PORTAGE – The Warsaw girls basketball team has come a long way in the last year.
The Tigers proved that again Saturday night.
Coach Michelle Harter’s veteran team shook off a slow start to come back for a 37-24 win over host Portage.
The Tigers, who started their season 0-9 a year ago, improved to 7-1 with the victory.
Portage, which drops to 4-4 with its fourth loss in the last five games, bolted to an 8-1 lead after the first quarter of play Saturday night. Warsaw recovered to take a 16-14 lead at halftime. The Tigers then outscored the hosts 14-5 in the pivotal third period to take command.
Senior Dayton Groninger led the way for Warsaw with a game-high 14 points. On a tough shooting night for the team overall, Groninger hit 5-10 shots from the field including 3-6 on 3-point tries. The Indiana Wesleyan recruit also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Kenzie Welk netted nine points and Madi Graham finished with eight for the Tigers. Graham, another senior, also had six rebounds.
Warsaw shot 10-31 from the field for the game, including 5-17 in the opening half. The Tigers were 13-16 from the line and had 18 turnovers.
Portage, which lost a 48-37 final at Crown Point Friday night, shot a dismal 6-35 from the field and made just 2-18 field goal tries in the second half. The hosts were 10-18 from the line and had nine turnovers.
Kaitlyn Shafer led Portage with eight points.
Warsaw won the junior varsity game 45-29.
Warsaw hosts Carroll Wednesday night. Portage hosts Chesterton Friday night.