They have a new coach, they said. It would be a rebuilding year, they said. During their prognostications, “they” forgot to mention one rather important detail: a Sectional Championship was on the horizon.
“It’s honestly an indescribable feeling. Definitely a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Tara Zlotkowski (10) said.
Zlotkowski, whose star shone bright in the six-team sectional tournament, was as cool as the other side of the pillow when the going got tough.
“I tried to step up my game and bring some energy and get the team going. The plays start with me. I had to handle the pressure, so my team could, too,” Zlotkowski said.
Zlotkowski led a talented crew of fellow sophomores during the Lady Indians’ campaign. One of those sophomores was Gina Rubino (10), who nailed a clutch three-pointer before the half to make the score 28-26 Tribe.
“I was feeling it. I knew if Tara beat her girl off the dribble, she would draw the other defender so the kickout for the shot would be wide open. Hitting that shot felt really good, and I know it gave my team the momentum back to end the half,” Rubino said.
The Lady Indians have a date with the Lady Pirates of Merrillville in the Valparaiso Regional at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. Having lost to their formidable DAC rival twice during the regular season, they are looking to seek revenge.
“We’re not relaxing this week. We’re still going hard and using this week to get better. We know we can beat Merrillville and I have great confidence in my team that we will,” Zlotkowski said.
The Lady Indians went from afterthought to Sectional Champs in a matter of four months. As if the 53-49 W on Saturday was not convincing enough, these girls are for real.