Girls basketball team travels to North Lawrence for regional championship


Sam Findley

Sophomore Lilly Bischoff dribbles the ball in the sectional championship game against Mooresville. The Trojans would go on to win 42-25.

Ben Baranko, CGTV Sports Editor

The girls basketball team travels to Bedford North Lawrence today with a chance to win their first regional championship since 2007. Adding to the anticipation, they will match up against county rival Franklin. The Grizzly Cubs have gotten the best of Center Grove in recent years; the last time the Trojans emerged victorious was Dec. 3, 2019. The average margin of victory for Franklin: 2.7 points. 

In back-to-back years, Center Grove has watched its season come to an end at the hands of Franklin. Junior guard Aubrie Booker hopes that this will serve as motivation for the team, and she believes the teams’ confidence will be able to push them to victory. 

“We all really want to beat Franklin because we lost to them last year in the first round of sectionals, but now that we have won sectionals this year, we have more confidence,” Booker said. “I think our team has come together so much all season and that has helped us tremendously on the court and gives us more chemistry while playing.”

Playing for a regional title means playing on a bigger stage than any regular season game. Staying focused and not allowing the pressure to have an effect are critical; in the tournament, it is win or go home. This is something that can come as a challenge to young players, but the Trojans have an experienced, veteran roster, something they hope to use to their advantage.

Senior guard Ella Hobson knows that in order to find success, the team needs to stick to what they’ve been doing all season long, and that begins with preparation leading up to the game.

“We’ve been preparing for Franklin pretty much the same in practice this week as we always do, but we have been watching more film after practice from our previous games against them,” Hobson said. “Pointing out parts of our game against them that we can fix and work on in practice throughout the week is big and will help us be ready for them.”

Junior Scarlett Kimball leads Franklin in 3-point percentage and rebounding, shooting 42 percent from the arc and averaging 6.1 boards per game. 

“We are focusing on closing out on her with a high hand wherever she is on the court, and limiting quick ball reversals will help us accomplish that. The less they can swing the ball around the key, the less open shots they will be able to get off,” junior Audrey Annee said.

For the Trojans, Annee leads the team in 3-point percentage, shooting 39 percent from deep. She also leads the team with 13.1 points per game.

“In order to be successful offensively, I’m going to have to have great reads when I come off ball screens and stay ready for opportunities to drive. Once I get to the rim, I just need to be focused on finishing layups and then being ready for second chance points off putbacks,” Annee said. “Playing through the post is an important part of our game, so we need to make sure we’re playing inside out and taking great shots.”

Six of Center Grove’s varsity players are seniors, which makes this game their last chance to make a deep playoff run.

“Being a senior really impacts the energy we want to bring to this game because it could potentially be our last game as a team,” senior Ali Weismann said. “Because it’s also a regional final game, we’ll want to give all we’ve got in order to give us the best chance to win. Coming off the bench, I’m hoping to add energy to the game by keeping my teammates motivated and by helping make big plays.”