Full throttle for Sectionals

Ashley+O%E2%80%99Malley+%2812%29+lays+the+ball+in+for+a+basket.+O%E2%80%99Malley+tallied+14+points+in+the+65-48+win+over+the+Lady+Cougars+on+Friday%2C+February+13.+

Ashley O’Malley (12) lays the ball in for a basket. O’Malley tallied 14 points in the 65-48 win over the Lady Cougars on Friday, February 13.

Jimmy Lafakis

Hunt or be hunted.

When mid-February rolls around, that is the modus operandi in Indiana girls basketball. On this night, the Lady Indians vanquished the wild Lady Cougars.

“This one was definitely important to this group. Ever since the [Sectionals] draw came out, they stayed focused every single day. This group is all about doing it together and having fun together. That’s what makes them so fun to coach,” Coach Marc Urban said.

The 65-48 victory left no doubt. The girls sensed a target on their backs, and responded to the pressure with a fierce roar.

“We knew they were going to come out strong. They never give up until the buzzer goes off at the end. It’s not our goal to just beat West Side, or just beat the team we are playing on [a] night. We know there is a bigger picture,” Gina Rubino (12) said.

That picture is crystal-clear. The Tribe will face the East Chicago Lady Cardinals for the Sectional Championship at 6 p.m. tonight. They typically remain stoic after wins, but granted themselves a brief reprieve.

“We played the music for five minutes and then turned it off. We got serious again,” Rubino said.