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TRI-CENTRAL ROLLS TO SECOND STRAIGHT SMALL SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
Tri-Central had to go down to the wire a year ago to win this game and that experience paid off this time as the Trojans successfully defended their Class A state championship at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Trojans (21-6) gained the upper-hand mid-way through the first period on an Andrea DeWitt fast-break bucket that put her team up 9-7 and they never trailed again going on to a 46-36 victory over Washington Catholic.
Last year, Tri-Central rallied from a six-point deficit in the final two minutes to defeat defending champ North Vermillion, 57-55. Kathie Layden, in her fifth year, was the coach during both championship seasons.
Three Trojans players scored in double figures for the winners with Meranda Burnett leading the way with 15 points and seven assists. Kristen Miller and Janel Cox added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Miller also pulled down seven boards. Burnett and Miller were the only returning starters from last year’s title squad.
Washington Catholic (22-4), making its first appearance in the girls basketball state finals, was led in scoring by Andrea Hauser’s 12 points and six rebounds. Anne Wichman tallied 11 points. As a team, the Cardinals connected on 37.5 percent of their field goals (15-40), but couldn’t drop a three pointer, missing all eight attempts.
Tri-Central led by a 22-16 count at halftime but extended that lead to 38-26 at the end of the third period. The Trojans led by as many as 16 points on two occasions in the fourth period at 42-26 and 44-28.
Washington Catholic, the smallest school ever to compete in the girls state finals with 93 students enrolled in four grades, was coached by first year leader Jim Mackey.
Kristen Miller of Tri-Central Named Winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award
At the conclusion of the girls basketball state finals, the IHSAA Executive Committee presents the award to the outstanding senior in the state finals competition. The recipient of this award, who was nominated by her principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in girls basketball.
Academically, Kristen ranks No. 14 in her class of 79 and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, French Club, Varsity Choir and is President of the Students Against Destructive Decisions. She has captured the Positive Trojan Award and was a Girls State Representative in 2003. Her college choice is still undecided.
Kristen is also a four-year member of the Trojans volleyball and track & field squads.
She is the daughter of Roger and Panda Miller of Windfall, Indiana.
Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to
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Class A Game Quotes
Tri-Central Coach Kathie Layden
“We spent all week preparing for them and trying to shut down (Anne) Wichman. I thought that our defense really won us the game. We did some great things offensively, but it was our defense all season long and it paid off throughout the tournament and today. Those of you who know me know I really don’t like to zone. You wouldn’t really know it from watching most of that game. I think if you play a really good man-to-man defense it is like playing a matchup zone. I knew they (Washington Catholic) were not a great outside shooting team and that was not one of their strengths. They liked to put the ball on the floor, penetrate and drive to the basket. But the 2-3 zone made it a bit more difficult for them to penetrate.”
(On the second half
(On Kristin Miller winning the Mental Attitude Award) “Kristin Miller is very deserving of the award. She is a great kid, good student, and is a role model that you would want your kids to be like.”
(On winning back-to-back titles) “Our motivation came from last year’s success. We returned only two starters in Meranda Burnett and Kristen Miller, but I think with Janel Cox and the other girls just being a part of that team really helped to motivate them to get back here. They worked extra hard with that motivation and it really made a difference. Hopefully that will carry over again to next year.”
Tri-Central’s Meranda Burnett
“I think the important keys to the game were defense and rebounding. They always are the most important keys. They (Washington Catholic) started three 5-10 girls…we knew it was important to block out and rebound. We knew their ball handlers were decent but we wanted to pressure them to handle the ball against our press.”
“Tri-Central did a real job in keeping the ball in (Meranda) Burnett’s hands a lot. We needed to keep her from controlling the game as much as she did. Give credit to Tri-Central. They deserve all the credit in the world. They out-played us most of the game.”
“Defensively we did a nice job. But we never got in a position to take control of the game. Tri-Central was just a little bit better than us today and we didn’t do enough offensively to put us in a position to come back.”
“We didn’t shoot or rebound the ball well enough and some of our girls lost their composure. We had a great year. Our seniors are an outstanding group. Most of them have been three-year starters. We’re disappointed today, but later if we look back it was a great season.”
“In the third quarter, we needed to come out and establish some momentum. We didn’t do that and Tri-Central was able to control the rest of the game.”