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The Hardin-Central defense came up with 15 steals and held Concordia to 24 percent shooting Saturday as the Lady Bulldogs captured the Wellington-Napoleon Tournament championship with a 39-33 victory.
The Lady Bulldog defense really clamped down late in the game. After trailing for most of the afternoon, Concordia fought back to tie the game 30-30 with 4:28 left to play.
The Lady Bulldog defense then held Concordia without a field goal until 49 seconds remained when the Orioles scored on a put back following a missed free throw.
That basket cut the Hardin-Central lead to 35-33, but it was the last score for the Orioles as the Lady Dawgs closed out the contest by hitting 4 of 7 free throws down the stretch.
Megan Layman led the Hardin-Central scoring with 17 points, to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Allison Oyler added 10 points, with Reanna Newham hitting for 9, followed by Brooke Derstler with 7, and Brianne McGuire with 2.
Derstler and Newham were named to the all-tournament team. Derstler had 7 rebounds and 5 steals.
Tori Kopp led Concordia with 19 points, with 12 of those coming in the second half.
Both teams had trouble getting started as each team had only 2 points on the board through the opening 4:30.
The Orioles held a 9-6 lead after the first period, but the Lady Bulldogs began the second quarter with a 10-2 run on the way to building a 24-15 lead at halftime.
It was the Hardin-Central offense sputtering in the third quarter as the Lady Bulldogs managed just two field goals, but they were still able to take a 28-24 lead into the final 8 minutes.
The Lady Bulldogs hit 33 percent from the field, but missed all four shots outside the 3-point arc. Hardin-Central made 5 of 11 free throws. Concordia held the edge on the boards with 39 rebounds, while the Lady Dawgs grabbed 26.
The Orioles were 8 of 14 from the free throw line, while Kopp hit the game’s only 3-point bucket late in the first quarter.
Hardin-Central improves to 12-3 for the season heading into Tuesday’s game at Norborne.
PHOTO: Allison Oyler of Hardin-Central works around a Concordia defender in Saturday’s Wellington-Napoleon championship game. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News.)