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Girls basketball: Merrillville, MC win to set up rubber match

Merrillville's AudriannDowns tries get shot off against Hobart's Autumn Beal first quarter during sectional semifinal Portage High School Friday night.

Merrillville's Audrianna Downs tries to get the shot off against Hobart's Autumn Beal in the first quarter during the sectional semifinal at Portage High School Friday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:48AM



PORTAGE — Michigan City didn’t have to work too hard in its 54-35 victory over LaPorte in the first semifinal of the Portage Sectional on Friday, which means the Wolves should be well rested for Saturday’s championship against Merrillville.

The Pirates beat Hobart 60-39 in the second game. Merrillville and Michigan City split a pair of regular season contests.

The Wolves led the entire game, jumping out to a 6-2 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter after a basket by Michal Miller.

The quarter ended with the Wolves ahead 14-8 after Jameka Collins hit a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left.

The Wolves expanded their lead to 19-8 with 6:39 left in the half after a hoop by Toni Murphy.

In the second half, they opened up as much as a 21-point lead. They never led by less than double digits after halftime. Last week, Michigan City beat LaPorte by 19, but MC coach Mike Megyese said the team was shorthanded. The Wolves were definitely playing like they were at full strength Friday, pounding the Slicers inside.

“We thought we could go in there,” Megyese said.

Murphy led the Wolves with 15 points while Keyshayana Cooper and Miller each pitched in with 12 points.

Jaclyn Heath and Delanie Alcorn each scored nine points for the Slicers.

Megyese said his team was happy to get the win.

“It was a nice team win,” he said. “We’re happy to defend our title again.”

In the second game, Merrillville jumped ahead of the Brickies early. The Pirates led 9-4 with 3:24 left in the first quarter. They expanded that lead to 19-5 with 1:33 left in the first after Anjelica Peppers made a three-point play the old fashioned way. By the end of the first quarter, Merrillville was firmly in control, leading 21-7.

The second half was similar to the first for Merrillville, with the Pirates leading by as many as 22 points.

Merrillville coach Amy Govert said the key for the Pirates was to not be shy.

“I thought we were tentative Wednesday,” she said. “We wanted to get after it and be aggressive.”

Certainly, defensively, Merrillville was able to make the Brickies uncomfortable.

“Defensively, I was happy,” Govert said.

Dariyan Morris led the Pirates with 13 points while Victoria Gaines pitched in with 10.



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