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Girls basketball: East Chicago rallies in second half to beat Munster

MUNSTER — With the regular season winding down, both East Chicago Central and Munster were looking to gain confidence with a win against a sectional opponent.

The defending sectional champion Cardinals evened their record at 10 wins and 10 losses as they defeated the Mustangs 47-44.

The game began as a low-scoring affair with the Mustangs ahead 19-14 at halftime. Munster (4-14) forced East Chicago into seven turnovers in the first half and allowed the Cardinals to score four points in the second quarter.

EC picked up the intensity coming out of the locker room, played solid defense and scored 17 in the third quarter to take a slim 31-29 lead into the final period.

“It’s been a struggle for us all season getting off to good starts,” Cardinals coach Eric Kundich said. “We let them get some confidence early on in the game and that hurt us. At halftime, I reminded them to pressure the basketball and get a hand up on all the shooters.”

The Cardinals were led in scoring by senior guard Dariyelle Ricks, who finished with 16 points, including three 3-point buckets. They benefited from the high energy play of sophomore forward Tiajanay Hawkins, who was all over the floor. Hawkins’ stat line included eight points, seven rebounds, and four steals.

Kundich said he likes how Hawkins is playing down the stretch.

“She’s so athletic she frustrates other teams, causing tipped balls and turnovers allowing us to score easy baskets,” he said. “She’s starting to become the leader we need if we are going to win the sectional.”

Jordan Cole led the Mustangs with 17 points on 56 percent shooting from the floor, while dishing out five assists.



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