February 27, 2016
Lafayette Central Catholic wins Second Consecutive Title, First in Class 2A
Sophomore center Libby Bonner carried Lafayette Central Catholic early, and Knights senior standout Cameron Onken took over in the second half. The lethal combination led the No. 4 Knights past No. 3 Covenant Christian 56-43 in the 2A title game.
It was the second-straight girls state title – and third overall – for LCC, which won Class A titles in both 2006 and 2015. Coach Craig DeVault’s squad finished 25-5 and closed the season with 12 straight wins.
Averaging 7.1 points per game, Bonner scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half, helping the Knights to a 13-point lead. Onken then scored 13 of her game-high 21 points over the final two quarters, as LCC built an 18-point lead and then held off a handful of Covenant Christian charges. Bonner also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, while Onken pulled down nine.
The Knights led 10-7 late in the first quarter but closed with a 7-2 run to push the lead to 17-9 at the first stop. Lexi Thompson then opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and Bonner powered inside twice for baskets that upped LCC’s advantage to 24-11.
The Warriors got within nine points (27-18) on a 3-pointer by Kaitlyn Luikart with 4:08 left in the half. But the Knights gradually pushed the lead back out to 13, getting a basket and free throw from Bonner in the final 73 seconds of the half to take a 35-22 lead into the break.
The lead grew to 18 points and was still at 15 (45-30) entering the fourth quarter. The Warriors cut the lead to 10 points three times, the last at 50-40 with 4:54 to go on another trey from Luikart. But Covenant Christian missed seven of its final eight shots and didn’t score again until 1:12 remained.
The Knights, who also got 12 points from Thompson, hit four of their final six free throws to cement the win.
Under Coach Joe Smith, Covenant Christian was making its first appearance in the state finals. The Warriors (23-6) got 15 points from Luikart and 14 from Rachel McLimore.
Listen: Lafayette Central Catholic Press Conference | Covenant Christian Press Conference
LCC’s Cameron Onken named Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Cameron Onken of Lafayette Central Catholic High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Girls Basketball.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Onken ranks third in her senior class academically, currently serves as Student Body President and has held several positions on the Student Council during her four years. She also is part of the yearbook staff, was a History Fair State Finalist and also participated on the volleyball and track teams.
She is the daughter of Jeff & Carla Onken of Lafayette and plans to major in Pre-Med at Villanova University where she'll also continue her basketball career. Also the winner of the Class A Volleyball Mental Attitude Award last November 7 when the Knights finished as the state runner-up, Onken becomes the third individual in IHSAA history to win two mental attitude awards in the same school year. Sherry Hoover of Woodlan (1984-85) and Michael Dury of Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (2002-03) are the others.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Central Catholic High School in the name of Onken. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.
The award is named in honor of the former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.