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Girls basketball: Lawrence North edges Center Grove to take MIC title

12:00 AM, Jan. 26, 2013 EST

Lawrence North's players and coaches celebrate with the trophy signifying their Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference championship. The Wildcats (7-0 MIC) clinched the conference title by handing Center Grove its first loss in league play Friday. / Doug McSchooler / For The Star

Lawrence North trailed Center Grove by seven points early in the fourth quarter Friday and not much was going right.

The team's top players, Mikale Rogers and Ana Owens, were in foul trouble, and the Wildcats couldn't make a shot against Center Grove's zone defense.

Suddenly, everything worked. Lawrence North tied the score late in regulation, then shot well in overtime to beat the Trojans 63-57 and win its first Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference title since 2001.

"A big accomplishment," said Rogers, who is heading to IUPUI next year. "The school hasn't done it in years, so it's amazing to finally do it my senior year."

The Wildcats made just 24-of-70 shots, but their percentage was high in the fourth quarter and overtime.

"We just had to keep our cool and stay calm and be positive," said Owens, a junior point guard who has committed to Cincinnati.

Rogers and Jordan Hankins each scored 17 points and Owens had 13 points and 10 assists for the Wildcats (17-3, 7-0), ranked No. 6 in Class 4A.

Bri Gliesmann had 11 points and Lauren Weidman and Ali Line each scored nine for the Trojans (14-5, 5-1), who committed 25 turnovers and were outrebounded 48-36.

Lawrence North coach Chris Giffin said Center Grove made his team work.

"We certainly faced a lot of adversity all night," he said. "Center Grove is well-coached, really a team that stays within itself, and they do what they do really well, so give them a lot of credit for some of the sluggishness you saw out of our team."

Center Grove led 26-19 in the closing seconds of the first half before Lawrence North's Lauren Dickerson shot from just inside the halfcourt line and hit the rim and backboard before going in.

"I was amazed that she made it," Rogers said.

Center Grove remained aggressive throughout the third quarter, and a basket by Gliesmann early in the fourth quarter gave the Trojans a 45-38 lead.

It was the Trojans' last field goal of regulation.

"I had enough confidence in this team to know if we keep doing what we do defensively, that we would wear on them," Giffin said.

Giffin said winning the title was important, but bigger goals await.

"I just love this group of girls and how they play," he said. "They play hard, they compete. We've got to shoot better, we've got to do a lot of things better, I think, ultimately, to make a deep state run, but in terms of their effort and energy, I wouldn't trade them for anything."



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