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EVANSVILLE — Columbus East junior Dalton Noblitt won three matches Saturday to claim third place in the Evansville Reitz Semi-state and become the area’s only qualifier to next weekend’s state finals.
Noblitt was one of seven Olympians in the semi-state. Six won their first-round matches, but Noblitt was the only one to break through to the semifinals. He fell to Castle’s Luke Welch in a 13-2 major decision before pinning Greenwood’s Bailey Schober in the third-place match.
“(The second round) was kind of some bad luck,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “We were ahead in some of them and got pinned. Things just didn’t go our way that round.”
Mitch Gilbert (132), Mike Wayant (145), Kyle Stillinger (152), Jimmy Fisher (170) and Rob McKee (285) all won first-round matches for the Olympians, who finished 12th as a team with 30 points. Gilbert and Stillinger came back to finish fifth, while McKee took sixth.
“Guys didn’t just pack it in at the end,” Cooper said. “That was nice.”
Luke Teague (182) was the only one of five Columbus North wrestlers to win a first-round match. All seven Jennings County wrestlers and Brown County’s lone entry, Austin Ely (113), suffered first-round defeats. Seymour’s Matthew Ruddick (145) won his first-round match and finished sixth.
North girls win invitational
CONNERSVILLE — Columbus North scored a season-high 109.4 to win the six-team Connersville Invitational.
Danielle McDermott won the vault (9.3) and bars (9.45) on her way to winning the all-around competition with a 36.95. Chelsea Wieland took the beam (9.4) and floor (9.2) and finished fourth in the all-around with a 35.325.
Katrina May was third in the all-around with a 35.7, while Megan Heathcote was fifth with a 34.775.
Cougars win sectional in 2 OTs
FRENCH LICK — Once again, Trinity Lutheran had to face a team that beat it in the regular season when it played West Washington in the Springs Valley Class A Sectional championship game.
The Senators scored a win against the Cougars by 12 on Jan. 3. This time around, it was the Cougars who returned the favor with a 72-66 double-overtime win to claim their first sectional title in school history.
“We got the win, and we had our goal set out, and it was very hard-fought,” Trinity coach Mike Lang said. “There was not a loser here tonight, and that’s for sure. It’s more than we ever thought it would be.”
West Washington’s Shelby Springer missed a 3-pointer, but teammate Kalen Nice collected the offensive rebound and put it back up for a 51-48 lead with 3:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. Haley Couch cut the lead to one with 1:40 left.
Nice collected another offensive board for a putback with 55 seconds left for a 53-50 lead. After a missed West Washington free throw, Couch drained a 3-pointer for the Cougars to force overtime.
“I got the ball inbounds, and I knew we needed the score, so I took it and also knew the team needed it, and it went in,” Couch said. “It was phenomenal, and it was a big moment.”
In the overtime session, Springer nailed a 3-pointer for the Senators, but Kyra Klosterman had a three-point play and Angi Bergstedt hit a layup with 2:35 left for the 58-56 lead. Allison Posey scored and Klosterman hit one free throw for the 61-56 lead.
Posey put the Cougars up 69-65 with 1:22 left in the second overtime by hitting two free throws. Two free throws by West Washington cut the lead down to three, and then it implemented a full-court press only to have Trinity break it. However, with 20.4 seconds left, the Senators’ Shana Miller hit a deep 3-pointer to make it 62-61.
Springer made a layup with 5.6 seconds left to force a second overtime.
With 27.6 seconds left in the second overtime, Mariah Nolan hit one free throw to put the Cougars up 71-66. Desperation 3s by the Senators were unsuccessful, and the Cougars secured the win.
“About halfway through the season, we developed a motto, ‘We believe,’ and these kids never stopped working, and I have great assistant coaches,” Lang said. “The kids earned it and fought for it, and Couch hit the biggest shot of her career to send the game into overtime.”
Trinity got off to an 8-3 start in the first quarter as Hannah Barker scored, Posey knocked down a 3-pointer and Nolan hit a 3-pointer for the five-point lead. The Senators took a 13-12 lead when Tori Packwood hit a 3-pointer, but the Cougars quickly retook the lead when Posey scored with three seconds left to give them the 14-13 first-quarter lead.
The Cougars opened the second quarter on an 11-0 run that gave them a 25-13 lead. Packwood and Springer hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Senators, but Posey answered right back for the Cougars.
Posey had 12 first-half points to lead the Cougars for the 29-21 halftime lead.
With more than five minutes played in the third quarter, both teams had eight combined turnovers and 12 points, but the Cougars still held an eight-point lead, 35-27. West Washington won the third quarter 11-8 and cut the Trinity lead to 37-32.
Posey led all scorers with 21 points, while Couch had 16, Nolan added 11 and Klosterman had 10.
On Saturday, the Cougars (15-8) will play Northeast Dubois in the second game of the West Washington Regional.
Crusaders rout Trinity Christian
INDIANAPLOLIS — Columbus Christian jumped out to a 33-2 halftime lead and went on to claim a 54-15 victory.
Emily Price led the Crusaders (7-13) with 13 points. Tori Robinson and Rachel Warren each added 10.
Columbus Christian rolls
INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Miracle and Chris Noblitt recorded double-doubles to lead Columbus Christian to a 73-50 win at Trinity Christian.
Miracle netted 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Noblitt added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Crusaders (19-8). Dalane Shaull scored 16 points, and Austin Martin had 11.
Lancers fall to Attucks
INDIANAPOLIS — Edinburgh fell behind by 12 points at halftime, and a 49-point second half wasn’t enough to climb out of the hole in a 74-71 loss at Attucks.
Riley Price led the Lancers (11-6) with 25 points. Caleb Giles added 23.
Mitchell rallies past Eagles
MITCHELL — Brown County led by 12 at halftime, but couldn’t hang on as Mitchell rallied for a 64-61 victory.
Collin Hoskins led the Eagles (4-13) with 18 points. Steven Norman scored 12, and Brayden Cosby added 11.
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