The independence Patriots girls basketball program has come a long way under coach Lauren Galvani. They will qualify for the first time in a decade for the state playoffs. However, they currently do not have the fire power to match-up consistently against the Lady Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs led throughout the entire basketball contest. They took a first period 18-12 lead and expanded upon their advantage in the second period.
Braylyn Milton carried the Patriots in the first period scoring 6 points along with Trinity Thompson 3 points, Breckenridge rebounding with 2 points. But Butler is deep with some good talent and a solid bench. Laura Flynn played solid defense and made several nifty passes. However, she passed on a few open jump shot attempts within her 10-12 ft shooting range which did not lead to Indy points. While Michaela Lane for the Bulldogs scored 8 points in the opening period.
A positive for Indy showing up in this game is having another good ball handling point guard in Averie DiBenedetto who recently became eligible to compete. She should become a major contributor down the stretch and in the playoffs. DiBenedetto seemed a little off her game at times, but will work herself into game speed and top conditioning quickly.
After the first half, the Bulldogs held a 32-18 edge mostly on the back of Lane who scored 14 points. However, some nice contributions were made by Noura Aboutaleb 6 and Jada Tate 6 points each. While Milton the team scoring leader was held to 7 points by the staunch Bulldog defense.
In the second half, the game held a familiar tone, the stingy Bulldog defense and a 15 point scoring effort by Lane just overpowered the Patriots who seemed to have no answers to overcome their deep deficit. Indy was able to get within 11 points late into the third period at 39-28, but suddenly two quick turnovers, along with cold shooting opened the door for a 14-0 run by the Bulldogs to blow this game wide open ending the period with a 53-28 huge advantage.
In the fourth period, a gallant effort by Thompson, DiBennedetto, Breckenridge and Flynn was just not enough to make any kind of meaningful comeback. So the Patriots 8-3 suffered their third conference loss and two against Butler who are now 10-1 tied for first place with Myers Park.
Michaela Lane led all scorers with 29 points, Jada Tate chipped in 11 for the Bulldogs. While the Patriots top scorer was Thompson with 11, Milton 10 and DiBenedetto 10.