Whitko sophomore Augusta Garr gets tripped up on her way to the basket by Jocelyn Winebrenner of Central Noble. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Whitko sophomore Augusta Garr gets tripped up on her way to the basket by Jocelyn Winebrenner of Central Noble. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
SOUTH WHITLEY – Whitko’s varsity girls basketball team got a taste of the best Tuesday.

The Lady Wildcats struggled in an 80-31 home loss to Class 2A No. 3 Central Noble, the defending state champion.

“We have to look at playing a Central Noble type of team, or somebody who has more talent than us as a challenge to try to get better,” said Whitko coach Rick Bragg. “I don’t know if we did that tonight.”

The Lady Cougars (2-0) jumped out to a 20-0 lead, in no small part thanks to three-pointers rained down by senior guard Sidney Freeman.

Freeman, the all-time leading scorer for both boys and girls programs at Central Noble, finished with 38 points, 27 of which came from behind the arc.

“For these girls, most of them have ran the offense long enough that they can rehearse it in their sleep,” said Central Noble coach Josh Treesh.

“They just do a really good job of moving the ball. They don’t care who gets the points.”

Meanwhile, Whitko (0-2) struggled against the Lady Cougars’ halfcourt defense, and committed 14 of its 25 turnovers in the first half.

The Lady Wildcats got on the board in the first quarter on a pair of Emalee Duggins’ free throws, but were down 20-2 by that point.

Central Noble took a 29-5 lead into the second quarter and a 47-14 advantage into the break, and was able to coast to victory in the second half.

Ellie Snep led Whitko with nine points and 13 rebounds, while Duggins scored 10 points.

Bragg was disappointed that the Lady Wildcats didn’t show as much enthusiasm as they did in their season opener against Fort Wayne North Side.

He noted intimidation against such a stalwart program may have been a factor, but wouldn’t use that as an excuse.

“We shouldn’t be intimidated by anybody, regardless of how much better an opponent is,” Bragg said.

Whitko will play Friday at 7:45 p.m. at Columbia City and will host Churubusco Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Lady Wildcats also will play three games next week, and Bragg is optimistic about improvement.

“We may not beat any of them, but we can be much more competitive in terms of athleticism and talent,” Bragg said.

“We’ll see how we can react to that when we play a game that maybe we are expected to win.”



CN    29    18    12    21    –    80

W    5    9    8    9    –    31

Central Noble – Sydney Freeman 14-23 1-1 38, Casey Hunter 0-0 0-0 0, Shelby McClelland 0-0 0-0 0, Anna Stayner 0-2 2-2 2, Meleah Leatherman 9-10 0-2 18, Lydia Andrews 2-4 0-0 5, Jocelyn Winebrenner 1-5 0-0 2, Bridget Gray 5-12 2-2 13, Sam Brumbaugh 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 32-56 5-7 80.

Whitko – Emalee Duggins 1-6 8-10 10, Ellie Snep 3-7 3-3 9, Elizabeth Miller 0-1 0-0 0 , Sarah Hewitt 1-2 3-3 5, Kayla Schipper 0-0 1-5 1, Gus Garr 0-0 0-2 0, Lily Owsley 3-4 0-0 6, Kayla Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-20 15-21 31.

Three-pointers – Central Noble 11  (Freeman 9, Andrews 1, Gray 1).

Rebounds – Central Noble 22 (Leatherman 6), Whitko 30 (Snep 13).

Turnovers – Central Noble 7, Whitko 25; Fouls – Central Noble 21, Whitko 11; Fouled out – none; Records: Central Noble 2-0, Whitko 0-2.