By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — NEW CASTLE — You can’t teach speed. Homestead had it and used it as one of the key factors in knocking off Rushville 91-53 Friday in the first game of the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic.
The other key factor was the Lady Spartans ability to knock down 3-pointers. Homestead connected on 13 total, a new Classic record, with Sydney Buck hitting 7-of-9 en route to a game-high 29 points.
Behind the solid offensive effort, the Lady Spartans built a 30-13 lead after one quarter. Buck had 12 points and Josie Fisher added eight. The Lady Lions had the first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Mackenzie Campbell. Homestead took the 5-3lead on Fisher’s drive to the bucket and the Lady Spartans never trailed again.
Kaitlyn Howe hit from behind the arc for three of her 5-first quarter points. Campbell finished with six in the frame as the Lady Lions found themselves in a big hole.
The Lady Spartans out-scored the Lady Lions 18-13 in the second quarter and shot 60 percent from the field (66 percent from behind the arc). Campbell led the Lady Lions with seven points in the quarter. Howe added four.
Homestead opened the third quarter by scoring the first 22 points. Rushville got on the board with 3:06 on the third quarter clock as Keragan Niehoff drained a pair from the charity stripe. Kelsi Ash had four points late in the third, but the Lady Lions trailed 73-34 heading to the fourth.
Rushville outscored the Lady Spartans 17-16 in the fourth as both squads got their subs plenty of playing time.
For the game, the Lady Lions had 26 turnovers to just eight for Homestead. The Lady Spartans shot 55 percent from the field for the game while the Lady Lions shot 40 percent.
Howe and Campbell both had 16 points for the Lady Lions. Lilly Cramer had seven points. Niehoff pulled down eight rebounds.
In the consolation game, things did not get much better for the Lady Lions. Pike’s speed and defensive pressure eventually wore on the Lady Lions as the Lady Red Devils knocked off Rushville 66-41.
Rushville led early 7-5 on a Kelsi Ash bucket, but the Lady Red Devils score the final four points of the quarter to lead 9-7. Pike built the lead to as high as eight in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Jadelyn Spear with 1:20 on the clock. Two free throws by Makayla Herbert and three from Campbell go the Lady Lions with five at the half at 23-18.
Rushville cut the deficit to three at 23-20, 25-22 and 27-24, but could not get any closer. A Kaitlyn Howe bucket later in the quarter cut the Lady Red Devil lead to 38-30, but a 15-2 run to end the quarter and open the fourth put the game out of reach for the Lady Lions. Pike outscored the Lady Lions 43-23 in the second half en route to the 25-point victory.
Pike’s defense forced 21 Rushville turnovers and Pike won the battle on the boards 34-32.
Howe and Campbell led the Lady Lions with 12 points each. Tyana Robinson led Pike with 15.
The Lady Lions are 7-3 on the season and entertain EIAC foe South Dearborn (3-6) Thursday.
Top ranked Bedford North Lawrence defeated Pike in the semifinal and Homestead in the final to claim the tournament championship.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114