Grand Theft South Central
UNION MILLS — Faith Biggs’ 3-pointer with about 3:23 remaining in the fourth quarter of South Central’s 46-38 come-from-behind win against Morgan Township on Tuesday night wasn’t luck. According to Satellites head coach Wes Bucher, it was having faith in more ways than one that got the job done.
“Faith Biggs has been so huge for us,” Bucher said. “The name personifies this win. It’s Faith. She hit that big 3 and they called a timeout, and she’s the one calming everyone down. We come back out, get a turnover and bring it back down ... the mentality of the team has shifted in the fourth quarter this season and it’s something that’s been really big and it’s exciting.”
Not only was Biggs’ big triple the go-ahead jumper to give the Satellites a 41-38 advantage with just a few minutes left, it was the only shot from long range the hosts hit all night in their triumph over the defending Porter County Conference co-round-robin and tournament champions.
“We just had to relax and stay confident in what we had,” Biggs said after her 13-point performance that also featured four rebounds and four of South Central 18 steals. “We had to get that start in the quarter because we didn’t start all that great, but we finished strong in the fourth quarter.”
It was less than pretty basketball in the first half for both teams, combining for just 41 total points and 22 turnovers in the game’s opening 16 minutes with Morgan leading at the half, 21-20.
After a 15-point third period that saw the Cherokees (6-4, 1-1 PCC) lead 36-30 on the back of some good play down low from Sahara Bee, the Satellites maintain a pulse thanks to a strong finish in the final two minutes of the frame by Amber Wolf, who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and five steals with six of the eight rebounds coming in the final 90 seconds.
“That’s what leaders do,” Bucher said of his junior forward. “That’s how winning’s done. For me, I couldn’t be any more excited for this win.”
Thanks to Wolf, the Satellites had life down the stretch and despite some foul trouble throughout, Skyler Wildfong was huge for the Satellites, scoring six points and contributing in huge ways with seven rebounds and a team-high six stealt. Delanie Gale was massive in the final couple minutes, making two late free throws and the biggest defensive play of the night with one of her three steals.
The defensive pressure suffocated the Cherokees, who mustered just two points in the final eight minutes. The Satellites, in turn, caught fire thanks to their defense, scoring 16 in the period and using a lightning fast five-point spurt capped by the Biggs triple to take the lead and control for good.
Biggs nailed a tough shot over two defenders in the lane to tie the game at 38 and before anyone in the gym could blink, Gale stole the inbound pass, kicked it to Biggs out near the top of the key and the junior swished the biggest shot of the night.
“We noticed it on film and we knew that they really struggled getting back in transition and that’s something we knew we could utilize,” Bucher said. “And finally, it clicked there at the end and we started getting some good looks.”
Once her big shot went in, Biggs wasn’t short on confidence for her team to finish the comeback off and capture the traveling PCC Victory Kup, a conference tradition since 1980.
“I knew we had it in the bag,” Biggs said, laughing on the feeling after making her 3-pointer. “I knew we had it and we were taking the Kup back.”
Reach Michael Whitlow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (219) 214-4169. Follow him on Twitter @couldbelikemike.
South Central 46, Morgan Township 38
The Satellites claimed the PCC Kup from the defending champion Cherokees.