SOUTH WHITLEY — After a four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday to Rochester, the Whitko (7-7) girls’ basketball team had another tough task ahead Thursday.
The top of the Northeast Hoosier Conference came into South Whitley. State-ranked Norwell (13-1) came in as the third best team in class 3A and showed it against the Lady Wildcats 71-49.
Four Lady Knights went into the night averaging seven points or more.
Three of those players posted in double figures against Whitko. Amanda McAfee led all those scorers with her game-high 19 points coming balanced over four quarters.
Whitko hung with Norwell in the first quarter trailing by a single basket for much of the period.
A 14-8 lead after the first quarter ballooned into a double digit lead by halftime for Norwell.
Taylor Wilson was the Knight leading the way with seven of her 17 points coming the second quarter.
A big offensive quarter for the Knights put 24 points up before halftime. Despite having a good scoring period themselves with 14 points, the Lady ’Cats faced a 16-point deficit at the break 38-22.
A pair of three-pointers by Nicole Slaymaker and Katee Reiff helped Whitko go toe to toe with the Knights in the third quarter.
Norwell went on to outscore Whitko by three points in each of the last two quarters.
Turnovers were Whitko’s downfall with 26 forced by Norwell.
A lopsided loss came with a good night at the free throw line for Whitko going 18-for 24.
The Lady ’Cats had three players in double figures with Karissa Olinske leading them with 13 points. Other scorers were: Rachelle Kessie 10, Micaela Sylvester 10, Cagney Craig 9, Reiff 4, Slaymaker 3.