Girls Basketball: Portage pulls away from ECC in fourth quarter
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent November 13, 2012 11:10PM
Updated: December 15, 2012 6:33AM
EAST CHICAGO — Nursing a four-point lead at the end of three quarters, Portage used a quick 9-3 run in the fourth to pull away from East Chicago Central for a 51-41 road victory.
Indians guard Nicki Monahan led the Portage rally, scoring six of those nine points. She finished with a game-high 21.
“That’s what we expect of her,” Portage head coach Chris Seibert said. “She’s going to step up in crunch time and she did a great job out there again.”
Monahan said there was no special effort to get her the ball with the game on the line. “That’s just how the plays developed; it was a total team effort. Everyone was doing their job.”
Alexis Johnson added 11 points and Kaitlin Doud had 10 as Portage’s offense got contributions from all over the court.
Said Seibert: “Those kids, as well as the kids that made the passes to get them the ball like Alyssa Tampier and Kaitlyn Steers, allow us to open things up offensively. It makes us a better team when we don’t have to rely on one person.”
After falling behind by 11 in the first quarter, EC cut that lead down to 24-22 by halftime. The Cardinals took a brief 27-25 lead early in the third quarter, but a Monahan 3-pointer quickly put the scoreboard back in Portage’s favor. EC didn’t lead again.
The Cardinals were playing without starting guard Dariyelle Ricks, who was out of the lineup due to a concussion. But East Chicago head coach Eric Kundich refused to use that as an excuse and said he was frustrated with his team’s mental preparation.
“We don’t come ready to play the game,” Kundich said. “I’m afraid that we’re going to have to learn by losing a few more of these. Hopefully that will wake our girls up and then we’ll be able to finish the season strong.”