Girls face LN after dominating regional performance

Semistate will be Saturday at Southport


staff report

The last time the Ben Davis girls basketball team lost a game was January 21.

On that Saturday afternoon, senior center Cristen Carter put up 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in one of her most dominating performances of the season. But her biggest memory is the final seconds of a 63-62 loss at Lawrence North.

“I remember that game was very close, and there were a few seconds left and we needed a three to tie it,” Carter said. “Maliya Turner was open in the corner and stepped back, but was just short of the three point line.”

Turner’s shot from the corner went in, but was two feet shy of the three-point line as time expired on a hurried play. This Saturday, the lady Giants get another shot against their conference rivals in Saturday’s second Class 4A semistate game at Southport. No. 5 ranked Bedford North-Lawrence puts its 24-3 record against No. 8 Center Grove (22-4) in the 10 a.m. opener. Lawrence North is ranked No. 16 and Ben Davis No. 19 and both have identical 18-9 records. The winners return for the 8 p.m. championship that evening.

Ben Davis advanced to the semistate with a dominating 53-28 win over Mount Vernon at the Decatur Central regional this past Saturday. Carter only had 6 points but led the team with 10 rebounds while senior forward Taylor Guess had 14 points and 8 rebounds and junior forward Zoe Wheeler chipped in a team-high 16 points while grabbing 7 rebounds.

“I think the key to the way we’ve been playing these last two weeks is our defense,” Carter said. “Really getting after it on defense and forcing our will upon the opponents.”

Carter says she noticed an uptick in defensive effort starting at that Lawrence North loss.

“I remember that during the LN game this year, we were still working out the kinks within our new defense, so in order to beat them at semistate we’re going to need to close on their shooters and force them to take tough shots,” Carter said.

The girls won the Marion County tournament back in December and now add the programs 14th regional title and first since 2012 to their resume. During the season coach Stan Benge also moved into No. 2 on the state all-time wins list for girls basketball with 688 wins in 36 years of coaching. He trails only Donna Cheatham, who racked up 730 wins in 45 years.