Carmel rallies past Marengo in OT
Carmel Catholic freshman basketball player Grace Sullivan missed out on the Corsairs' postseason fun a year. This year, with the help of good advice from her senior teammates, she's enjoying it.
Said Sullivan: "They said, 'Don't really focus on the crowd, play your game and you'll be fine. The crowd is just there to support the team and not discourage you.' "
The Corsairs' state tournament magic continued on Monday night in front of a large crowd at Carmel. The 6-foot-2 Sullivan scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Brigit Barr added a career- and game-high 19 points, and fifth-seeded Carmel rallied in the second half to upset No. 2 Marengo 62-56 in overtime of the teams' Class 3A sectional semifinal.
The Corsairs (16-17) will get a chance to successfully defend their sectional championship on Thursday when they tip off against top-seeded St. Viator (24-8) at 7 p.m. in a rematch of las year's title game.
Junior Katie Lach (10 of 16 from the stripe) also had 16 points in the win, and senior Caitlin Teehan tallied 11.
"It's crazy," Lach said of the Corsairs' postseason run for the second year in a row. "(The season) is finally coming to an end, and nobody wants it to end. The only thing to do is keep going."
After Marengo (24-7) missed a last-second shot at the end of regulation, Carmel took control in OT when the senior Barr buried a right-corner 3-pointer for a 54-52 advantage with 2:14 to go. Two free throws by Marengo's Jennifer Heinberg even the score, but Barr responded with another 3 with 1:18 left.
"The crowd was into it, and that helped a lot," said Barr, who finished with three 3-pointers. "I just shot."
Lach (2 of 2) and Teehan (3 of 4) sank clutch foul shots in the final 42 seconds of OT to secure the win.
Carmel, which trailed by 10 in the first half, found itself down 35-26 when Lach sank 2 free throws with 2:12 to go in the third quarter. That started a 13-0 run that carried into the fourth quarter. Sullivan's putback at the buzzer had Carmel within 35-32 after three.
"We got a couple of big plays, big stops, big steals," Barr said. "We took them the other way and transferred them into points. I think our defense really accelerates our offense and really ignites our offense."
Indianapolis-bound guard Marissa Knoblach led Marengo with 17 points, after Teehan helped hold the senior to 4 points in the first half. Jordan Parker and Heinberg added 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Indians. Knoblach and Heinberg each hit three 3-pointers.