DUNLAP – A strong start carried the Elkhart Central girls basketball team to a sectional win Tuesday night.
The Blue Blazers led from start to finish in topping Plymouth 49-33 in the opening game of the Class 4-A Concord Sectional in McCuen Gym.
Central, which claimed the program’s first sectional win since 2011, advances to play defending sectional champion Northridge in the first semifinal game Friday at 6 p.m. Central, one of the area’s most-improved teams at 15-8, dropped a 54-43 decision to the Raiders back on Nov. 21. Northridge is 21-3.
Central led 12-8 after the opening period and 22-13 at halftime en route to sidelining the Pilgrims. Kristen Hunt got coach Will Coatie’s team going to open the contest with a pair of 3-pointers. The Blue Blazers sealed the win with a key 13-0 scoring run in the second half.
Raleyah Ross scored a game-high 12 points to pace Central. Trinitee Harris netted 11 points and Hunt added nine for the winners, who won despite shooting just 5-15 from the free throw line and committing 20 turnovers.
Halie Reichard led Plymouth with 11 points. Coach Dave Duncan’s team finishes at 11-12.
The Concord Sectional continues Wednesday night with Warsaw (14-8) versus Concord (10-12) at 6 p.m., followed by Elkhart Memorial (12-9) against Goshen (12-10). The Wednesday night winners will meet in the second semifinal contest Friday night at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The sectional championship game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the LaPorte Regional on Feb. 10.