Vikings top Lisa (Winter) Finn's Cathedral Irish

Vikings top Lisa (Winter) Finn’s Cathedral Irish
Posted on 12/28/2020
The Huntington North girls basketball team defeated Cathedral 53–43 on WednesdayThe Huntington North girls basketball team took to the court one final time in 2020 on Wednesday, Dec. 23. However, the evening had a special feel to it, as Huntington North 1996 graduate Lisa (Winter) Finn’s Cathedral Irish were on the other end of the floor. As (Winter) Finn grew accustomed to in her childhood, the Lady Vikes would pick up the win, besting Cathedral 53–43.

The Huntington North athletic department honored (Winter) Finn prior to the contest, as the former Lady Vike standout was recently named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2021 Silver Anniversary Team. Huntington North athletic director Kris Teusch presented (Winter) Finn with a plaque, while (Winter) Finn’s daughter, Mia, brought a bouquet of flowers to center court for her mother.

“When we scheduled this game, it’s weird because we didn’t even really think about the Silver Anniversary thing, so it was nice that it all worked out,” (Winter) Finn said. “It’s super exciting (to be back). I got to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a long time, including family. Just with COVID-19, we don’t really get to see them all that often. And actually, in Indianapolis, we don’t have a lot of people in the stands, so a lot of my family came from there to see, so it was great.”

Once the game got underway, Huntington North quickly showed it was the better team, jumping out to a 7–2 advantage midway through the first quarter. However, Cathedral finally got going after that, responding with a 9–0 streak to grab an 11–7 lead. The Lady Vikes would stop the bleeding and take the momentum right back, posting the final seven points of the frame, capped by a Taylor Double three-pointer in the waning seconds for a 14–11 Huntington North lead at the end of the stanza.

Like the first quarter, the Vikings started the second period well by sinking the first five points to stretch the gap to 19–11. The rest of the frame featured relatively even action, as Huntington North carried a 26–20 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Again, the Lady Vikes would come out hot, opening the third quarter with a 9–2 stretch to blow open a 35–22 margin. The spread would largely hold through the rest of the stanza, as Huntington North led 42–30 entering the fourth quarter.

Cathedral would make an early push to narrow the gap, but the effort ultimately proved to be too little, too late, as the Lady Vikes leveled play as the final frame progressed to hold on for a 53–43 victory when the final buzzer sounded.

“Our word for this game—we kind of pick a new word each game—was ‘believe,’ which was kind of our theme last year,” said Huntington North head coach Matt Hinds. “Sometimes, we get down on ourselves or even our teammates and we kind of stop believing in them or ourselves, mostly ourselves. And then, they would start believing in the system and we just wanted to stick with that and our girls did that for 32 minutes. It wasn’t always perfect; it wasn’t always pretty, but just did a great job of sticking with that and I thought that was a big key for us today.”

Double led the way for Huntington North, scoring a game-high 22 points in the win for the Vikings.

Leah Campbell also hit double digits for the Lady Vikes, sinking 13 points. Grace Gross, Grace Sell and Reece Colclesser rounded out the Huntington North scoring with nine, seven and two points, respectively.

Cathedral was led by Clara Lee, who posted 16 points. Nyla Bingham and Caroline Cline tied for second on the Irish with eight points apiece, while Mia Finn tallied six points. Kathrine Bremer and Darryn Ely capped Cathedral’s scoring with three and two points, respectively.

Although being overmatched by Cathedral’s height, Huntington North found a way to overcome that disadvantage, an encouraging sign for the team moving forward.

“We’re undersized,” Hinds said. “We’re not very big, but we’ve gotta battle. Our kids are so excited about this win because (Cathedral) was so much bigger. We were mismatched in a lot of positions.”

Hinds added he believes his squad is still improving and is not yet playing its best basketball.

“I feel like we haven’t peaked yet, which is good,” Hinds said. “This time last year, we were closer to that peak. We just want to keep that momentum going and playing well.”

The Lady Vikes improved to 7–4 with the victory, which was their fifth triumph in a row. Huntington North will return to action on Saturday at the Norwell Classic. The Vikings will face Wawasee at 11:45 a.m. before taking on Plymouth at 3 p.m.
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