Lady Lions hold off Lady Falcons to reach Bi-Co final

Glenn’s Bethany Hayden (left) can’t quite catch up to Bremen’s Erin Coffel on this layup attempt.
By: 
Ron Haramia
Sports Writer

There will be a new Bi-County girls champion.
Led by the determined play of Erin Coffel, Bremen held off two-time defending champ Glenn, 40-38, to win the first semifinal of the TCU Bi-County Tournament at Dale E. Cox Gymnasium Thursday night.
The Lady Lions (14-6) will now play Oregon-Davis in Saturday’s championship game at 6:30 p.m.
“Huge game for us,” said Bremen head coach Alex Robinson. “As long as these girls have been here, we have not been able to beat Glenn. The way they play and the way we play, it’s an interesting contrast and it ends up being two teams battling it out. We’re even on the season points-wise now. I’m just proud of the girls.”
The Northern Indiana Conference foes went toe-to-toe on Dec. 4 with the Lady Falcons, winners of three of the last four Bi-Co tourneys, winning, 45-43. Now the Lady Lions will have a chance to win the title for the first time since 2004 under coach Marty Huber.
 “Every inch was earned, every pass, every rebound,” Robinson added. “To see them go out and fight like that, it’s something earlier in the season we would not have been able to do. That’s the kind of stuff that brings a team together at the right time.”
Morgan Plunkett’s 3 to start the fourth quarter pulled Glenn (11-8) to within one, 26-25, before Coffel scored seven consecutive points for what appeared to be a comfortable eight-point lead with 3:44 to play. The Lady Falcons chipped away, but when Kaelyn Shively nailed a trey at the one-minute mark the lead was back to seven and it still felt like a sure victory for the Lady Lions. Glenn scored on its next three possessions though, including a three-point play by Bethany Hayden, who also had a four-point play earlier in the quarter, but Coffel and Shively each hit 1-of-2 free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the victory.
Coffel was 7-of-11 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points, including a stunning sequence in the second quarter when she hit a 3 then outdid that with a layup where she brought the ball all the way around her back on the way up.
“That’s one we work on every day,” joked Robinson about his junior guard, who had a scare late in game when her head hit the floor hard on a scramble for a loose ball. “That was just a player in the zone, things happen and the ball bounces your way. You could see from the tip (Coffel) was not going to let anything easy happen on her. She had a stretch where (Karlee) Feldman was out and every shot that went up, she was crashing the boards. She had some huge rebounds, handled the ball for us, and came up with plays down the stretch.”
Feldman was hampered with foul trouble all game, but was still a force early, scoring nine of her 11 before intermission.
“(Feldman) really set the tone and gave us that post presence,” continued Robinson. “That makes it easier on the guards. Without that it could have been an interesting game. We had to push through the second half without her because of the quick fouls, but setting the tone early set the table for the second half when she wasn’t on the floor.”
Hayden scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the second half to lead Glenn. Plunkett was also in double figures with 11.
“We know (Hayden) wants go left and she’s really good going that way and even though you are trying to force her the other way, she finds a way and that’s what good players do,” Robinson said of Glenn’s senior guard. “Last time we played them she torched us for about three quarters. We were well aware of her, but big players make big plays and that’s what she did.”
• BREMEN 40, GLENN 38
At Lakeville
Bremen 5 19 26 40
Glenn 8 12 22 38
Bi-County Tournament semifinal
BREMEN (40): Kaelyn Shively 3 1-2 8, Bailey Vermillion 0 0-0 0, Paige Thompson 0 0-0 0, Dellenira Duran 0 0-0 0, Eric Coffel 5 7-11 18, Haylie Rodriguez 1 0-1 3, Karlee Feldman 5 1-5 11. TOTALS: 14 9-19 40.
GLENN (49): Bethany Hayden 4 4-6 13, Morgan Plunkett 4 0-0 11, Abby Machnic 0 0-0 0, Seja Lang 2 1-2 5, Raegan Romer 0 0-0 0, Dessa Lang 0 5-11 5, Maddie Hudspeth 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 12 10-19 38.
3-pointers: Bremen 3 (Shively, Coffel, Rodriguez), Glenn 4 (Plunkett 3, Hayden). Fouls (fouled out): Bremen 16 (none), Glenn 19 (none).
Records: Bremen 14-6, Glenn 11-8.

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