After sitting out last year's tourney, Pike, Ben Davis meet in sectional final

After sitting out last year's tourney, Pike, Ben Davis meet in sectional final

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After sitting out last year's tourney, Pike, Ben Davis meet in sectional final

Pike goes nuts during overtime against Roncalli of sectionals at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Pike won in overtime, 55-53.

Pike goes nuts during overtime against Roncalli of sectionals at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Pike won in overtime, 55-53.

INDIANAPOLIS – Only a handful of girls basketball teams in the state have the chops to knock unbeaten and Class 4A top-ranked North Central off course on the way to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the state finals later this month.

Pike is in that handful. But the Red Devils nearly found themselves in the ditch Friday night.

Fourth-ranked Pike saw a late lead slip away in regulation, then rallied from behind in overtime for a 55-53 win over upset-minded Roncalli in the Sectional 11 semifinal at Ben Davis. The big shot was LaRae Rascoe’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Red Devils a 52-50 lead.

Rascoe, a 28 percent 3-point shooter coming into Friday’s game, said she knew she was going to shoot it when she took the pass from Mariah Brown.

“LaRae has been a clutch for us all year,” Pike coach Bob Anglea said. “It was huge. It was really whether we go on or not. A big shot.”

Eighth-ranked Ben Davis rolled past Decatur Central 54-21 in Friday’s second semifinal. The Giants (20-5) will host Pike (20-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday for the Sectional 11 championship. It is the same gym where the two teams fought in last season’s regular-season game, which resulted in the Indiana High School Athletic Association ending both teams’ seasons and banning them from tournament play.

“We only have two girls who have played in the tournament,” said Anglea, who is in his sixth year at Pike but didn’t coach last season. “That was in the sectional two years ago. So this is a new feeling for them and probably a little bit of jitters. I felt like we were playing more not to lose than we were to win.”

Pike took a 24-19 lead to halftime and pushed it to 41-34 early in the fourth quarter. But the Rebels, considered a big underdog after a 24-point loss to Pike in November, refused to back down. Senior point guard Paige Saylor (13 points) led the charge with her scoring and passing.

After Roncalli’s Ellie Bischoff made two free throws with 1:19 left in regulation to tie the score at 47, Pike melted the clock down and attempted to play for one shot. Angel Baker’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was closely contested and fell short.

Roncalli (17-9) inched ahead, 50-47, as junior Sophie Daniel made three of four free throws in overtime. But with 59 seconds left, Pike’s Michaela White was fouled as she scored on a putback. White missed the free throw, but the damage was done as Saylor fouled out.

“That was huge,” Roncalli coach Stan Benge said. “We were up three at that point, and now we don’t have our best player. We’ve been relying on her all year. I think she’s an Indiana All-Star. She’s the best pure point guard I’ve ever coached and that’s saying a lot.”

Saylor was moved to tears as she watched from the bench as a Roncalli turnover turned into the go-ahead 3-pointer by Pike’s Rascoe. The Rebels pulled to 54-53 on a 3-pointer by Bischoff with eight seconds left in overtime. After Baker made one of two free throws, Roncalli’s Claire Whalen just missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Pike could finally breathe.

“(Roncalli) showed they wanted to beat us,” Rascoe said. “They came out and played us hard. You have to focus a lot more when it comes to games like these.”

Baker led Pike with 18 points.

Freshman Cherrelle Newsom led Ben Davis with 12 points and Bethany Blow added 11 in the second semifinal. Decatur Central (6-17) trailed 7-6 at the end of the first quarter as it attempted to milk the clock, but was done in by 26 turnovers. Genevieve Burr led the Hawks with 11 points.

Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649. Follow him on Twitter: @KyleNeddenriep.

Pike 55, Roncalli 53

Pike          12        12        15        8          8          — 55

Roncalli    13        6          15        13        6          — 53

Pike (20-3) — Rascoe 3 0-0 8, Roberson 4 3-5 11, Baker 6 5-8 18, Garrard 3 4-8 10, White 4 0-2 8. Totals: 20 12-23 55.

Roncalli (17-9) — Daniel 2 5-8 9, Bischoff 1 4-4 7, Saylor 4 4-4 13, Vinson 6 1-3 13, Whalen 2 1-2 7, Bauer 2 0-0 4. Totals: 17 15-21 53.

3-point goals: Pike 3 (Rascoe 2, Baker), Roncalli 4 (Whalen 2, Bischoff, Saylor).

Ben Davis 54, Decatur Central 21

Decatur Central               6          8          5          2          —  21

Ben Davis                        7          21        14        12        — 54

Decatur Central (6-17) — Wilson 0 1-2 1, G.Burr 4 3-5 11, Thatha 2 0-0 4, I.Burr 0 1-2 1, Cone 2 0-0 4, Duncan 0 0-1 0. Totals: 8 5-10 21.

Ben Davis (20-5) — Clark 2 2-2 6, Blow 4 3-3 11, Graham 3 0-0 6, Goss 2 4-5 8, Williams 3 0-0 6, Newsom 5 0-1 12, Walker 1 0-0 3, Coleman 0 2-2 2. Totals: 20 11-13 54.

3-point goals: Decatur Central 0, Ben Davis 3 (Newsom, Walker).

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