There will be plenty of local flavor on display as action in the Crossroads League basketball tournaments resume Friday and Saturday.
The surging Grace College women’s team will travel to Marian Friday night for a tourney semifinal contest at 7 p.m. Coach Scott Blum’s team has won seven of its last nine games to sit at 17-14. No. 5 ranked Marian is 29-2 and has won 17 in a row.
The Grace ladies punched their ticket into the semifinals with a 75-65 home win over Huntington Tuesday night. The Lancers outscored Huntington 48-38 in the second half of the tourney quarterfinal contest. Junior guard Brooke Sugg led the way with 23 points, while sophomore guard Vironnica Drake had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
A trio of former area prep standouts also played a big role in the win for Grace Tuesday night in the MOCC. Sophomore guard Micaela Box, a Bremen product, had 10 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Lexi Minix, who played at Oregon-Davis had nine points and junior forward Pam Miller, a WCHS graduate, added five points and seven rebounds.
The Lancers, who received votes in the NAIA Coaches Top 25 poll this week, have just one senior in guard Kelsie Peterson. Peterson played at West Noble High School.
Sugg leads the way for Blum’s squad at 14.2 points-per-game. Drake averages 12.6 ppg, while Box is at 9.0 and Peterson at 6.4. Miller averages 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and Minix averages 3.5 ppg.
Grace lost twice to Marian during the regular season, dropping a 69-60 final Jan. 10 in Indianapolis and a 76-51 decision at home on Feb. 7.
The Indiana Wesleyan University ladies will host Taylor Friday in the other league tourney semifinal game. The No. 15 IWU women are the No. 2 seed in the tourney and sit at 24-7 with six straight wins. No. 18 Taylor, the No. 3 seed in the tourney, is 22-9.
The Wildcats edged past Saint Francis 59-58 Tuesday night. Former WCHS star Dayton Groninger had eight points, hitting a pair of treys, and three rebounds in 12 minutes of action for IWU.
Freshman Groninger is averaging seven points and 3.5 rebounds per game on the season in 17 minutes of action per game. She has made 32 treys and is shooting 86 percent from the free throw line.
The IWU women split versus Taylor during the regular season. Taylor won 68-56 at Taylor on Jan. 10 and IWU prevailed 74-66 in Marion on Feb. 7.
The women’s tourney title game is set for Monday night.
The IWU men’s team, led by former Warsaw star Kyle Mangas, will host Huntington Saturday at 3 p.m. in a semifinal game of the league tournament.
The No. 5 Wildcats, who are the top seed in the tourney, sit at 24-7. IWU defeated Taylor 102-77 at home Wednesday night in a quarterfinal game of the league tourney. Mangas had 11 points on 5-11 shooting to go with two rebounds and a pair of blocked shot.
Mangas, an Indiana All-Star in 2017, leads the Wildcats in scoring at 21.5 ppg. He is also averaging five rebounds, while shooting 53 percent overall from the field (38 percent on 3-pointers) and 76 percent from the line. Mangas is also tied for first on the Wildcats in steals with 28 and ranks second in assists with 90.
IWU split versus Huntington, who is 14-17, earlier in the season. Huntington won 87-84 at home Dec. 2 and IWU posted a 100-73 win in Marion on Feb. 3.
The other semifinal on the men’s side Saturday will have Mt. Vernon Nazarene (18-13) at No. 8 Saint Francis (24-7) at 3 p.m.
The men’s tourney title tilt is slated for Tuesday night.