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Girls basketball: Senators rule on ‘D’ in sectional opener

WashingtTownship's SamanthHiggins left is guarded by Covenant Christian's Courtney VanderMeer during opening round play Girls Basketball Sectional #39 Kouts High

Washington Township's Samantha Higgins, left, is guarded by Covenant Christian's Courtney VanderMeer during the opening round of play in Girls Basketball Sectional #39 at Kouts High School on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 13, 2014 6:47AM



KOUTS — When former Griffith assistant Chris Tomcsi took over as Washington Township coach prior to this season, he brought some of his Panthers roots with him. Tomcsi, who has emphasized the importance of defense since his hiring, saw his team down Covenant Christian 48-21 on Tuesday to open sectional play.

After the Knights jumped out to a 7-4 lead, the Senators stood tall defensively and put together a 15-0 run. Washington Township scored 19 of the final 21 points of the first half to compile a 16-point halftime advantage.

“Coming from a program like Griffith where defense is stressed, coach (Tom) Golumbeck definitely built that on me and my first day here I came in and stressed defense,” Tomcsi said.

Washington Township senior Samantha Higgins responded to the motivation of a must-win scenario by posting a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.

“It’s nice to have her come out and have a great game tonight like she did,” Tomcsi said. “She’s been struggling a little bit in some games, so it’s nice to see her right the ship.”

As the final horn sounded, the careers of Covenant Christian seniors Carrie VanderMolen, Courtney VanderMeer and Calli Beezhold came to an end.

“It’s hard,” Knights coach Doug Robertson said. “We’ve had such a great season and then couldn’t buy a basket tonight to save our lives. It’s tough to go out on that, but I wouldn’t trade any of the kids on this team for anybody.”

After Rachel Schurman swished a 3-pointer with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Covenant Christian (13-6) went on a scoring drought of nearly seven minutes.

“We missed about seven shots within five feet of the basket during that stretch,” Robertson said. “It could have been us up five or six instead of us chasing. I thought our defensive game plan was fine, we just couldn’t make a basket.”

The Senators (14-5) meet Marquette in Friday night’s semifinal.



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