Pirates roll into playoffs on Senior Night
By Mark SmiTH email@example.com February 5, 2013 12:20PM
Merrillville's Zoran Talley watches his sister play in a game against Crown Point on Thursday, January 31, 2013. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
Merrillville 73, CP 29
CROWN POINT (5-15) 4 - 15 - 6 - 4 == 29
MERRILLVILLE (19-1) 26 - 15 - 25 - 7 == 73
1-31-13, at MERRILLVILLE
CROWN POINT (29) Taylor Equihua 1-0-2, Katija Tarailo 2-0-4, Abby Kvachkoff 2-0-5, Miranda Elish 3-1-8, Ashley Cunningham 2-0-4, Rachel Honaker 1-0-2, Sarah Rivich 0-0--0, Katie Howarth 0-0-0, Kara Breuckman 0-0-0, Lily Wisniewski 0-0-0, Katie Pawloski 0-0-0, Kennedy Krutz 0-0-0. TOTALS: 13 (1-6) 29.
MERRILLVILLE (73) AJ Downs 2-1-5, Jaz Talley 3-1-7, Myranda Harris 2-0-6, Anjellica Peppers 2-0-4, Amber Sturdivant 1-2-4, Dariyan Morris 9-1-19, Darian Patton 6-1-13, Victoria Gaines 5-3-13, Erika McClinton 0-0-0, Miracle Akins 0-0-0. TOTALS: 30 (9-19) 73
FREE THROWS: CP (1-6, 16.6%) Tarailo 0-3, Elish 1-2, Honaker 0-1; MERRILLVILLE (9-19, 47.3%) Talley 1-2, Downs 1-2, Gaines 3-5, Sturdivant 2-5, Patton 1-3, Morris 1-1, Peppers 0-1.
REBOUNDS: CP (21) Cunningham 4, Elish 4, Kvachkoff 3, Tarailo 3, Honaker 2, Breuckman , Albrecht, Rivich, Wisniewski, Howarth;, MERRILLVILLE (32) Downs 6, Gaines 5, Talley 5, Peppers 4, Morris 3, Harris 3, Sturdivant 3, Patton 3.
ASSISTS: CP (8) Kvachkoff 3, Cunningham 2, Rivich 2, Albrecht; MERRILLVILLE (9) Patton 3, Gaines 3, Morris, Downs, Peppers.
STEALS: CP (5) Albrecht 3, Rivich 2; MERRILLVILE (15) Morris 5, Gaines 3, Downs 2, Talley 2, Harris, Peppers, Sturdivant.
3-GOALS: CP (2) Abby Kvachkoff, Miranda Elish; MERRILLVILLE (4) Dariyan Morris 3, Myranda Harris 2.
Updated: February 5, 2013 12:20PM
MERRILLVILLE — For Senior Night and the final regular season game, last Thursday’s Merrillville-Crown Point game could not possibly have gone any better. Unless you were the visiting team.
Merrillville, coming off an 81-76 loss to Michigan City, was very much ready to play Thursday, scoring 23 points in a row after the Lady Bulldogs (5-15) led the game 4-3 in the first minute.
CP could not control the pace of the game and Merrillville played at a speed that the visitors could not match, stealing the ball repeatedly and running away for lay ups.
“We didn’t like losing,” coach Amy Givert agreed. “Defense is they key and we just came out and did what we were supposed to do. We had a great week of practice and this is the hardest they’ve gone in awhile. That loss, it just helped us regroup. You learn more in losses than you do in wins. If we achieve our goals, then a loss is a good loss.
“They knew we gave that (Michigan City) game away. In the overall picture, it’s better we lost because we’ve had games where we made those same mistakes and still won. So, it doesn’t register. You can’t foul with 17 seconds to go before the ball is inbounded. And put their best shooter on the line. You can’t have 31 turnovers like we did. We saw the refocus in practice.”
Other than a brief burst in the second quarter, Crown Point (5-15) didn’t show much heading into the sectional quarterfinal match with Michigan City (17-3).
“We played terribly,” said CP coach Anne Equihua. “It was their Senior Night and they were great and we looked like we hadn’t practiced.”
Crown Point committed an unofficial 28 turnovers and the speed and strength of the Pirate guards prevented CP from getting the ball past the half-court line several times. In truth, CP spent last week preparing for the quarterfinal sectional game against Michigan City.
But Equihua said that’s really no excuse for losing by 44 points.
“Practicing for Michigan City is a lot like practicing for Merrillville,” she explained. “Our fundamentals were as bad as I’ve seen them. We’ve got to get better very quickly. I don’t know what happened tonight.”
DOG NOTES: Merrillville graduates just four seniors and, while all four started against CP in the final game, three of them have not been varsity regulars all their playing careers.
“Normally, not a lot of girls who play on the fershman team reach the varsity level,” Govert said. “That‘s just the way it is. Three of them (Amber Sturdivant, Anjellica “Jelli” Peppers and Darian Patton) played on the freshman team the year we went to the state finals. But they just kept improving and they’re very coachable. They’re great girls and pleasure to be around.”
Govert was not aware (as many were not) that Crown Point High School will host a girls basketball semistate double-header on Saturday, Feb 23.
Games will be played at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. but what classes will be assigned to Crown Point will not be decided until after the Regionals on Feb. 16.
If CP upset Michigan City late Tuesday, they would play Chesterton or LaPorte at 6 p.m. Friday night.