Girls basketball team looks to extend winning streak tonight at Columbus North


Laney Brooks

During the Carol Tumey Holiday Tournament, junior Audrey Annee drives to the basket against a Linton Stockton defender.

Hannah Smith, Staff Writer

The girls basketball team will be looking for its 15th win of the season when they make the 45-minute drive to Columbus North tonight. With a win tonight the team will extend their ten-game winning streak, as they approach the last two weeks of the regular season. Senior point guard Ella Hobson knows the team’s winning streak can have a positive impact heading into post season.

“It would help us a lot mentally because we would go into sectionals very confident with ourselves,” Hobson said. “With winning the rest of our games it would help us stay together as a team and keep playing as one.”

Columbus North comes into the game with a 10-6 record and the home court advantage. The Bull Dogs are led by senior Lauren Barker who averages over 14 points a game, including shooting 43% from three-point range. Starting guard Aubrie Booker says containing Barker will be key for the team.

“She is a really good player. Some of the girls on our team have played AAU with her over the summer so we have a pretty good idea on ways we can limit her scoring opportunities,” Booker said. “Playing one-on-one defense is going to be key tonight.”

Junior Audrey Annee knows it is crucial for the team to limit Barker, who can score multiple ways.

“We have to close out with a high hand and not give her enough space to get a shot off, while keeping in mind that she is a capable driver and finisher, as well,” Annee said

Preparing for Columbus North, which Center Grove has not faced with regional semi-final in 2016, hasn’t been any different for the team even though they are looking to extend their winning streak.

“We are preparing for this game the same way we prepare for any team. We watched film and talked through any scoring threats, but when the time comes to play them, we just play with the same defensive mentality regardless of who the opposing team is,” Annee said. “Knowing that we have a winning streak on our back makes it so we can be more confident in our work and our ability to make it far in the tournament. The win streak kind of shows us that we can do it if we stay focused on one team at a time; that is what we have done since the streak started.”

The Trojans, who have already passed their win total from last season with four games to play, are hoping to use tonight’s game as one more building block as they begin to prepare for the post season.

“The team has improved in many ways this year. We have all worked hard over the summer to get better individually and maturing as basketball players since last year,”  Booker said. “During preseason and even during season we practice hard everyday to get better on both sides of the court and to get our mind set to never be satisfied so we can always improve.”

Columbus North, which averages nearly identical point totals as Center Grove, also looks to dominate on the boards, where they average nearly 13 offensive rebounds a game compared to Center Grove’s seven.  Kathryn Wilson, a 5’10” junior, leads the Bull Dogs in rebounding, including nearly four offensive boards a contest. 

If Center Grove is to continue their winning streak, they will have to make the most of each possession and get contributions from everyone on the court.

“What we have been doing the past games has worked for us, so we will continue to move the ball and take the best shot each possession,” Booker said.

“Continuing the win streak means a lot to the team and me personally because it proves to each of us that our efforts and hard work have been rewarded,” Annee said. “No one person has contributed more than another, which makes it more fun knowing that it has been a team effort. Together we have built this winning record.”