That makes No. 29. The Lady Lions’ 63-30 romp over Batesville to the sectional title Saturday extended its state record to 29 total sectional titles. The Lady Lions opened the day with a 69-45 victory over Lawrenceburg in the semifinal and capped the day with the 33-point victory over the Lady Bulldogs to win the sectional title.
With the title, the Lady Lions improve to 19-4 on the season and earn a trip to the Jasper Regional where they will play in the second semifinal against Evansville Mater Dei (23-1). The first regional semifinal is Madison (16-2) against Southridge (16-5) at 10 a.m. this Saturday. The regional championship game will be at 8 p.m.
The day started with a victory over Lawrenceburg. Rushville jumped out to a 24-13 lead after the first quarter and didn’t look back. The Lady Lions scored the first 11 points of the first quarter with Mackenzie Campbell opening the spurt with a free throw and her 3-pointer capping it. Later in the quarter, the Lady Tigers closed to within five on back-to-back 3-pointers by Ashlee Miller, but Campbell and Kaitlyn Howe combined to score the next six points to give the Lady Lions the 24-13 lead.
Rushville outscored the Lady Tigers 20-13 in the second quarter. Keragan Niehoff scored on the break to open the action. Niehoff’s five points around a 3-pointer by Brooke Ash ended the half with the Lady Lions leading 44-26.
The Lady Tigers hung around in the third. Four straight from Riley Brunner opened the third quarter. Rushville came right back with buckets by Howe, Kelsi Ash and Niehoff to extend the lead to 18 points. Lawrenceburg cut the lead to 16 late in the quarter, but a traditional three-point play by Niehoff gave the Lady Lions a 55-36 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
The Lady Lions did not led Lawrenceburg back in the game in the final eight minutes – outscoring the Lady Tigers 14-9 in the frame. The lead grew to 30 points on a traditional three-point play by Howe. The Lady Tigers could only close to within 22 points the rest of the way as the Lady Lions advanced 69-45.
Campbell led the Lady Lions with 18 points. Niehoff had 14 and Howe added 13.
In the title game, the Lady Lions faced Batesville, 47-28 winners over South Dearborn in the second semifinal.
The Lady Lions scored the first six points in a low-scoring first quarter. Niehoff had four of the first six. Batesville got on the board at the 3:35 mark with a bucket by Shelby Rupp. A Bailey Baumer bucket had the Lady Bulldogs within two at 6-4 before a Howe bucket gave Rushville the 8-4 lead after one quarter.
Rushville took control in the second quarter – outscoring Batesville 18-6 in the frame. Batesville cut the lead to 10-8 on a Jessica Wagers basket, but from there it was all Rushville. The Lady Lions ended the first half on a 16-2 run. McKenzie Woolston’s 3-pointer opened the scoring in the run. Woolston’s five straight points in the middle of the run gave the Lady Lions a 22-10 lead. Makayla Herbert’s bucket and a rebound bucket by Kelsi Ash had the Lady Lions on top 26-10 at the half.
Batesville’s Brooke Rohlfing and Chelsey Paul scored to open the second half. Rushville came right back to score six unanswered to lead 32-13. After a pair of free throws by Brooke Bradford and two from Rupp for Batesville, the Lady Lions scored 10 straight points. A Herbert bucket started the run and Woolston’s triple capped it with Rushville leading 42-17. A traditional three-point play by Howe ended the third with the Lady Lions leading 45-20.
Six straight points from the Lady Lions opened the fourth quarter and gave no hope to the Lady Bulldogs for a fourth-quarter rally. Rushville outscored the Lady Bulldogs 18-10 in the quarter to seal the sectional title, 63-30.
Niehoff led all scorers with 17 points. Woolston had 14 and Kelsi Ash had 10. Baumer led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114