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Girls basketball: Lake Central holds off Portage, Nicki Monahan down stretch

Updated: January 31, 2013 11:46PM



ST. JOHN — Portage’s Nicki Monahan did her best to ruin Lake Central’s senior night.

The Indians did their best — particularly at the free-throw line down the stretch — to prevent it from happening.

While Monahan tied a career-high with 32 points — including an incredible 28 in the second half — the Indians (13-7, 10-4) still emerged with a 59-55 Duneland Athletic Conference win Thursday night.

Sophomore Tara Zlotkowski had a big game for LC, scoring a team-high 16 points, grabbing six rebounds and making four steals. Junior Chrissy Addison calmly sank 7 of 8 free throws in the final three minutes to keep Monahan and Portage (13-9, 7-7) from sweeping the season series.

“Chrissy’s free throws were huge down the stretch,’’ LC coach Marc Urban said. “She was confident hitting those big (free throw) shots for us.’’

Addison, who shoots a team-best 80 percent from the stripe, was excited to be able to help her team win and send seniors Jessica Bell (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Jessica DelBovo (4 points, 5 rebounds) out with a “W” in their final home game.

“After the first two shots, I thought: ‘I really have to put them in,’” Addison said. “When I was up there, I didn’t realize how close the score really was. I knew they were getting close and time was (winding) down. I was just trying to concentrate, block out the band in the background and make those shots.’’

The Indians were money from the foul line — making 15 of 18 from the stripe in the fourth period and 18 of 22 in the second half. Lake Central finished 24 of 31 at the line (77.4 percent), but Portage was even better, making 15 of 17 (89.2 percent).

Addison made five of the seven free throws she hit in the final 2:04.

“We call her cold-blooded Chrissy,’’ smiled Urban, who saw his team blow all of a 44-34 lead in the final period.

A pair of 3-point field goals by Monahan twice cut the lead to a single point (48-47) and 56-55 (24.6 seconds left), but Lindsay Kusbel (12 points, five rebounds) and Addison each hit a pair of free throws in the final 20.3 seconds to seal the win for LC.

Monahan had a chance to win or tie the game for Portage in the final seconds, but her shot was off the mark.

“We had our chances, I thought it could have gone either way at the end,’’ Portage coach Chris Seibert said. “I’m proud of the way our kids fought back tonight. We were trying to get Nicki a 3-pointer there at the end. We wouldn’t want the ball in anybody else’s hands at that point in the game.’’

Bell was pleased to end her career at home with a win.

“That was awesome,’’ she said. “Chrissy definitely held us together there. It was a huge part of the win. It was a good game. It was close, but we still pulled out a win. I liked it.’’



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