On Friday Jan. 20, the Lady Indians played on their home court one last time before their road to State begins. The girls attempted to take home the Duneland Athletic Conference on their home court. In addition to the game it was also Cancer v. Coaches night. Both teams dressed in pink to show their support in the fight against Breast Cancer.
“I think we had a great crowd, and we made a great amount of money. We all played really well. It was a great atmosphere,” Lauren Ladowski (11) said.
The game began with shaky start for the Indians. Valparaiso took the lead by scoring several free-throws and layups. After their JV team was defeated only 20 minutes earlier, the Vikings were determined to come out on top, but the Indians would not give up so easily.. After a eventful first half, Lake Central only lead by a few points.
“We had to adjust our defense [and] had to be more in the gaps. We had to push the ball up more for transition,” Rachel Robards (11) said.
The second half was just as close as the first. Both teams were scoring, but the Indians held onto their lead, trying to come out on top by the time the buzzer rang for halftime.
“We were going to have to to communicate and play better defensively,” Ladowski said.
While both teams retreated into their locker rooms to discuss strategies, Lake Central led by 28-16.
“During halftime we discussed [that] we were not playing at the highest level we are known to play. We decided we weren’t going to let this game slip through our fingers, and we came back stronger and better than ever.” Bailey Fehrman (10)
Coming out of halftime, both teams had the same goal: to score. Valparaiso stepped up their attacks and became more aggressive, while the Lady Indians were more focused on scoring and controlling the ball. Though many fouls went in favor of Valparaiso by the end of the third quarter, their fate was sealed.
“I think we had [the win] in the first quarter. We all came out with the thought that this was our game. We had already won it three years running, and we came off with strong minds,” Robards said.
The fourth quarter was no exception to excitement. Though it was becoming more and more apparent that Lake Central was going to take home the DAC, Valpo was not out of the fight. After a gruelling fourth quarter, the girls game came to an end with a final score of 52-37, giving the girls the DAC title for a third consecutive year.
“Winning the conference back to back-to-back was astonishing because it’s something we’ve never done before. I’m extremely proud of both JV and varsity for never giving up and being the most hard-working teams. Our coaches always push us to be the best, and I think that was a huge factor in our success,” Fehrman said.