CHURUBUSCO — The Indiana high school girls’ basketball season tipped off in Whitley County Tuesday night with Churubusco playing host to Garrett.
The Lady Eagles opened the season facing a Railroaders squad that went 16-9 last season.
Despite holding a slim lead early in the first quarter, Churubusco was plagued by 28 turnovers. A 13-point lead at halftime for Garrett ballooned into a lopsided victory 53-25.
The Lady Eagles’ leading scorers, Kasey Gibson and Haleigh Gross, got them out to an early lead with their 12 combined points for the game. Both had a bucket to open scoring up with Churubusco up 4-1.
Turnovers slowed the Eagles offense as Garrett built up a 12-6 lead after the first quarter.
Two Lady Railroaders posted double figures. Guard Heather House and forward Jordyn Knott combined to go 8-for-10 for Garrett. House led the Railroaders with 12 points while Knott recorded 10 points and seven rebounds.
Garrett shot 71 percent from the field while Churubusco struggled going 8-for-24 at 33 percent.
By halftime Garrett led by 13 points 26-13. The lead grew in the second half with the Lady Railroaders out scoring ’Busco 12-7, 15-5 in the final two periods.
The score wasn’t the only category Garrett doubled up Churubusco. The Railroaders out rebounded the Lady Eagles 33-16 and also grabbed twice as many steals 14-7.
Churubusco will continue its search for a win Saturday at Whitko where they’ll take on the 1-0 Lady Wildcats.
Whitko 55, Central Noble 25
SOUTH WHITLEY — It was a 30-point swing in favor of the Whitko girls’ basketball team Tuesday night as the Indiana high school basketball season got underway in Whitley County.
Despite not scoring a field goal in the first quarter and trailing at halftime 17-16, the Lady Wildcats fought off a slow start at home posting 39 points in the second half against Central Noble.
Thirteen points apiece from guard Karissa Olinske and forward Rachelle Kessie helped Whitko rally for its first season opening win 55-25 since 2008.
By halftime, Whitko had only four field goals on a dismal 3-16 shooting performance to open the season.
The Lady Wildcats totaled just three points in the first quarter on three free throws and hung close to the visiting Cougars thanks to 7-for-12 shooting from the free throw line.
A rousing halftime speech by head coach Rob Bell turned things around for Whitko in the second half. The Lady ’Cats opened the second half scoring 24 points in the third quarter.
Seven different Lady Wildcats got in the scoring column during 24-3 run in the third. Leading the charge, senior Kessie dropped six points from the post. Junior Olinske balanced out the scoring dropping in two of Whitko’s four three-pointers in the quarter.
Both Olinske and Kessie scored 13 points to lead the team. Five other Wildcats scored at least five points including Micaela Sylvester, Cagney Craig, Nicole Slaymaker, Katee Reiff, Cassie Jones.
Central Noble managed just eight points against Whitko in the second half. The Wildcats used 18 steals to fuel their rally.
Whitko’s early season onslaught continues with its first road trip to Columbia City Friday night. The ’Cats finish up the county tour at home against Churubusco Saturday night.