PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights girls basketball team heads into sectional play knowing they can play through adversity and find success. Less than 24 hours after a 73-56 loss to No. 2 Noblesville, the Arabians were back on the court against Pike on Thursday, Jan. 27.
This time, the Arabians left with a 76-71 win, Chad Cook’s 100th win and time to prep before facing Richmond in the opening round of sectional play on Feb. 2.
“I thought the girls stayed resilient, especially with the way it started,” Cook said. “Going back-to-back made us a little bit fatigued, which makes it even better to be resilient from falling behind to taking control and then hang on.”
The contest got off to a rocky start with the Red Devils jumping out first a 10-5 lead and ending the opening quarter up 16-7.
In the second quarter, the Arabians (17-5) went on a 12-5 scoring run with a three from Haley Brunnemer and two from Kaycie Warfel to bring the Arabians to within two, 21-19.
With Pike (10-11) strong on the outside shot, they were able to maintain a five-point margin until, with six seconds remaining in the half, Whitney Warfel hit a 3 to end the first half with the Arabians down by two, 30-32.
In the second half, gone were the miscues of the first quarter for the Arabians, but the strength of Red Devils offense kept either team from breaking away. The third quarter ended with the score tied 49-49.
In the final minutes, the free throw line presented the Arabians with opportunities to take and keep the lead with both Kaycie and Whitney Warfel heading to the stripe numerous times.
Fifteen of Kaycie Warfel’s 29 points came from the line, while Whitney hit five of her free throws and ended the game with 16 points, most coming in the fourth quarter.
“We like to make a practice of hitting more free throws than the other team shoots,” Cook said.
He said Kaycie Warfel is tough on her defenders because she gets in there and is super-fast, and they get frustrated.
Abi Rosenkrans had 13 points. Kylea Lloyd had six points, but controlled the boards with 10 rebounds.
Like the Red Devils, who have had a season with a string a missing players, the Arabians have been challenged as well.
“We were able to win some through those stretches with missing players. We’re now just two games back with our full roster,” Cook said.
The Arabian take on Richmond (8-14) in their opening game of the Mt. Vernon sectional at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.