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Super seniors

January 16, 2018 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY — The thought of his seniors’ impact on his program almost brought Michigan City head coach Mike Megyese to tears after a 31-point second half sparked his team to a key 52-45 DAC victory on Senior Night against the Valparaiso Vikings on Monday night.

"We know there’s a few seniors that didn’t play or don’t play nearly as much as others, but they were all on the bench cheering on their teammates, coaching their teammates and in the locker room, they were as happy as they could be," Megyese said.

"That’s a sign of a team that’s there for each other and I couldn’t any prouder of my seniors. They showed what senior leadership is tonight. I saw what was going on. They care about this basketball team."

Janicia Anderson’s 14-point, 14-rebound double-double (along with three blocks) was a strong compliment to Hannah Noveroske’s 18-point, 14-rebound performance with nine blocks.

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"We played like a team as we should and we played to what’s expected of us," Anderson said. "That was one of the best defensive games we played. We usually do that, but at the same time, this is better than the rest of them."

As proud as Megyese was of his two "big dogs" and to borrow Anderson’s words, the Wolves played a game of monkey-see, monkey-do with the bigs’ performance providing energy for the rest of the roster, it was his seniors, specifically Shellaya Miller and Farrah Goodall that brought out some strong emotions from Megyese.

"You didn’t play a minute in the entire second half and I saw you out there cheering on your teammates," Megyese said to Goddall after the game. "I saw what you’re doing out there. You cared more about the team than anything else. I’m so proud of you for that."

Miller canned a big triple for the Wolves in the fourth quarter to make it 35-31 Wolves, which helped jolt the Wolves’ 10-0 run to start the final frame and force not one, but two timeouts from Vikings head coach Candy Wilson. Goodall got a rare start on Monday night and took just one shot attempt (a make in the first quarter), but Megyese was proud of his senior duo and the other quartet of seniors — Marissa Workman, Britney Adams, Jenna Stevenson and Molly Heath — for their contributions on and off the floor.

"Their leadership over the last four years has been great," Wolves assistant coach Dan Libertowski said. "They’ve stepped up, and over the summer is when they really step it up. They turn it up and they set the pace and the tempo for the season’s going to be like and their drive, passion and push is what makes today today."

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After the Wolves slipped out of the gate with an eight-point, seven-turnover first quarter that saw them trailing 15-8 after the first quarter, the Wolves answered with a 13-point second frame, including a late bucket from Noveroske to knot the game up at 21 heading into the locker rooms. The two teams almost played to a stalemate, but the Wolves eked out an 11-10 advantage to take a 32-31 lead into the final period of the night.

On top of the two bigs and his seniors leading the way on the floor and on the bench, Megyese’s ace in the hole on Monday night was junior Joani Ashley. The Wolves haven’t had consistent guard play this season, but Ashley picked a great time for her best performance of the season and career on Monday, according to Megyese.

Ashley scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in the second half alone, including a couple miraculous shots in the paint that really got the crowd out of their seats during the 20-point fourth quarter that finished off the Vikings.

Reach Michael Whitlow at mwhitlow@thenewsdispatch.com or (219) 214-4169. Follow him on Twitter @couldbelikemike.

MICHIGAN CITY 52, VALPARAISO 45

Valparaiso`15`6`10`14`—`45

Michigan City`8`13`11`20`—`52

Valparaiso

Ari Gerdt 9 7-14 14, Taylor Zimmerman 6 2-2 9, Shea Pendleton 8 2-3 8, Taelynn Oelling 8 1-3 7, Sarah Douglas 5 0-0 5, Jessica Gast 6 0-0 2. Totals — 47 12-22 45.

Michigan City

Hannah Noveroske 15 0-2 18, Janicia Anderson 14 4-6 14, Joani Ashley 6 0-0 8, Shellaya Miller 4 0-0 7, Molly Heath 3 0-0 3, Farrah Goodall 1 0-0 2, Totals — 43 4-8 52.

3-point shooting — Valparaiso 5-18, Michigan City 1-5. Rebounds — Valparaiso 21, Michigan City 40. Assists — Valparaiso 8, Michigan City 11. Blocks — Valparaiso 5, Michigan City 12. Steals — Valparaiso 10, Michigan City 7. Turnovers — Valparaiso 15, Michigan City 22. Fouls — Valparaiso - 8, Michigan City - 19.