Hanover Central's Frankie Turturillo is guarded by Boone Grove's Paige Augilera during a game on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
Boone Grove 32, Hanover 29
HANOVER CENTRAL (11-7) 6 - 11 - 12 - 0 == 29
BOONE GROVE (14-6) 14 - 2 - 11 - 5 == 32
1-29-13 at Porter Township
HANOVER (29) Kristin Roper 5-3-13, Tiphani Ward 3-0-8, Danielle Schwalm 1-0-2, Frankie Turturillo 1-1-3, Summer Pattison 1-0-3, Lisa Gac 0-0-0, Brooke Sterkowitz 0-0-0, Nikki Hahn 0-0-0, Alyssa Howard 0-0-0. TOTALS: 11 (5-14) 29
BOONE (32) Nicole Malouhos 2-0-5, Paige Aguilera 5-2-12, Faith Dammarell 1-2-5, Claudia Cooper 2-0-6, Sarah Steinhilber 2-0-4, Sarah Brown 0-0-0, Megan Wilcox 0-0-0. TOTALS: 12 (5-10) 32.
FREE THROWS: HANOVER (5-14, 35.7%) Roper 3-6, Turturillo 1-4, Pattison 1-2, Howard 0-2; BOONE (5-10, 50%) Aguilera 2-4, Dammarell 2-4, Malouhos 1-2.
REBOUNDS: HANOVER (28) Roper 13, Gac 8, Turturillo 4, Howard 2, Ward; BOONE (19) Aguilera 9, Malouhos 3, Dammarell 2, Steinhilber 2, Cooper 2, Wilcox.
ASSISTS: HANOVER (5) Turturillo 3, Gac, Schwalm; BOONE (5) Dammarell 3, Malouhos, Steinhilber.
BLOCKED SHOTS: HANOVER (7) Gac 7, BOONE (1) Aguilera.
TURNOVERS: HANOVER 21, BOONE GROVE 12.
STEALS: HC (6) Roper 2, Ward 2, Howard 2; BOONE (11) Aguilera 5, Dammarell 3, Malouhos 2, Cooper.
3-GOALS: HC (2) Tiphani Ward 2, BOONE (3) Claudia Cooper 2, Dammarell.
CLASS 3A @ HANOVER CENTRAL Sectional
2-5 (late Tues) ANDREAN [7-15] vs. HANOVER [12-7] 2-5 (late Tues) KV [16-4] vs. Rensselaer [13-6] 2-8 (F) Knox [8-11] vs. ANDREAN/HANOVER - 6 p.m. 2-8 (F) Calumet [3-15] vs. KV/Rensselaer - 7:30 p.m. 2-9 (Sat) HANOVER CENTRAL Sectional championship - 7 p.m.
2-5 (late Tues) KV [16-4] vs. Rensselaer [13-6]
2-8 (F) Knox [8-11] vs. ANDREAN/HANOVER - 6 p.m.
2-8 (F) Calumet [3-15] vs. KV/Rensselaer - 7:30 p.m.
2-9 (Sat) HANOVER CENTRAL
Sectional championship - 7 p.m.
Updated: February 5, 2013 12:20PM
PORTER TOWNSHIP — At this level, the goal is not to entertain people. If two teams are playing in, lets say, the Porter County Conference, it’s about the game, not the show.
But there was no better show put on this season than in the climactic game of the PCC girls season.
In a late season battle for the “Kup” the PCC’s girls basketball traveling trophy, a Hanover that was short three regular players dragged the PCC tournament champions into the fourth quarter before going scoreless in the final 9:29 of the game and losing 32-29.
Senior Paige Aguilera’s offensive rebound basket with 3:04 to go broke a 29-29 tie and Faith Dammerall’s foul shot with 16 seconds left put the Wolves (16-4) up three point and the Boone defense prevented Hanover from getting more than one shot in the final moments of a classic struggle on a rainy, foggy night in Porter County.
So many factors painted a portrait of this game.
Hanover Central senior Blayr Poston, the PCC’s top scorer, was present but did not play. Poston, who scored 27 against Kouts three days earlier, was not injured or ill and was a not a part of any disciplinary action. She likely will return for this week’s HC sectional.
But her replacements were eye-opening.
One of the players pushed up to the varsity to replace Poston last week was 6-foot-3 freshman Lisa Gac, who, playing significantly on the varsity for the first time, was far more effective than she was expected to be.
The 14-year-old freshman grabbed eight rebounds and blocked seven shots, causing major problems for the home team.
Boone got a 32-minute “iron man” performance for 5-foot-10 guard Paige Aguilera who scored 12 points, and grabbed nine rebounds an five steals. Aguilera, Boone’s top soccer player, scored eight of her 12 in the second half and helped defend HC into 21 turnovers.
Then, moments after the game, being interviewed on Internet radio, Aguilera collapsed on the court and had trainers, family and coaches rush to her aid as the small crowd grew quiet.
Amazingly, Paige was helped to her feet about 10 minutes later and was smiling and talking after the game. No big deal?
“I’m good,” she said afterwards. “It’s happened before. It happened in the Morton game. I just get too hot. I think I just get all worked up. It just started this year.”
Boone coach Candy Wilson also wasn’t shocked with what happened to Aguilera, who plays the point on Boone 1-3-1 half court defense.
“When there’s a hot gym like this,” said Wilson, “that happened at Morgan. She plays the toughest position in the zone. She’s going to push herself through the end. I knew if it got to a breaking point (during the game) that she’d tell me.”
Boone, which defeated Hanover 47-37 two weeks earlier, jumped to leads of 5-0 and 14-4 in what looked like a runaway over the shorthanded Hanover squad.
But Gac, who has spent the entire season on HC’s junior varsity, changed the game on defense. The tall freshman, who missed every shot she took, blocked four shots in the final 10 minute of the first half as Hanover outscored Boone 13-2 to take a 17-16 halftime lead.
Roper, a 5-foot-6 forward, had seven rebounds in the second quarter and 13 in the game, preventing Boone from getting easy second shots and scored. Roper obviously scored all her 13 points in the first three quarters.
“I thought she was the best player on the floor when we got her the ball,” said HC’s coach Doug Nelson. “We just didn’t get the ball to her in the fourth quarter.”
Without Poston, forward Hannah Blue and shooting guard Rylie Singleton (out for the year with a knee problem), HCs offense was Roper inside and senior shooter Tiphani Ward, who sank two three-point shots in the third quarter to help HC to leads of 24-21 with 5:49 left and 26-24 with 2:05 left.
Boone seemed to tilt its defense towards Ward in the fourth quarter and no one else could take and make a shot. You don’t deserve to win if you go scoreless in the final quarter.
“We just tried to stay calm,” said Aguilera. “We were freaking out a little. We just had to work together as a team because we didn’t want to lose to them and we didn’t want to lose the Kup. “
Aguilera said that her team was a little suspicious when they saw that Poston was not starting.
“We thought it was a trick,” Paige said. “We thought she’d come out for the second half. We didn’t have it in our heads that Blayr wouldn’t be playing and clearly, she didn’t have to be out there for them to play well. But we expected her to come out at halftime.”
Hanover Central didn’t win but showed it can still compete in the six-team sectional it hosts. HC lost the game on offense but defensively played with as much enthusiasm as it has at any time in the last few seasons.
“We needed soemone to step up and make a play at the end,” said Nelson, “and we didn’t have that. In the second quarter, we made some shots. We didn’t turn over. When you play that team (Boone) you have to go north and south (towards the basket), you can’t go east and west.”
“I was happy with the way we fought, but our level of playing was not very good. The kids really wanted it tonight. We took it to them. We just didn’t make shots and we didn’t make free throws. What was our free throw shooting, 5 of 14? That’s the game. We missed nine free throws and lost by three. That’s the game. But this was the hardest we’ve fought in a long time.”
CAT NOTES: Hanover Central sophomore forward Hannah Blue also missed the game at Boone Grove and was not with the team. Coach Doug Nelson said that Blue was ill and would be back soon.
This was the final meeting between Boone Grove and Hanover Central for the foreseeable future. Boone Grove coach Candy Wilson said that the Wolves picked up Whiting and Winamac this season and they’re happy with those two foes.
“Westville’s coming in (to the PCC),” said Wilson, “and they’re moving to take to spot on the schedule where Hanover was. The only (home and home) contract we have that’s up is with Lowell.”
Wilson said they wont miss seeing HC’s 6-foot-3 Lisa Gac the next couple of years.
“She’s doing well now,” Wilson said. “She’ll get it. She’ll probably peak when she’s a sophomore in college. No, I won’t miss her.”
“Lisa is 6-foot-2 without shoes,” said HC coach Douig Nelson. “I measured her. You can’t teach that. I thought she played up to the level of competition. We’ll get it. She clogs up the middle. With her and Roper down low, we’ll be OK if we can hit some outside shots.
Boone played again without senior Brittany Slicker, who is out for the year with a knee injury. On Senior Night Slicker wore her uniform and walked out to the center of the floor to be honored with three other seniors.