Canterbury High School's girls basketball team will get the chance to defend its state title.
Canterbury beat Lafayette Central Catholic 74-50 in the Class A Crown Point Semistate on Saturday to earn its fifth state finals trip in six years. Canterbury, the defending Class A champ, has won four of the last five titles. Due to the new IHSAA success rule, Canterbury will move up to Class 2A next season.
The Cavaliers (24-3) will play Vincennes Rivet (22-4) for the 2013 Class A title at 10:30 a.m. March 2 in Terre Haute for the state title. Rivet beat Southwestern (Shelbyville) 58-50 in their semistate game. Canterbury beat Rivet for the title in 2010 when the games were played at Memorial Coliseum.
"Everyone was very excited and we're real blessed to have the opportunity to play for a state championship again," coach Wayne Kreiger said. "It wasn't just go out there and hope we made it. This was a very, very important part of what their goals were for this year. They had an understanding of what we needed to do to get there, and when everybody's on the same page, it makes it a lot easier."
Bailey Farley led Canterbury with 17 points on Saturday. Darby Maggard scored 16, Kindell Fincher 15, Aaliyah Gaines 12 and Katherine Smith 12.
"I felt really good that we ended up with five in double figures again," Kreiger said. "That makes us real tough to defend. If we can keep that mentality, that's where we want to be."
Canterbury had a 23-point lead dwindle to nine points in the third quarter, but seized control again late in the quarter and into the fourth quarter.
"We went to a little bit more aggressive defensive posture and used our transition game," Kreiger said. "We rebounded well and got out and were able to beat them down the floor. When we got in the half court, we were able to break them down."