For The Tribune
Among the fans celebrating Crothersville High School’s first sectional championship in school history Saturday night was Dan Wright.
Wright, who was girls’ basketball head coach from 1998 to 2005, was overcome by emotion like every fan in the gymnasium of Orleans High School.
The Tigers had defeated West Washington 72-69 for the Class A Sectional 61 title.
“It’s awesome — it’s almost unbelievable,” Wright said. “We had always been the bridesmaid but never the bride. Now we’re there.”
Fran Schill, who was the school’s second girls’ basketball coach (1980-87) said, “Our program is real good now. It is a great night, first time ever for boys or girls.”
Schill’s great-granddaughter is Tigers senior Katrina Christian, who led the team in scoring this season and is the school’s all-time leader for the girls for points in a game, season and career.
He said Christian broke some records held by girls he coached. Sarah Turner held the single-game scoring record of 38 points, and Christian topped that number this season with 39 against Trinity Lutheran. Christian tied Turner’s single-game rebound mark with 23 against New Washington her sophomore season.
Christian has moved into the No. 2 position in career scoring among Jackson County girls. She has 1,634 points, and Seymour graduate Amanda Moore is no. 1 at 1,687.
George Speigelhalder, who was head coach of the CHS girls from 1991 to 1997 said, “It’s just an indication of what everyone used to say about class basketball: It changed everything. I was all for it, but it never happened while I was there. It’s been a long, long time coming.”
The Tigers broke the school record for wins in a season with their 19th victory in the sectional final. The 1955-56 boys team won 18 games.
Crothersville graduate Kylie Hensley, who is the daughter of current head coach Kevin Hensley, recalled the near misses she had while playing for the Tigers.
She played on the 2007-08 and 2008-09 teams and reached the sectional championship games but was not able to cut down the nets. Those two teams held the former girl’s school record for wins in a season with 17 until the 2016-17 team broke that mark.
She was a senior the first year her dad was head coach.
“I graduated in 2010, and he was head coach my senior year,” Kylie said. “This is just amazing, because it’s the first sectional in school history, and I’m so proud that my sister (Piper) is on the team and that my dad is the one that helped bring it to the school.
“It was a great year for girls’ basketball at Crothersville,” she added.
Kylie held the school record for 3-point baskets in a season until Piper broke it this year.