CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — Winning regional titles is something North Harrison girls basketball could get used to.
Top-ranked North Harrison led by as many as 18 points and cruised past Vincennes 61-48 Saturday in the final of the Class 3-A Charlestown Regional. The win gives the Cats their second straight regional crown. The Cats, state finalists a season ago, will face the Danville at 6 p.m. Saturday in the semi-state at Jeffersonville.
“It’s awesome,” said North Harrison coach Missy Voyles, who also noticed the huge numbers of North Harrison fans at Charlestown. “I love the way the community comes out and really enjoys watching these girls play.”
Vincennes (21-7) pulled to within 41-33 with 2:02 left in the third quarter and then North Harrison’s Cali Nolot drilled a 3-pointer, igniting a 12-2 North Harrison run. When Nolot knocked down a six-footer with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter, the Cats led 53-35.
“When you get a team like that jumping out to a lead, it’s not a good feeling because they’ve got so many weapons,” said Vincennes coach Travis Connor. “I’m very pleased with our girls because they didn’t quit. … That is a phenomenal basketball team.”
READ MORE: North Harrison advances to regional final
MORE PICS: North Harrison at Charlestown Regional
North Harrison’s one-two punch of Lilly Hatton on the inside and Nolot on the perimeter did most of the damage. Hatton tallied 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 3-pointer for good measure. She also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked seven shots. Nolot hit 2 of 3 from 3-point range and poured in 18 points.
“Our goal was to front her and get back-side help,” said Connor. “If she just catches it in there, you’re done.”
In the post-game celebration, one of the North Harrison fans leaped on Hatton, causing her to sprain her left ankle. Hatton said she’ll be OK for the semi-state.
“Our fans got really, really excited,” Hatton said. “We filled three-quarters of the gym. It’s amazing to have this community support. But one of our fans gave me a flying-ninja tackle. … He didn’t realize he hurt my ankle.”
Hatton, who needed help as she hobbled up the ladder to cut the net, said she’ll “definitely” play in the semi-state. Hatton, a sophomore, is 2-for-2 in regional tournaments.
Musketeers win first regional title: Eastern Pekin jumped out to a 25-11 halftime lead over South Ripley and cruised to a 54-43 victory in the Class 2-A Paoli Regional final, marking the Musketeers’ first-ever regional championship. Eastern will play at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Richmond semi-state.
After clinching its second sectional in four years, Eastern won its first regional matchup in coach Mike McBride’s 10 years at the helm Saturday afternoon before clinching its first championship later that night.
Class 3-A Charlestown Regional
NORTH HARRISON 61, VINCENNES 48
NORTH HARRISON (26-2)
Taylor Rennirt 8p, 7a; Lilly Hatton 21p, 8r, 7bs; Hallie Hinton 6p; Cali Nolot 18p; Emma Nokes 6p; Stevie Burns 32p
Darrian Carmean 2p; Abi Haynes 2p; Kavy Cramner 3p; Chasity Trueblood 3p; Haleigh Hipsher 5p; Lauren Hipsher 3p; Alison Hein 24p, 6r; Lindsey Sparks 6p