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Tecumseh ends Waldron's historic run at Jeffersonville Semistate

Waldron’s historic season came to an end Saturday afternoon in Jeffersonville.

Class A, No. 7 Tecumseh sank 12 of 15 free throws over the final three minutes to secure the program’s first state finals appearance with a 54-42 win over Class A, No. 1 Waldron at the Jeffersonville Semistate.

The Mohawks finished 24-2, setting program records for wins to start a season (13), consecutive wins (13) and wins in a season (24).

The final seconds turned emotional for seven seniors who huddled together on the sideline after coming out of the game for the final time. After the game, head coach Anthony Thomas fought back his own emotions now that his coaching career was over.

“I am just very proud of them,” said Thomas, who had already announced his intention to hang up his coaching whistle after this season. “We’ve had a heck of a run this season and only one team in Class A ends their season with a win. We weren’t ready to be done but it wasn’t our day today.”

Tecumseh (19-8) will face No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic (24-4), a 52-46 winner over No. 8 North White (20-7) at the Logansport Semistate.

LCC has won three state championships in girls basketball (2006, 2015, 2016) and is a 12-point favorite over the Braves, who finally established its low-post presence in the second half against Waldron and stayed diligent on defense to hold the Mohawks to 32.7% shooting from the field.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Tecumseh coach Adam Lubbehusen after the game. “Hopefully we’re not done yet and can take care of business next weekend.”

Waldron’s game plan was to stifle the Braves’ ability to work in the low post and dare a team shooting 27% from the 3-point line to take chances. For 16 minutes, the plan worked to perfection.

Tecumseh hit just 1-of-13 shots from beyond the arc in the first half but Waldron was uncharacteristically unprotective of the ball and committed 12 first-half turnovers.

“We had seven in the first quarter and 11 or 12 at halftime and you go in up three … that’s a testament to these kids and what kind of defense they play,” said Thomas.

Both teams played a back-and-forth first quarter but Waldron was comfortable from the arc, hitting half of its first four attempts.

The Mohawks trailed for the first time, 16-14, when Tecumseh All-Star candidate Kaybree Oxley scored in the low post with 4:31 to go in the second quarter.

Nichole Garner quickly erased that lead with a 15-foot jumper and Bella Larrison drained an open 3 to put Waldron back in front, 19-16.

The lead grew to five but Oxley hit a pair of free throws inside the final minute to set the halftime score at 25-22.

“If you go into the half maybe up seven or nine, that allows my kids to take a deep breath,” said Thomas. “We were just kind of out of kilter and didn’t hit (some shots). Then you are trading possessions and the first one to blink is in trouble.”

Despite shooting 26% in the first half, Lubbehusen felt his team was in a good position.

“I thought we played great defense in the first half,” he said. “We went 1-for-13 with the 3s and they were all good shots. I told the kids to stick with it, we will be fine.”

Tecumseh took just a pair of 3s in the second half, instead working through Oxley and Jenna Donohoo.

Oxley scored six of her game-high 23 points in the third quarter and had five rebounds. Donohoo also had six points and three rebounds in the quarter to help Tecumseh take a 34-31 lead at the quarter break.

Pennelope Lemen, Katelyn MacDonald and Oxley opened the fourth quarter with three straight scores from close range to build a 40-31 lead.

All the pressure was now squarely on Waldron.

Mackenzie Shaw splashed a corner 3 with 5:33 to go to cut the lead to 40-34.

The Braves answered back with six straight points and the lead reached double digits for the first time at 46-34.


Waldron's Shelby Fewell gets a shot up and over the outstretched arm of Kaybree Oxley during Saturday's Class A semistate championship game at Jeffersonville High School (Tyson Conrady photos)


Bogemann made a pair of long-range 3s as Waldron put together an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 48-42 but the Braves were too strong down the stretch.

Over the final 49 seconds, Morgan Wilson, Lemen and Karsyn Flowers each sank two free throws to keep the Mohawks at bay.

“I feel awful for them. I hate saying goodbye to them but I am very proud of them,” said Thomas, who closed out his five-year varsity coaching career at 82-37.

Donohoo was the only other Tecumseh player to reach double digits, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Braves shot 1 of 15 from the 3-point line (7%) but were 19-of-25 from the free-throw line (76%).

Bella Larrison led Waldron in her final game with 15 points and six rebounds. She closed out her career with 842 career points to finish sixth on the program’s career scoring list.

Bogemann had nine points, five rebounds and three assists.

Bogemann hit 74 3s this season and also finished in the top 10 on the program’s career scoring list.

Garner had nine points and collected four rebounds and four assists.

Also closing out their Waldron careers were Hadlie Ross (4 points, five rebounds, two assists), Shaw (3 points, 1 rebound), Shelby Fewell (2 points, 2 rebounds) and Hallie Ross.

Waldron entered the season with great expectations following an 18-win season and all but one starter returning to the roster.

The seven seniors and junior Josee Larrison opened the season with 13 straight wins before Tri-West dealt them their first loss, 46-42, in the championship game of Waldron’s holiday tournament.

The program’s first Shelby County Tournament title since 2010 followed 10 days later. A second-straight Mid-Hoosier Conference title was added in the final weeks of the regular season ahead of winning sectional and regional titles.

And with every single win, more fans showed up at the games. Waldron blue and white dominated the gymnasium at the Southwestern Regional and overwhelmed its assigned seating sections at Jeffersonville High School.

“They have always had expectations, good, bad or indifferent and they’ve always played that way,” said Thomas of his roster. “We got that sectional win and it took some of the pressure off of them and maybe allowed them to enjoy a win for the first time in their careers.

“Everybody always wants to know what’s next. There is no more next other than they are set up well to go into life. They are great kids and I am very proud of them. And I am going to miss them.”


Tecumseh 54, Waldron 42

TE: Lemen 1-1 4-4 6, Donohoo 5-11 3-6 13, Flowers 1-7 3-4 5, Oxley 8-13 7-9 23, Wilson 0-5 2-2 2, Heichelbach 1-2 0-0 3, Green 0-1 0-0 0, Macdonald 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 17-42 19-25 54.

WA: Had. Ross 1-4 2-4 4, Shaw 1-6 0-0 3, Bogemann 3-10 0-0 9, Garner 3-8 1-4 9, B. Larrison 7-12 0-0 15, J. Larrison 0-3 0-0 0, Fewell 1-5 0-0 2, Hal. Ross 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-49 3-8 42.


TE (19-8)    9  13  12  20  --  54

WA (24-2)  9  16    6  11  --  42

Three-point field goals: TE 1-15 (Donohoo 0-1, Flowers 0-4, Oxley 0-2, Wilson 0-5, Heichelbach 1-2, Green 0-1), WA 7-19 (Shaw 1-2, Bogemann 3-10, Garner 2-4, B. Larrison 1-2, Fewell 0-1, Hal. Ross 0-1). Rebounds: TE 24 (Lemen 2, Donohoo 8, Flowers 5, Oxley 9), WA 29 (Had. Ross 5, Shaw 1, Bogemann 5, Garner 4, B. Larrison 6, J. Larrison 6, Fewell 2). Assists: TE 7 (Donohoo 1, Flowers 2, Oxley 2, Wilson 2), WA 10 (Had. Ross 2, Bogemann 3, Garner 4, Fewell 1). Steals: TE 3 (Oxley 2, Wilson 1), WA 4 (Had. Ross 1, Bogemann 1, B. Larrison 1, Fewell 1). Blocks: TE 1 (Oxley 1), WA 1 (J. Larrison 1). Total fouls: TE 12, WA 20. Fouled out: Shaw, B. Larrison (WA). Turnovers: TE 8, WA 17.