needed to be, we get some lay ups out of it. But we knew their press would be a factor. I was a little concerned about that. Unfortunately this time of year, you don’t have to a lot of time to prepare for your next opponent.”
Nelson admitted that HC’s press, which was effective in the second half, was something it couldn’t use throughout the game because HC had only nine players and two of them were playing hurt.
“Blayr got two fouls quickly and we couldn’t do it until we had to. But I just told the girls we have to compete. We have to get better.”
“We still have a lot of goals. Sectional, the (PCC) round robin. But we have to get better if we really want to achieve them. We prepared for (Boone). We went 5-on-7 in practice. We have to get better handling the ball. We just have to. With so many upperclassmen we have to be better.”
Westville replaces Hanover in the PCC for the 2014 season and Wilson spoke of Hanover leaving the PCC.
“It’s always been tough,” she said, “because we (the actual Porter County schools like Boone, Morgan and Kouts) are right here and they’re way over there (in Lake County). But we aren’t through with them. We have to play them on our Senior Night (this) Thursday and we have to be ready.”
PCC NOTES: Hanover’s Tiphani Ward played and scored two points but she was not moving well and is not 100 percent.
The Hanover senior guard, one of HC’s top outside shooters, has had back problems that will limit her. Ward, who is also a softball outfielder, finished the game and continues to be available.
Boone’s Paige Aguilera, a star soccer player, plays at the front of Boone’s trapping defense. She uses her hands and feet effectively. Against Hanover, she was called for kicking HC passes at least 10 times. Its not accident.
“We keep track of those,” she said. “We have a kick and a tip stat. You’d have to ask Carrie (assistant coach Carrie Holmes). It’s how she plays.”
Wilson didn’t want to get in the debate of whether the regular season or the eight-team single elimination tournament in January defines the “real” PCC champion.
South Central leads the PCC regular season standing but they did not win the tournament
“I’d just like to win a sectional,” she smiled. “I didn’t grow up in the conference. I went to Chesterton so the sectional is always on my mind as the number one thing. I love winning the PCC tournament.
“It’s such a head game. What’s great about this tournament is that anybody can win it. Almost everybody’s already played everybody else and they go look at the tape. Breaking tape down.”