GCA girls roll into sectional final

In its sectional opener on Tuesday, the shots from deep just weren’t falling for Class A No. 8 Greenwood Christian.

That all changed for the Cougars during Friday night’s semifinal as they sank five baskets from beyond the arc, including their first four of the game. Those fueled a 35-7 first quarter, and that along with a 25-for-27 performance from the free throw line were really all that was needed in an 82-52 rout of Tindley.

Greenwood Christian (20-5), which established a new school record for victories in a season, now faces Indianapolis Lutheran in the sectional final tonight at 7:30. The two teams met last month, with the Cougars rolling to an 80-36 win.

“You know we were really focused coming out, and that made a big difference,” GCA coach Alan Weems said. “We knew Tindley was a much bigger challenge than what we had the other night.

“I think a lot of times when the shots aren’t falling it’s a concentration issue, and we didn’t have that.”

The taller Cougars jumped out to a 9-0 run and never trailed.

Unlike Tuesday’s win over Providence Cristo Rey, where Greenwood Christian shot only 36 percent in the first half, the Cougars hit their stride early, shooting 56 percent to immediately take the Tigers out of the game.

Offensive efficiency was the key for the Cougars, but the defense was also in fine form, forcing 13 Tiger turnovers in the first half.

GCA had a lapse in concentration for the final two minutes of the half, turning the ball over on four consecutive possessions. It didn’t matter, though, as the Cougars still took a healthy 56-21 lead into the locker room.

Tindley changed its plans in the second half, taking a more aggressive approach and forcing more Cougar turnovers.

This worked as the Tigers managed to outscore the Cougars 31-26 after the break, but the damage was already done. Tindley also squandered some opportunities at the foul line. While GCA was near perfect, Tindley made just 10 of 25.

Leading the Cougars with 29 points was Izzy Reed, who also grabbed 19 rebounds to give her 987 in her career. Savvanah Frye had 25 points while senior Alexis Mead added 12.

Tindley (15-9) was led by Aniya Washington’s 17 points. Jayda Shannon came off the bend to deliver 13 points.

“We were scoring however we wanted to score in the first half,” Weems said. “We did lose our concentration some, but if we want to get to the next level we can’t do that.”