Girls Basketball: Blayr Poston returns, leads Hanover to win
By John O’Malley Post-Tribunecorrespondent February 5, 2013 11:26PM
Hanover Central's Blayr Poston drives past Andrean's Emma Farkas during the sectional opener on Tuesday, in Cedar Lake. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
CEDAR LAKE — Blayr Poston readily admits she doesn’t like playing against Andrean.
Hanover Central’s senior guard isn’t exactly sure why, saying for some reason she just feels uncomfortable against the 59ers.
“I just feel uneasy playing against them,’’ she said. “They’re very physical.’’
If Poston felt uncomfortable in the first game of the Class 3A Hanover Central Sectional on Tuesday night, she didn’t come close to showing it.
“I just wanted to win this game so bad,’’ said Poston, who scored a game-high 27 points and made 14 of 19 free throws to lead the Wildcats to a 63-54 win over the 59ers (7-16).
Kristen Roper scored 11 and Hannah Blue and Tiphani Ward each added eight for the Wildcats (13-7) who play Knox in Friday’s first semifinal game at 6 p.m.
Rensselaer, which nipped Kankakee Valley in the nightcap, 48-47, will meet Calumet in Friday’s second semifinal.
“It felt really great to win,’’ said Poston, who missed the last two games, but returned to the lineup in a big way.
“They (59ers) were with us the whole time. If we would have let up even for a minute or two, they probably could have won this game.’’
Hanover Central coach Doug Nelson was pleased his high-scoring guard returned and was ready to play.
“She’s back and the kid played a helluva game tonight,’’ Nelson said.
The Wildcats outscored Andrean 16-7 in the fourth quarter to finally gain the upper hand on a team that plays hard and has improved dramatically under first-year coach Tony Scheub.
“I told the girls going into the fourth quarter that their free throws and rebounding would be the difference, and it was,’’ Nelson said. “We also got some key stops when we needed them.’’
The 59ers struggled offensively at times throughout the game, especially in the first and fourth periods.
“Offensively what you saw tonight is pretty much what happens every game,’’ Scheub said. “We either get a layup or a 3-pointer and that’s pretty much it.’’
The biggest difference in the game came at the free throw line where Hanover Central made 24 of 39 attempts compared to only 7 of 9 for Andrean.
Andrean junior guard Madison Lesch led the 59ers with 20 points, while sophomore center Haley Hrosik added 10 and grabbed 13 rebounds to record a double-double. Brenna Boyle also contributed 10 points and had nine rebounds.
The 59ers played their second straight game without Lauren Stazinski, who sprained a knee in practice before the Bishop Noll game and never made it back to the lineup.
“We had a hard time handling Poston on the drive tonight,’’ Scheub said. “It’s something we worked hard on a lot in practice, but couldn’t really contain tonight.’’
“I thought our kids played very hard today,’’ Scheub said. “We told them we were very proud of them. I don’t want them to walk out of here tonight with their heads down. I think this group really changed the outlook for the future on Andrean basketball.’’
In the second game, Lauren Tonner scored 19 points and Emilie Ziese added 10 for the Bombers, who trailed 22-21 at halftime, before opening up a four-point lead (43-39) with 2:32 left. The Bombers led 48-44 before KV’s Lauren Stokes hit a 3-point basket with 3.5 seconds left to cut the Kougars’ deficit to the final margin.
Stokes scored a team-high 19 points to lead KV, while Bethany Jansma added 10.