Defending-champion Lady Cats roll through Michigan City Marquette

HAMLET — Oregon-Davis’ talented collection of freshmen made the most of its girls basketball sectional debut.
Powered by rookies Jesse Avarone, Alicia McIntosh and Ashley Campbell, the Class A No. 5 Lady Cats rattled off 28 unanswered points to tip off the game and ousted winless Michigan City Marquette 82-18 in the Class A Sectional 50 opener Tuesday at The Den.
Four-time defending sectional champion OD entertains Westville in the sectional semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m. EST.
“These freshmen are growing up every game,” OD head coach Terry Minix said. “The game was kind of what we expected. The girls knew Marquette was 0-18, but they also know at sectional time everyone’s 0-0. We wanted to try to do the things that we’ll do in future games. Initially we did a pretty good job running our sets.”
Avarone knocked down a game-best 22 points, highlighted by four first-frame triples against the Blazers’ 2-3 zone, and added five assists and five steals to lead the Cats.
“Jesse came out and hit some 3s,” Minix said. “She’s a heckuva shooter. She got us going, and after that we were OK. We knew they were going to zone us. South Central zoned us last week and we were sort of stagnant. Tonight we understood we can get open looks, and I think we did all right against their zone.”
McIntosh contributed 20 points, including a 4-of-5 mark from the 3-point line. Her second trey touched off a 33-0 streak stretching from late in the second frame to the waning ticks of the third stanza.
“McIntosh, for a girl 5-foot tall — and I’m stretching her at 5-foot tall — gets quite a few rebounds, and she also gets quite a few steals,” Minix said. “She played very well tonight.”
Meanwhile, Campbell sat much of the first half in foul trouble but bounced back to finish with 10 assists and five steals for OD, which scored 47 points off 44 Marquette turnovers. Reserve Haley Collings, one of seven freshmen to see the floor for the Cats, hauled in 12 boards.
Bobcat seniors Justyne Kranenburg and LeeAnn Meyer scored 10 and nine points respectively for OD, which emptied its bench for most of the second quarter and the entire final frame.
“Our regular seven played pretty good,” Minix said. “Our bottom five struggled for awhile, but it was a big crowd, and I hope they understand that that’s sectional time in Indiana. This game was good for confidence. We got through it healthy, and everybody’s getting confidence.
Defensively, OD forced 20 turnovers and allowed just two field-goal attempts in the opening frame before pulling off its full-court press.
Rosie Wall, who scored the Blazers’ initial bucket on a bank shot with 10 seconds left in the opening stanza, registered nine points to lead Marquette, and Sydney Mussman pulled down eight rebounds.
“Marquette never did quit,” Minix said. “I give Marquette a lot of credit for playing hard the whole game. They’re a young team. They’re going to be fine.”
At Class A OD Sectional
Score by quarters
Marquette: 2 9 14 18
OD: 29 43 68 82
MARQUETTE (18): Mary Salyer 0 0-0 0, Sydney Mussman 0 0-0 0, Beth Bobillo 1 0-2 2, Dakota Kaplan 0 0-0 0, Hannah Weber 1 2-2 5, Colleen Falk 1 0-2 2, Allie Back 0 0-0 0, Rosie Wall 4 0-2 9, Beth Johnson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 7 2-8 18.
OD (82): Katie Schwenk 2 0-0 4, Ashley Campbell 1 0-0 2, Alicia McIntosh 8 0-0 20, Haley Collings 3 1-4 7, Jesse Avarone 9 0-0 22, Justyne Kranenburg 4 1-3 10, Haley White 0 0-0 0, Kendra Sauer 1 0-0 2, Kristie Taylor 0 0-0 0, LeeAnn Meyer 4 1-2 9, Ali Stout 1 0-0 2, Lincy Jones 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 35 3-9 82.
3-point goals: Marquette 2 (Weber, Wall), OD 9 (McIntosh 4, Avarone 4, Kranenburg); Turnovers: Marquette 44, OD 19; Rebounds: Marquette 32 (Mussman 8), OD 47 (Collings 12); Assists: Marquette 1, OD 26 (Campbell 10); Steals: Marquette 3, OD 14 (Campbell 5); Fouls (fouled out): Marquette 11 (none), OD 11 (none); Records: Marquette 0-19 (final), OD 16-5.