• Val T.

North Judson eliminates Winamac for 4th straight season

Kroft, Smith, Gearhart score 6 each in loss; S. Frasure leads Lady Jays with 17


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

NORTH JUDSON –- Only once in 20 previous games this season had North Judson senior guard Lilliann Frasure scored fewer points than she did against Winamac in a Class 2A, Sectional 34 quarterfinal at North Judson Wednesday.

Still, Winamac lost to North Judson in the sectional for the fourth straight year.

Kingsley Kroft, Maggie Smith and Aubrey Gearhart scored six points each for Winamac (11-9), but the Lady Jays prevailed 51-24 to earn a spot in Friday’s semifinals.

Sophia Frasure led North Judson with 17, including a halfcourt 3-pointer that she banked in at the halftime buzzer to give North Judson a 29-13 lead.

Oh, brother. Or rather, oh sister.

Lilliann Frasure is Sophia’s older sister and an Indiana Wesleyan recruit. She came in averaging 24 points per game. She hit 12 3-pointers, scored 50 points and passed the 2,000 career point mark in her last game against Winamac 13 days earlier at the same North Judson gym in a 76-43 Lady Jay win.

This time, with Gearhart primarily face-guarding Lilliann Frasure, they held her to just 14 points and no 3-pointers.

Smith, who set the Winamac career rebounding record before her junior season ended, finished with nine rebounds in her final prep game. She also had five blocked shots.

Winamac’s struggles might have been more on offense this time. They had nine field goals as compared to 20 turnovers.

An official also assessed coach Kole Kroft a technical foul with 2:44 left.

“It was a major factor,” coach Kroft said of the turnovers. “I got T’d up there for a reason. I’m fighting for my kids. A slap on the arms, they can carry the ball and travel and that … I’m not blaming it on that, but that official … I’m not going to back down from what I believe is right. I think he should hang it up.

“Give credit to North Judson. We tried to be physical and that, but we’ve got to make them make the call, you know.”

Meanwhile, Judson went on an 18-4 run covering the first and second quarters to take a 23-9 lead, and Winamac never got closer than 12 after that.

Sophomore Olivia Burkett added 13 for North Judson, the Hoosier North champs who improved to 16-5.

South Central (Union Mills) topped North Newton 67-47 in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal. North Judson will play South Central at 8:30 p.m. Eastern in Friday’s second semifinal. Westville and Rensselaer will meet in the first semifinal at 6:30 p.m.

North Judson had to be mindful defensively of Winamac’s screens, according to coach Chris Newbauer. Often, Winamac will set multiple screens per possession to try and spring Kingsley Kroft for 3-pointers. In fact, North Judson coach Chris Newbauer said that Winamac sets more screens for a top shooter like Kingsley Kroft than any other team that they face.

“Don’t let Kingsley get open,” North Judson coach Chris Newbauer said of the defensive plan. “Her game has really improved defensively, and it’s not just because she’s a shooter. She gets to the rim a ton. And Maggie, her ability to score from 15 feet is what makes her super tough. She’s six-foot tall, she can rebound inside and get some putbacks, but her ability to score from 15 feet … I thought we were super physical with both of them, and I thought that was the difference.”

Said coach Kroft on Lilliann Frasure’s defense on Kingsley Kroft: “Lilli started on her in the first half, and she’s hard to get around. She’s got very quick hands, and she’s strong. We talked at halftime, yeah, we’re acting like we’re setting screens, but we’re not actually setting screens. We’re not setting our girls up, and we’re not cutting hard. Give credit to them. They did a great job.”

However, coach Kroft praised Gearhart’s defense on Lilliann Frasure.

“I thought she did a good job,” coach Kroft said. “We didn’t give up 12 3s and 50 points tonight. She’s quick, and she takes it as a challenge. But you know, you’re not going to stop Frasure completely. She’s too crafty of a player.

“I got two seniors in Aubrey and Maggie that have been with me all four years, and there’s a reason there’s only two of them because I was hard on them coming in. And they’re so respectful. They do whatever I ask. … They’re the perfect role models on and off the floor.”

North Judson 51, Winamac 24

WINAMAC (24) (11-9)

Aubrey Gearhart 2 2-2 6, Kingsley Kroft 2 0-4 6, Ella Gearhart 1 0-0 2, Alyssa Villanueva 1 2-2 4, Maggie Smith (No. 5) 3 0-0 6, Rori Blackman 0 0-0 0, Kaya Campbell 0 0-0 0, Hailey Attinger 0 0-0 0, Chloe Rausch 0 0-0 0, Maggie Smith (No. 24) 0 0-0 0, Piper Link 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 9 4-8 24

NORTH JUDSON (51) (16-5)

Adalynn Harper 0 4-4 4, Sophia Frasure 6 1-2 17, Olivia Burkett 6 1-4 13, Lilliann Frasure 5 4-5 14, Abigail Chambers 1 0-0 3, Morgan Hensley 0 0-0 0, Mia Mitmoen 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Baxter 0 0-0 0, Hanna Chaffins 0 0-0 0, Gabby Boyd 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 18 10-15 51

Three-point field goals:

Winamac 2 (Kroft 2),

North Judson 5 (S. Frasure 4, Chambers)

Total fouls: Winamac 14, North Judson 11

Technical foul: Winamac bench, 2:44, fourth

Turnovers: Winamac 20, North Judson 9

Score by quarters

Winamac 7 6 7 4 – 24

North Judson 15 14 11 11 – 51


Winamac senior Maggie Smith had six points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in her final prep game in a 51-24 loss to North Judson in a Class 2A, Sectional 34 quarterfinal at North Judson Wednesday. Winamac finished the season 11-9.


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