Host Paris captured the North American Lighting Tournament championship in high school girls basketball Saturday evening, beating Champaign Central 66-36 and retaining an undefeated 4-0 mark in the tournament.

“We have a very good atmosphere as far as how the girls interact and support each other,” Paris coach Dave Tingley said. “Everyone plays their role and the girls believe that it is about what the scoreboard says and not what it says besides their name.”

Paris gathered an early 8-2 lead behind five points from senior Karrington Krabel. The lead put pressure on visiting Champaign Central, which began to force shots that ended up in the outstretched hands of Tiger defenders. Paris freshman Trinity Tingley hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot at the end of the first quarter to give the team a 14-5 lead.

Champaign Central gave up a multitude of turnovers through the first half of regulation which the Tigers turned into a 9-3 run to start the second quarter. After building a 15-point lead, Paris continued to keep its foot on the gas, running away behind the shots of senior Sarah Isaf and sophomore Madyson Rigdon to build a 41-20 halftime lead. Through two quarters, Isaf and Rigdon had 12 and 14 points respectively.

The third quarter showed no reluctance from the Paris sideline of pushing on as the group opened the period with a 12-1 run anchored by a stifling defense. The up-tempo rhythm that Champaign Central had displayed through the tournament struggled to find open shots. A deep 3-point shot off the hands of Paris freshman Kendra Young added further to the Paris total and the Tigers entered the fourth quarter with a decisive 61-31 advantage.  

Terre Haute North was not as fortunate as Paris in its third-place contest with Danville, falling in the closing seconds of the contest 54-52.

North struggled to care of the ball through the opening quarter, giving up seven turnovers in the first eight minutes of regulation on its way to a 13-9 deficit.

Danville opened the second period on a 5-0 run before giving up a 12-3 run to the Patriots to tie the game up 21-21. Several baskets from sophomore Zoe Stewart and senior Shaelynn Bell helped to pace the Patriots through the first half as North entered halftime down 28-24.

North’s resilience continued to shine through the third quarter of the game as the Patriots managed to take the lead behind a 3-point shot from junior Anslee Michael with 47 seconds left, giving them a 35-34 lead with one quarter remaining.

Patriot freshman Preslee Michael poured in several baskets throughout the fourth quarter to build up a 47-45 North lead that lasted up to 52-50. A kick-out pass to Danville junior Aanija Reed resulted in a three-point shot with 11 seconds left that gave Danville a 53-52 advantage.

The ensuing North possession against a full-court pass sailed over its intended Patriot. A quick foul gave Danville another free throw before missing the second, and a 3-point attempt by Anslee Michael bounced off the front of the rim.

“We need to take every possession as being an important one,” Terre Haute North head coach Mike Allen said. “We are a work in progress and we just need to keep our heads up and continue pushing in the right direction.”

CHAMPAIGN CENTRAL (36) – Wilson 2-13 0-0 4, Willis 7-22 6-10 22, Stillman 0-0 1-2 1, Smith 1-4 2-2 4, Wells 0-4 0-0 0, Somers 0-1 1-2 1, Essien 0-0 2-4 4, Alexander 1-4 0-0 2, McLeod 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-48 FG, 12-20 FT, 36 TP.

PARIS (66) – Gates 2-2 0-0 4, Isaf 6-11 0-0 14, Krabel 7-14 2-2 18, Rigdon 5-13 3-3 14, Crampton 0-0 0-0 0, Littleton 0-5 2-2 2, Tingley 3-8 0-0 9, Hutchings 0-3 0-0 0, Young 1-1 0-0 3, Hawkins 1-1 0-0 2, Noel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-57 FG, 7-7 FT, 66 TP.

Champaign Central 5 15 11 5 — 36

Paris 14 27 20 5 — 66

3-point FG – CC 2-10 (Willis 2-7), P 9-23 (Tingley 3-8, Isaf 2-4, Krabel 2-5, Rigdon 1-3, Young 1-1); Rebounds – CC 27 (Wilson 8, Willis 7, Essien 5), P 33 (Rigdon 7, Isaf 6, Krabel 5); Steals – CC 8 (Willis 4, Wilson 2), P 4 (Rigdon 3, Krabel 1); Blocks – CC 3 (Wilson 2, Stillman 1), P 2 (Crampton 1, Young 1); Total Fouls – CC 10, P 12; Fouled out – None.

Next – Champaign Central (3-1) travels to Peoria Richwoods on Friday. Paris (4-0) travels to St. Joseph-Ogden on Tuesday.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (52) – Saunders 0-2 0-0 0, Stewart 2-5 2-2 7, Hart 0-2 4-4 4, A.Michael 3-11 4-4 11, Bell 6-10 1-3 14, Wright 0-2 0-0 0, Shepard 0-1 1-2 1, Gilbert 1-4 2-2 4, P.Michael 4-7 0-0 11. Totals 16-44 FG, 14-17 FT, 52 TP.

DANVILLE (54) – Conaway 4-16 5-6 14, Reed 2-3 0-0 6, Boyd 1-2 0-0 3, Houpt 7-19 6-9 21, Davis 1-5 0-0 2, Walls 1-8 2-2 5, Rose 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 17-58 FG, 13-17 FT, 54 TP.

Terre Haute North 9 15 11 17 — 52

Danville 13 15 6 20 — 54

3-point FG – THN 6-18 (P.Michael 3-4, Stewart 1-4, Bell 1-1, A.Michael 1-7), D 7-18 (Reed 2-2, Conaway 1-3, Boyd 1-2, Houpt 1-5, Walls 1-4, Rose 1-2); Rebounds – THN 28 (Bell 6, Stewart 5, Wright 5, Hart 3, Gilbert 3, P.Michael 3), D 26 (Walls 7, Houpt 6, Conaway 5); Steals – THN 5 (P.Michael 3, Stewart 1, Hart 1), D 12 (Conaway 4, Rose 3, Houpt 2, Reed 2, Walls 1); Blocks – THN 3 (Bell 1, Stewart 1, P.Michael 1), D 0; Total Fouls – THN 13, D 15; Fouled out – Stewart.

Next – Terre Haute North (3-4) travels to Mooresville on Dec. 3. Danville (3-1) hosts St. Joseph-Ogden on December 5. 

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