The week between Christmas and New Years has become one of the most exciting weeks in the high school basketball schedule as all the Grant County rival schools take the court to battle for the Grant 4 Championship.
The Eastbrook Lady Panthers are starting to own this tournament as they claimed their second consecutive championship on Wednesday night with a 43-25 win over Mississinewa. The title is their third in the last four years.
Abbie Gressley led the Panthers with 17 points and Courtney Haynes chipped in 10 in the victory, but the real story was the pressure defense that gave up only 25 points to the Indians while forcing 25 turnovers. Following the game, Eastbrook senior, Kaley Kitts, was named the tournament’s WBAT Sportmanship Award winner.
The Lady Panthers advanced to the championship game with a hard-fought victory over Oak Hill in the semi-final on Wednesday morning, 52-45. Haynes and Gressley again led the Panthers in scoring with 18 and 17 points, respectively. The Lady Panthers have posted 8 wins against 4 losses as they head into the second half of the season. Eastbrook returns to action on January 5 as they host the Delta Eagles.
The boys team came into the Grant 4 on Tuesday riding the momentum of an upset win over Elwood the previous week. Their hot shooting continued through the first half of their semi-final match up against Madison-Grant as the Panthers jumped out to a 27-20 lead midway through the second quarter.
Unfortunately, Madison-Grant’s veteran roster gradually wore down the young Panthers as the Argylls rallied back for a 68-58 victory. Cole Kennedy led Eastbrook with 15 points. Ryan Mansbarger and Jonathon Irwin each added 13. The Panthers were defeated by Mississinewa Tuesday evening in the consolation game by a score of 55-42.
Eastbrook’s boys have posted two victories through the first half of the season and hit the court again on January 5 against Muncie Burris.
Pictures of Grant 4 semi-final action are posted in the photo galleries on this website.