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Girls Basketball: Chesterton rallies to nip South Central

UNION MILLS -- Get your scorecard! You can't tell the players without a scorecard!

It's an old refrain you might still hear vendors yell at baseball games, well, at least when fans are able to attend them again.

For basketball coaches this season, the phrase rings true as they try to kept track of the daily comings and goings of their roster.

"It's not an excuse," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "The tough part is trying to keep all your kids. We're trying to take enough practices off so we don't have to have four or six before the next time they play. You've got to think like that. We missed those kids, but that's just the way it is. It's the same for everybody."

Friday at South Central, the Trojans were minus starters Katelyn Carr and Ingrid Hurst, who were in COVID-19 quarantine. In stepped Emma Pape and Lauren Davis, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the pinch to help Chesterton escape with a 61-59 come-from-behind win.

"Emma was our player of the game," Campbell said. "The kid who came in and gave us a spark was Madi Davis. I got mad at Lauren for not rebounding -- I could've gotten rebounds and I'm on crutches -- so I'm like, all right, I'm going to put your sister in, and she had two big baskets. Lauren hit some big foul shots."

Chesterton (3-0) overcame a 35-26 halftime deficit and was down five in the final three minutes before rallying again. Lauren Davis' free throws put the Trojans up 54-53 and Nalani Malackowski (10 points) responded with a short baseline shot after S.C. went back ahead. Another Satellites counter made it 57-56, then Pape may have hit the biggest shot of the night, splashing a 3 from the right wing for a 59-57 Chesterton edge. Delanie Gale missed a deep step-back trey on the other end and Davis' foul shots with 8.9 seconds left put the margin out of reach.

"I wasn't the best (free throw shooter), but I worked on them a lot harder," said Davis, who was 6-of-6 for the game. "I just had to get my routine down. Every time I go to the line, I do the same thing, and hopefully they go in. I clear my head, act like no one's around and just go through my motions."

Madi Davis made her minutes count with a couple fourth-quarter buckets."(Campbell) did a really good job getting people in, giving them a chance, just trying to get people where they needed to be," she said. "The timeouts really helped. It gave me a chance to calm down and think, get myself together." The 5-9 junior returned earlier in the week from her own quarantine. "Not being able to do things was hard, but I was fine," she said. Lauren, a 5-11 senior, was glad to have her sister back.

"It was really tough," she said. "I bounce off my sister's energy sometimes. We would watch film of practice and go through plays. We'd do Zoom calls through the wall." Emma Schmidt added 12 points to the balanced attack. "We've never been in a position where we had a lead against Chesterton," Satellites coach Wes Bucher said. "We can't play complacent. They're going to come at you even harder. We had a lot of breakdowns on the defensive end late in the fourth quarter. They ran the same play like nine times, a little backdoor cut, all it is is a backscreen, you've just got to call it out and switch it. We've been hounding them about communication. The last five, six minutes, we stopped rebounding offensively, then we're coming down and chucking threes. Our intensity on the court has gotten a lot better on both ends. We came out ready to go. Unfortunately, it hasn't gotten there for a full 32. We're at about 28." Gale's 21 points, including four treys, led all scorers. Olivia Marks had eight of her 11 in the fourth quarter for S.C., which remained without 6-footer Lauren Bowmar.

"These aren't learning experiences at this point," Bucher said. We know how to play basketball. We're going out to beat these teams."

The game was the first for both teams since the stricter attendances restrictions that limited admission to two people per player, making the atmosphere resemble an AAU setting.

"They could hear everything I was saying," Campbell said.

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