Lady Cats dust off Bishop Chatard

For likely the first time in school history, the Franklin County Lady Wildcats have secured back-to-back victories over Indianapolis schools – following up a 10-point win at Perry Meridian with Saturday afternoon’s 65-52 defeat of Bishop Chatard at Wildcat Gym.

With the senior class playing its final home game, the Cats held a double-digit lead for the last 25:38 of the contest and were never really threatened in their quest for the season’s 14th win and fourth consecutive.

Junior Nicole Mears piggybacked on her 20-point effort at Perry with a 21-point performance against the Lady Trojans and the senior Schell twins – Kassidy and Kiersten – combined for 29 more.

FC came out firing in the first quarter and was on pace for triple digits after eight minutes, taking a 25-15 lead into the second period. However, things slowed to a virtual crawl in the next frame as Mears’ finish with 3:20 left in the half was the only made field goal of the stanza. Otherwise, the Wildcats sank seven free throws to Chatard’s four and it was 34-19 as the teams broke for the locker room.

A basket by senior Josie Rolfes in the lane put the home team up 36-21 early in the second half before the two sides traded 2-point buckets. At 5:04 of the third, Ka. Schell was fouled on a 3-point attempt and proceeded to knock down two of the three foul shots. The lead stood at 42-25 ahead of a 3-pointer by Trojan senior Anna Thompson.

Kassidy Schell picked up her fourth foul soon after and darted in and out of the lineup from that point, not receiving another whistle while adding six more points from the foul line. Chatard trimmed the deficit to 10 points twice in the waning minutes of the third quarter, with the score sitting at 44-34 with one period remaining.

The Trojans’ comeback hopes took a hit with Thompson earning a fourth foul in the opening minute of the fourth. At 48-36, Mears completed a move with her off hand and then answered a Trojan three with another fielder. The back-and-forth continued as Quinn Johnson put in two for the visitors.

A cut to the basket by Addison Duncan made it a 53-43 game but Thompson fouled out with 3:05 still left to play. Rolfes made one of the two ensuing free throws. Entering the double bonus, FC connected on 7 of 8 from the stripe and Mears added to her total with two more makes from the interior. Chatard coach Dan Wagner called two unnecessary timeouts with his team down 15 points and less than 40 seconds on the clock. A late three by the Trojans made the final look closer than it was.

Thompson scored off the game’s opening tip, and after a runner by Ka. Schell, Chatard’s lead climbed to 6-2 following hoops by Caroline Bell and Grace Felts. FC then went on a 7-0 run and never trailed again. Ka. Schell and Mears sandwiched a Rolfes 3-point jumper and it was quickly 9-6.

Bell scored in the paint and Ki. Schell and Thompson exchanged left-hand layups. Bailey Kaiser then popped a triple for the hosts to make it 14-10. The Cats then ran a play to perfection in getting Ka. Schell open for three; at 2:39 of the frame, Mears made it 19-11. Mears later answered a Thompson bucket with two hits at the foul line. Ki. Schell and Thompson again traded left-hand lay-ins to bring scoring to a close in the period.

Rolfes added 8 to the FC ledger, with Kaiser chipping in 5 and Macy Crain two late free throws.

FC (14-5) finishes Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference play at South Dearborn Tuesday. Saturday evening, the ladies open a girl/boy doubleheader against Talawanda (Ohio) at the historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown; tip is 6 p.m.

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