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Girls basketball: Wolves, Slicers open with wins in Portage Sectional

Michigan City's Toni Murphy goes past Crown Point's Hannah Albrecht basket first quarter during sectional play Portage High School Tuesday

Michigan City's Toni Murphy goes past Crown Point's Hannah Albrecht to the basket in the first quarter during sectional play at Portage High School Tuesday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 6, 2013 3:00PM



PORTAGE — Defending Class 4A, Sectional 2 champion Michigan City kicked off the 2013 edition of the tournament with a 56-44 win over Crown Point on Tuesday.

It was far from a smooth victory, however, as Wolves (17-3) coach Michael Megyese explained after the game.

“We didn’t block out, we didn’t pivot well, we didn’t shoot well and we missed free throws,” he said. “The only thing we got out of this game is that we’re playing on Friday night.”

Leading 18-14 at the half, the Wolves started generating more points in the second half, with a 6-0 run moving them ahead 30-20. But a quick five-point spurt by the Bulldogs (5-16) cut that lead in half.

Then, back-to-back 3s by Aubria Clifton and Jameka Collins had the Wolves back in front by double digits.

“We just had to hit some more shots,” said Crown Point head coach Anne Equihua. “But I couldn’t be prouder of my kids. They did everything I asked of them.”

The Bulldogs continued to battle in the fourth quarter, led by 13 points from freshman guard Hannah Albrech, who finished with 19.

“She played with the confidence we’ve wanted her to have all season,” Equihua said.

But it was not enough to catch Michigan City, as Toni Murphy scored 10 of her game-high 20 points in the fourth.

The Wolves’ opponent in the semifinal round will be LaPorte, which advanced to the semifinal round with a 47-31 win over Chesterton (5-16).

A 3-pointer from LaPorte’s (14-8) Delanie Alcorn broke a 6-6 deadlock in the first quarter, and the Slicers never trailed again. Chesterton stayed within single digits of LaPorte for much of the next three quarters, however.

“We just couldn’t get a couple of stops in a row when we needed to,” Chesterton head coach Jack Campbell said. “It always stayed at that eight- or 10-point margin.”

LaPorte led 22-15 at halftime and 31-22 after three quarters of play. After scoring 11 points in the first three quarters, LaPorte center Kelsey Gushrowski scored nine points in the final quarter, as the Slicers slowly put the game out of reach.

“We got a great performance from Ashley,” LaPorte coach Skeeter Heath said. “We thought that she might be able to do that tonight because of the matchups we had and she was a big key for us.”

Gushrowski’s 20 points were matched by Caroline Puntillo, who was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the Trojans’ points.



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