Wilson leads Center Grove girls past Quakers

For the Daily Journal


As Center Grove senior Claire Rake drilled her first 3-point shot of the Trojans’ 55-33 win over Plainfield, Quakers coach Curt Benge implored his team to remember its scouting report.

Benge knew full well what Rake was capable of doing to her opponents with her shooting, and he wanted to be certain that his players knew where she was on the floor at all times to ensure it didn’t happen to them.

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The Quakers listened to their scouting report a little too well — and the Trojans took full advantage.

Plainfield made sure to shadow Rake, who was held to 11 points, but the Quakers completely forgot about Mary Wilson, who kept finding herself with open looks at the basket. By the time the night was over, Wilson’s 32 points matched her jersey number and the Trojans had their eighth consecutive win, finishing the game on a 21-6 run to bury Plainfield on Tuesday night.

“During the second half, my teammates found me,” said Wilson, who single-handedly outscored the Quakers in the second half with 23 of her 32 points. “I owe it all to them, because I wouldn’t have gotten those shots without them.”

Wilson’s second-half outburst was so sudden that not even Center Grove coach Kevin Stuckmeyer realized just how many points the junior ended up producing. But while the coach might have been surprised by the final numbers, he wasn’t the least bit surprised by the way Wilson and the Trojans (10-1) had made them happen.

“I’ve been really impressed with our chemistry,” Stuckmeyer said. “It was Mary (scoring) tonight, obviously, but it was Claire another time, Ashley Eck another.

“You see a lot of balanced scoring from our girls, and that’s just a tribute to trusting everybody on the floor and being unselfish enough to make the right play. You become efficient when you do that.”

The Trojans supplemented Wilson’s scoring with some tough defense that cut off Plainfield’s passing lanes and led to some easy baskets. While the Quakers (5-5) found themselves out of sync and forced into mistakes, Center Grove patiently waited for its openings to show themselves.

Usually, that meant Wilson finding open space or a Trojan grabbing a rebound and either putting it back home with a layup or extending the possession, a combination that proved far too much for Plainfield to overcome.

“That’s the thing about us that I think is so dangerous,” Wilson said. “In the years before, we’ve had some great players doing great things, but this year, we all have great chemistry. We’re not worried about our own numbers or stats; we’re worried about just winning.”