CONNERSVILLE — One of Mt. Vernon’s foremost defensive players, Olivia Coleman was desperately needed for her shooting Tuesday.
The junior guard/forward scored a game-high 21 points to lift the returning state champion Marauders to a 45-39 victory over Greenfield-Central in the 4A Sectional 9 quarterfinal.
Coleman supplied MV’s lone consistent offense, hitting the team’s only three field goals of the first 11 minutes of action as G-C surged ahead 20-7. After the Mt. Vernon (16-4) defense finally took hold, Coleman kept finding the bucket, including the go-ahead points to give MV a 39-38 lead it never relinquished with three minutes remaining.
The Marauders, a former 3A squad competing in 4A for the first time, survived to face Connersville (11-10) Friday in the first semifinal.
“She’s probably the kid who buys into the whole game the most,” MV coach Julie Shelton said of Coleman, who leads in MV in rebounds and steals and ranks second in assists. “Wants to rebound, wants to guard, wants to share the ball. Very unselfish.
“Games likes this, I’m like, ‘Hey kid, come on, we need some shots,’” Shelton added with a laugh. “Just a great, great kid.”