Girls basketball: Host Wildcats settle for second at Hanover tourney
By John O’Malley Star correspondent December 30, 2013 12:04PM
Bishop Chatard's Hannah Gardner blocks the shot of Hanover Central's Kristen Roper at Hanover Central High School on December 27, 2013. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 30, 2013 12:04PM
CEDAR LAKE — Their speed is hard to match and so is the way they gallop up and down the floor.
Class 3A Indianapolis Bishop Chatard was definitely the class of Hanover Central’s Wildcat Winter Classic Tournament.
The Trojans (10-1) whipped all three teams they faced in the tournament and they made it look easy.
In Saturday night’s championship game, Chatard disposed of the host Wildcats, 70-36, to capture the tournament title.
“It is what it is — they’re good,” Hanover Central coach Doug Nelson said. “We hung in there in the first quarter with them for a while and did what we could. I haven’t seen speed like that non-stop in a quite a while. I think it’s something that is going to help us down the road. I think it will help us when we go against some of those super-athletic teams like the Bishop Nolls and the Whitings.”
Chatard, led by senior point guard Hannah Gardner, who averages nearly 30 points per game, raced to a 21-8 lead after the opening quarter before settling for a 48-13 halftime advantage.
The Trojans outscored the Wildcats 27-5 in the second period to basically put the game out of reach.
In the second half, Nelson attempted to do some things — which were part of his offensive and defensive game plan — to try and make some headway against the talented and deep Trojans.
“We tried to push Gardner to her left as much as we could in the second half and it seemed to help a little bit,” Nelson said. “To go 2-1 in this tournament? All in all, I’m happy.”
Gardner, one of the top volleyball players in the state, doesn’t even play AAU basketball. Unless something changes, she’ll be playing with the smaller ball at the next level.
Gardner finished with 13 points — 11 of those coming in the first half.
Teammates Anna Logan and Remi Ewing each pitched in with 12 points.
Gardner was selected as the tournament’s MVP and was joined on the all-tourney team by teammates Logan and Mary Claire Fagan.
Other players selected for the team included Griffith’s Courtney Bell, Rensselaer’s Megan Dobson, Morton’s Tatyana Skinner, Hobart’s Grayce Roach, Whiting’s Brianna Blackwell, Knox’s Sarah Coad, along with Hanover Central’s Rylie Singleton and Kristen Roper.
Knox won the consolation game over Whiting, 47-43.
“I think it’s a nice win for us,” Knox coach Dan Huizenga said. “I told the kids that it’s the only time they’ll ever hear me say this, but (because Chatard is so good) this might be one instance where third place beats second place. If we ended up in second place tonight and got beat bad by Chatard, we wouldn’t feel real good about ourselves. Other than that, though, they won’t hear me say that.”
Huizenga said the key for Knox (4-6) was holding Blackwell and Citlali Lopez to 35 points or less.
“We told the girls that if we were able to do that, we felt we had a really good shot to win,” he said. “Defensively, we couldn’t be happier how we played. That was the key.”
Whiting coach Kevin Moynihan thought the Oilers (7-4) didn’t play as well as they could have.
“You have to show up and play to win — not show up and play to lose,” he said. “This game is not for people who are passive and want to stand around and watch things happen. It’s for people who want to be active and make something happen. We were present, but we weren’t active tonight and we didn’t make anything happen.”