Girls basketball: Lindsay Kusbel fuels Lake Central to sectional title
By Jonn O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent February 9, 2013 11:26PM
Updated: March 11, 2013 6:58AM
MUNSTER — At crunch-time, Lake Central’s Lindsay Kusbel came up big-time.
Lake Central’s sophomore center scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the decisive fourth quarter to help Lake Central earn its second Munster Class 4A, Sectional 1 title in three years with a 53-49 victory over Lowell Saturday night. The Indians will face Merrillville next week at Valparaiso.
The Indians (16-7) overcame an incredible 29-point performance by Red Devils star forward Katie Bobos to give first-year head coach Marc Urban and his staff memories to cherish for a lifetime.
“I just knew we had to get it done,’’ said Kusbel, who stole Lowell’s inbounds pass intended for Mackenzie Kreutz with 9.7 seconds left and LC clinging to a 51-49 lead.
Kusbel immediately fired a pass down the floor to Chrissy Addison, who scored an insurance basket with 1.7 seconds left to ice the win and ignite an LC celebration.
“Our team just wanted this so bad,’’ Kusbel said. “I wanted to help us as much as I could and come up big. I was glad I could. It feels great to win.’’
Senior Jessica DelBovo came off the bench and scored six big points for LC.
She was so excited when it was her turn to climb the ladder and cut a piece of netting — skipping her way to the ladder with scissors in hand.
“This means the world to me,’’ she exclaimed. “I wanted to contribute and do something to help my team. Words couldn’t describe how I feel right now.’’
The Indians raced to a 12-4 lead, led 16-13 after one quarter and took a 28-26 halftime lead when Gina Rubino buried a crucial 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Lake Central was up 38-33 after a basket by DelBovo, but Lowell went on a 9-0 run to lead 42-38.
The game was tied at 45 when Kusbel completed a 3-point play with 59.6 seconds left, and LC the lead for good.
“These girls are unbelievable,’’ Urban said. “I can’t be more proud of a group of players. They’ve worked so hard and they stepped up when they needed to. I’m just glad they came out on top.’’
Senior Jessica Bell, who scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in LC’s semifinal win over EC Central on Friday night, managed only four points Saturday.
“For me, obviously, this was not my best game, but my teammates definitely did what they needed to do and they helped get us to this,’’ she said. “It was never just me — it was always us as a team and that’s what makes it mean so much more to me.’’
Although naturally disappointed, Lowell coach Matt Welsh was full of pride.
“I’m just so unbelievably proud of these kids and the way they fought tonight,’’ he said. “These girls have come a long way from where we started the season to where we are now. They all came together like a family.’’