Lafayette Central Catholic stuns OD at Crown Point Semistate

By: 
James Costello
Sports Editor

With baskets hard to come by and Oregon-Davis leading by eight with under a minute remaining, it looked like a return trip to the state finals was in the bag for the defending state champion Lady Cats.
But Lafayette Central Catholic went on an 11-0 tear over the last 55 seconds — that's more points than they had scored in any quarter prior to the final stanza — to steal a 47-44 semistate championship win over OD in a stunning finish at the Class A Crown Point Semistate tournament Saturday.
Emily Burks' transition layup off an Angela Tharp steal and assist at the 21.9-second stop gave the Knights their first lead all day, and Cameron Onken's free throws with just 7.6 ticks left to play pushed Central Catholic out to a 47-44 advantage. In the face of the Knights' overwhelming defensive pressure, the Lady Cats couldn't even get off a 3-point attempt before the final buzzer sounded, and they bowed out of tournament play with the heartbreaking defeat.
With junior point guard Lexi Minix fouled out at the 3:09 mark of the fourth period, OD's young lineup struggled against the Knights' fullcourt pressure over the final minute.
Fellow junior starter Taylor Kranenburg continued her stellar tournament play, pouring in a game-high 28 points — including a jaw-dropping 17-of-18 free throws — trying to will her team to the win.
Onken scored 17 and Burks finished with 15 to lead Central Catholic.
Lafayette makes its first trip back to state since the 2005-06 season, while OD bows out at 19-8 after a remarkable tournament run that brought the Lady Cats back to the brink of a state finals berth despite having graduated four of five starters from last season's state championship team. The squad loses no one to graduation after the 2014-15 season and should be reloaded for next year, when OD will bump up to the Class 2A tournament due to the IHSAA's recently implemented Tournament Success Factor.
Read Monday's edition of the Pilot News for a full game story.

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