No. 2 Lady Spartans sink Lady Vikes in sectional final

The season came to an end for the Huntington North High School girls’ basketball team with a 93-51 defeat at the hands of Homestead in the championship game of the Homestead Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The Lady Vikings, finishing the year at 13-11, advanced to the title game with a 54-42 victory over Muncie Central on Friday, Feb. 3, in semifinals that snapped a six-year postseason losing streak.

Homestead, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, handed Huntington North a 92-37 defeat earlier in the season and wasted no time making sure the rematch followed the same script. Led by University of Florida commit Karissa McLaughlin, who finished with 40 points, the Lady Spartans were up 24-9 after the first quarter, 39-19 going into the break and 63-35 at the end of three frames.

The Lady Spartans, 24-2, shot 61.1 percent from the field on 33 of 54 marksmanship and 93.3 percent at the free throw line, making all but one of their 15 attempts.

Madisen Parker and Jazmyne Geist backed up McLaughlin with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Geist also pulled down six rebounds to help give Homestead a 27-24 edge on the glass.

The Lady Vikings were paced by junior Rileigh Johnson, who scored 23 points and collected six rebounds. Junior Karmen Koch contributed 14 points to the team’s offensive effort.

Huntington North converted 14 of 42 field goal attempts for 33.3 percent and 18 of 21 freebie tries for 85.7 percent.

In the semifinal game, Muncie Central made Huntington North sweat in the third quarter, but the Lady Vikings regained their composure and pulled away in the final frame. After taking a 17-8 lead in the first quarter, Coach Heidi Lawson’s squad went cold in the second, mustering only two points while the Lady Bearcats tossed in eight to narrow the gap to 19-16 at the half. The third quarter saw Muncie Central seize the lead, although Huntington North managed to sneak back in front, 36-35, by the period’s close. The Lady Bearcats managed to keep pace with the Lady Vikings early in the fourth, but Huntington North sealed the win with a 10-1 run to end game.

Senior Kylie Kaylor led the Lady Vikings with a game-best 16 points. Johnson chipped in 12 points while Koch added 10 points and four assists.

Huntington North connected on 18 of 47 shots from the field for 38.3 percent and 14 of 18 free throw attempts for 77.8 percent.

Muncie Central, 3-21, got 13 points apiece from DaKoyta Sloss and DeKayla Elliott.

The Lady Bearcats shot 39.1 percent from the field on 18 of 46 marksmanship and 50 percent at the stripe on 3 of 6 accuracy.

Precious Peak pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to help Muncie Central win the battle of the boards, 32-29. Junior Larissa Johnson led Huntington North with six caroms.