Feb. 9—North Decatur and Linton-Stockton have sights set on a regional title and these two programs will tip-off girls basketball regional final action at 4 p.m. Saturday at West Washington.
The Lady Chargers enter regional action at 18-6. The Lady Miners are 19-6.
Both teams won sectional titles by avenging regular season losses. North defeated South Ripley for the sectional title after falling to the Lady Raiders during the season. Linton-Stockton knocked off No. 1 North Knox on the Lady Warriors' home court for the sectional title after losing the second game of the season to North Knox.
In Linton-Stockton's sectional championship game, Bradie Chambers scored 32 points in the 43-36 win. Chambers has committed to continue her education and basketball career at IU South Bend.
The Lady Miners are no stranger to long runs in the state tournament. Linton-Stockton won the Class 2A state title in 2020 and 2021.
The old saying is "defense wins championships." North head coach Doug Laker said that the Lady Chargers' defense is a key in the match-up with the Lady Miners.
"Defending is a key, making them shoot difficult shots," Coach Laker said. "Transition defense is another."
The Lady Chargers allow just 40.0 points per game defensively to the season opponents. North averages 51.7 points per game. Linton-Stockton averages 47.9 ppg offensively and allows only 36.0 ppg defensively.
On the other end of the floor, the Lady Chargers are led in scoring by senior Ella Kunz and junior Madi Allen, both averaging 14.0 points per game. North gets scoring from many different players. During the season, 10 Lady Chargers scored during a varsity game.
Junior Kelsey Haley averages 6.8 ppg. Sydney Rohls averages 5.0 and Clare Kinker averages 4.8 ppg. Carmen Thackery (2.5 ppg) and Jo Whitaker (3.5 ppg) are capable of knocking down shots when called upon.
Haley has made nearly half of the team's 91 3-point field goals with 42. Allen and Thackery are in double figures with 25 and 12 respectively.
The Lady Chargers shoot 64 percent from the charity stripe on the season.
Rebounding on both ends of the court is another factor that Coach Laker is emphasizing.
Kunz is averaging 7.7 rebounds per game, including 4.2 offensive rebounds per game. Allen pulls down 7.1 rpg. Rohls is active around the bucket and grabs 4.2 rpg. Kinker may not be the tallest player, but hustle and positioning allow the junior to grab 4.3 rpg. Haley averages 3.1 rpg and Whitaker averages 2.6 rpg.
Haley leads the team with 3.3 assists per game. Allen leads in steals with 2.1 per game.
Coach Laker also stressed valuing each possession and not letting Linton-Stockton speed the Lady Chargers up. And finally, Coach Laker wants the Lady Chargers to play with confidence.
The winner of the regional advances to the semistate, time and location yet to be determined.
Contact Aaron Kirchoff at firstname.lastname@example.org