Lady Vikings don’t mind getting physical

By Michael Ullery

February 19, 2014

By Josh Brown

Sports Editor

TIPP CITY — Miami East’s Trina and Ashley Current know what full contact means.

“At the beginning of the season, we had one of the boys players (Braxton Donaldson) get out those football pads that you use to hit and shove people with, and we had him pushing and hitting us while we tried to hit layups around the basket,” Ashley Current said. “And yesterday, we had him get them out again to help prepare for this game.”

“The first time he hit me was pretty weak, so I said, ‘Man up!’” Trina Current said. “The next time he hit me, he knocked me down. After that, it was on.”

And after all that, nothing the Anna Rockets could possibly do could knock the Vikings’ “Twin Towers” off their game.

Both twin sisters posted double-doubles Thursday night, combining to score as many points as Anna and outrebound the Rockets team on their own, and the Vikings (23-1) avenged two straight regional tournament postseason defeats against Anna with a convincing 64-48 victory in the Division III sectional championship game at Tippecanoe High School.

Trina Current finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and three assists and Ashley Current finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists despite being hit, hacked and hammered every time either one touched the ball in the paint.

“I feel like it’s a little easier to finish with contact,” Ashley Current said. “We’re just so used to it. When there’s no contact, I’m thinking ‘where is it?’”

It was easy to find Thursday night — and in the end, in did nothing to help Anna (15-10).

After the score was tied 11-11 to end the first quarter, the Rockets claimed an early 16-11 lead in the second. But Ashley Current scored inside and then set up Trina for a bucket-and-the-foul, tying the score at 16-16. After a short jumper briefly gave the lead back to the Rockets, Trina Current took control, scoring the next eight straight points to give the Vikings a decent lead, and a bucket by Ashley made it 26-18 at the half.

“They’re just special kids,” Miami East coach Preston Elifritz said of the Current sisters. “They finish with such touch and finesse around the basket, something you don’t see often out of big post players, they do a lot with their size and they run the floor and handle the ball well, which surprises a lot of people. But I appreciate them more for the things they do off the floor, the way they take pride in their preparation and work so hard. They set a great example with their work ethic.

“Anna’s pressure was very good early on and forced us into some silly turnovers, but once we settled down we got into our gameplan — which was get the ball inside.”

Trina scored 11 of her 13 first-half points in the second quarter then added 10 more in the third quarter as the Vikings stretched the lead out to 48-26. The lead grew to as big as 56-28 in the fourth before Anna began forcing turnovers and hitting 3s — four of them in the fourth — to make the final more respectable.

But nothing the Rockets could do slowed the Currents down.

Miami East outrebounded Anna 40-14 on the night, with the Currents combining for 23 of those. Emily Kindell added six points and hit the Vikings’ only 3, while Angie Mack and Samantha Skidmore both scored four points. Ellie Gearhart added two points and Renee DeFord chipped in three rebounds, four steals and four assists.

Anna had defeated the Vikings 58-32 in the regional final two years ago on its way to a state runner-up finish, then last year the Rockets beat the Vikings 62-52 in the regional semis on the way to a state title.

It marked the fourth straight sectional title and district berth for Miami East. The Vikings advance to face either Mariemont or Reading in the district title game at 11 a.m. March 1 at Springfield High School, in search of their third straight district title.

“We’ve never been ‘friends’ with Anna,” Trina Current said, making quotation marks with her fingers. “It’s just nice to go out and beat a quality team.”

“Any sectional title is special,” Elifritz said when asked if it was more special to do it against Anna. “We knew the girls were pumped up for this, but anytime you win a game like this, it’s special. The girls just got done what needed to be done.”

Even if they had to take a beating to do it.

Miami East — 64

Jessica Barlage 0-0-0, Angie Mack 2-0-4, Samantha Skidmore 2-0-4, Rian Kingrey 0-0-0, Marley Roberts 0-0-0, Katelyn Gardella 0-0-0, Ellie Gearhart 0-2-2, Renee DeFord 0-0-0, Emily Kindell 2-1-6, Abby Hawkins 0-0-0, Ashley Current 8-1-17, Trina Current 12-7-31. Totals: 26-11-64.

Anna — 48

Sarah Bettinger 0-0-0, Avery Bensman 6-2-17, Chelsea Kerns 3-0-6, Nicole Barhorst 4-1-10, Holly Boyd 0-0-0, Cayla Bensman 4-0-9, Ellen Fogt 0-0-0, Kennedy Glover 3-0-6, Claire Spicer 0-0-0. Totals: 20-3-48.

Score By Quarters

ME11 26 48 64

Anna11 18 26 48

3-point goals: Miami East — Kindell. Anna — A. Bensman 3, Barhorst, C. Bensman.

Records: Miami East 23-1. Anna 15-10.

Contact Josh Brown at (937) 440-5251 or jbrown@civitasmedia.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.