Central and Vanier’s girls basketball teams provided all of the drama you could hope for in a big conference tournament game.
It came down to the final second, but Central prevailed 55-53 to earn a trip to the SHSAA 4A regionals next weekend.
“We always felt we didn’t prove ourselves during the season, so it’s nice to get it at the end of the year,” said Central coach Jocelyn Wigmore. “That was our goal at the beginning of the season — to make it to regionals — so we’re happy with where our season is going to finish.”
The Cyclones shot the ball exceptionally well in the second quarter and ran out to a 20-point lead. The Spirits cut the lead to 15 by the half and trailed only 44-42 early in the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones never relinquished their lead. Vanier had a chance to tie the game from the free throw line with 0.6 seconds left, but weren’t able to hit their shots.
“I think at the beginning of the year we panicked a lot in these kind of situations. And we found ourselves in these kind of situations quite a bit,” said Wigmore about her teams’ composure down the stretch. “In this game I thought they did a really good job of making sure they were mentally focused and knowing what they had to do.”
Paige Newans led the Cyclones with 20 points, while Diana Lumbala added 12 more. Vanier’s Marisa Hartman led all scorers with 21 points.