Greensburg Daily News
The North Decatur girls basketball team celebrated Senior Night Thursday during a conference game against South Decatur that concluded the regular season.
The Lady Chargers honored Cindy Krieger, Jenna Meyer, Lindsay Nobbe and Veronica Yager, playing the last regular-season game of their careers.
North improved to 12-8 on the season and 6-2 in the Mid-Hoosier Conference with a 57-42 win. The victory locked up a three-way tie in the MHC with Southwestern (Shelby) and Eastern Hancock. Indian Creek won the MHC with an 8-0 record and 16-5 overall.
North Thursday led 6-2 early on, but South jumped ahead 9-6 halfway through the first quarter. North answered with a 6-2 run to end the first eight minutes.
The score was tied twice in the second quarter, and South’s biggest lead was 27-18 with 3:10 left in the first half. South led 27-24 at the break.
North held South to 15 points in the second half.
“The second half was just a really good half of basketball,” said North head coach Brad Bryant. “On the markerboard in the locker room, I showed them three options. If we played great defense, we’d get a great win. If we played good defense, we’d be in a battle. If we played okay on defense, no way.”
Bryant said Krieger, Yager, junior Emma Geis and freshman Mary Hughes “did a really good job of defending South’s Megan Niese and Ashley Johannigman, two of the leading scorers in the county and the MHC.
“We made a change defensively as the game wore on,” said Bryant. “If we made those changes rotating four girls defensively on their two, in the second half we did a great job. Something clicked in the second half. We made it difficult for them.”
All four seniors started for North and all four seniors appeared in the scoring column. Senior Jenna Meyer led all scorers with 26 points. Bryant said Meyer took over the game in the second half and stepped up as a leader to win. She scored 15 points after halftime and came up with a steal on three straight possessions, going coast-to-coast for a score on one of them.
“Especially in that second half, Jenna really put us on her back,” he said. “She was willing us to win with her effort on both ends of the court. That’s what Jenna’s done a lot this year. She’s a kid that takes on every challenge. She’s just such a hard worker every day in practice, every game.”
Andrea Volk followed with seven points. Scoring four apiece were freshman Mary Hughes, Yager, Krieger, junior Abby Lamb and junior Anna Wallpe.
Nobbe scored two points on a baseline jumper late in the fourth quarter, representing the first points she scored this season. Junior Myra Steele chipped in two points.
Head coach Brad Bryant reflected on his team and the four seniors afterward.
“I really have loved coaching these girls,” he said. “They’re really a neat group. They’re all different, and that’s what makes it fun. They’re a pretty tight group of kids. I can honestly say that I’ll miss all four of them next year.”
Bryant said Yager exceeded his expectations as a senior leader.
“Veronica has just served her role perfectly this year,” he said. “She’s just a kid who has just accepted her role of coming off the bench this year and is always ready to play. She gives us a little scoring off the bench. She really works hard on the defensive end. She’s done a nice job of handling the basketball.”
Bryant credited Krieger from battling back from an injury and returning triumphantly. He used the example of Krieger playing despite sickness Thursday.
“Defensively, she just worked her tail off,” he said of Krieger. “She ran the floor well a couple times and made some good passes in transition. She played sick. As the game was unfolding, as a senior, she saw for herself that she wanted to be out there and she wanted to help her team win. The thing I like most about Cindy is she always plays with a smile and with intensity.”
Bryant applauded Nobbe’s loyalty and positive influence on the team.
“I’m just more excited for her than any of the girls,” said Bryant of Nobbe. “She’s not played a lot of minutes this year, and has never complained one second - and has not shown to be upset.” Bryant recalled the excitement on North’s bench and bleachers when Nobbe scored in the fourth quarter to cap off her senior year in the gym.
It was good for the whole team,” he said. “It felt good for the whole team to be a part of that. It especially felt good for her dad (assistant coach Phil Nobbe) as a part of the staff.”
Sophomore Megan Niese led South with 18 points, while junior Julia Miller added nine. Junior Ashley Johannigman, junior Courtney Billingsley and sophomore Sydney Callahan each followed with five points.
South finishes the regular season with a 6-14 record. The Lady Cougars next open postseason play in the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional 60 tournament in Osgood. South plays Oldenburg Academy Tuesday, Feb. 5, with a tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The North girls play Switzerland County in the first round of the South Ripley Sectional 45, Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.