CENTER POINT — In a fast-paced, back-and-forth battle between two of the top defenses in Class 4A, it was No. 5 Center Point-Urbana (21-2) that came out victorious over No. 10 DeWitt Central (18-4) Tuesday night, 49-44.
CPU advances to next week’s state tournament, where it will face No. 6 Waverly-Shell Rock in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Stormin’ Pointers were led by do-it-all senior Adrianna Katcher, who finished the game with 20 points and six boards. And of Katcher’s 20 points, nine of them came in the fourth quarter when her team needed her the most.
“Kudos to coach, he drew up some good plays that got us open,” Katcher said. “It didn’t work at times, but it did when it mattered.”
Of Katcher’s nine fourth-quarter points, five came from the charity stripe — a spot that Katcher has shot 57.6 percent from this season.
“I’ve struggled throughout the year with free throws, but all the practice really came out today,” Katcher said. “It’s one part of my game that I really need to work on, but it came today.”
Center Point-Urbana was stingy all night on defense, forcing 12 Central turnovers. Ryley Goebel dominated the defensive interior, blocking six shots.
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“The girls executed our game plan really, really well,” Center Point-Urbana head coach Phillip Klett said. “I thought our defense kept us around, and our girls just made enough plays to win the game.”
“It’s a team game, and I think we came together and were able to play our best game,” Katcher added.
For the Stormin’ Pointers, fresh off a 3A state title last season, it will be the school’s fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament.
Despite the change in classes, Katcher and the Stormin’ Pointers are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead at state. It will be Katcher’s fourth consecutive year playing in the state tournament.
“It’s really special, I don’t think many people get to do it,” said Katcher. “It’s just really a cool experience and I’m very blessed to have it.”