SOUTH WHITLEY — Senior night was a success for the Whitko girls basketball team.
The Lady Wildcats had not been victors on senior night for a few seasons, but they defeated Lakeland Christian Academy Thursday by a final of 55-32 in the last home appearance for Class of 2013 members Cagney Craig, Melanie Kelsey and Josie Sparks. Whitko closes the regular season with a 7-13 record and Lakeland Christian is 4-16 with one game left on its slate.
It was a senior-led scoring effort, as Sparks notched 20 for Whitko and Craig had 12. Junior Jordan Hall pitched in eight, while Kelsey and Aly Nicodemus each had six.
An early offensive spark put the game to bed early for the Lady Wildcats. Both teams scored in the first minute to knot the score at two, but after that, Whitko reeled off 14 straight points before the Lady Cougars managed another bucket, putting the score at 16-4 after one quarter.
A 19-1 scoring advantage in the second made it 35-5 at halftime. Lakeland actually outscored the Lady Wildcats in the second half to bring the game to its final margin, as Whitko coach Brandon Bradley had his seniors each get a standing ovation at the end of the game.
Bradley said the game should put them where they want to be heading into the sectional tournament.
Whitko has a bye in Class 3A, sectional 23. The Lady Wildcats will play Friday against the winner of Bellmont and Heritage, which play Tuesday.
Whitko will be in action again Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in a sectional semifinal at Mississinewa, taking on the winner of Heritage and Bellmont. The winner of that game plays in the sectional championship on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Mississinewa.
For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Feb. 1 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition . For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage  and find us on facebook .