WARSAW – A strong second-half performance carried the Warsaw girls basketball team past Fort Wayne Luers 61-44 Tuesday night.
The host Tigers used a big effort in the third quarter to take control versus the Knights in the non-conference contest. Warsaw, which led just 27-23 at halftime, outscored Luers 17-9 in the third stanza to built a 44-32 advantage.
The outstanding senior trio of Jennifer Walker-Crawford, Melanie Holladay and Lindsay Baker led the way for the winners.
Walker-Crawford notched her second straight big game of the young season as the Tigers improved to 2-0. The versatile 6-1 Walker-Crawford, who had a career-high 21 points in a 64-42 season-opening home win Saturday night over Huntington North, scored a game-high 17 points Tuesday. The Kentucky Wesleyan College recruit added a team-high nine rebounds to go with four steals.
Warsaw, which lost 56-31 to Luers last season, got a balanced offensive attack in the win over Luers, which drops to 0-3. Senior Holladay scored a career-best 14 points to go with seven rebounds, also a career high, and Lindsay Baker netted 12 for the Tigers. Holladay also had seven rebounds, while University of Toledo recruit Baker had five rebound and three assists.
The Tigers led 16-9 after the opening quarter en route to their 27-23 halftime advantage. Both teams struggled with their shooting from the field in the opening half. Luers stayed close with an 8-of-11 effort from the free throw line in the first 16 minutes.
Warsaw finished 23-of-57 from the field, but were just 4-of-18 from 3-point range in the contest. The Tigers enjoyed a 41-30 rebounding advantage and had just 13 turnovers in the victory. Luers shot just 16-of-42 from the field.
Junior Nikki Grose scored nine points and junior Brooklyn Harrison had eight for coach Michelle Harter’s talented Tiger team Tuesday night.
Lures, ranked No. 8 in the Class 2-A poll, has now lost to Angola (65-63), Heritage Christian (61-49) and Warsaw to start the season. The Knights finished 21-6 last season, including a 56-31 win over Warsaw. Coach Denny Renier’s squad graduated three starters from last year, including its top two scorers. Renier is 63-19 in his fourth year as Luers coach.
The Knights, whose program have won a girls basketball state best six state championships, have played in the Class 2-A state championship game each of the past three seasons. Luers won a state title in 2011 and lost in the finals in overtime in both 2010 and 2012.
Freshman Tashayla Sutorius scored 15 points, including going 7-of-9 from the free throw line, and junior Addie Reimbold had 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Luers versus Warsaw.
Warsaw won the junior varsity contest Tuesday night 33-16.
Warsaw (2-0) hosts Tippecanoe Valley (1-0) Friday night. Luers (0-3) hosts Indianapolis Brebeuf Saturday.