University girls fall to 3A No. 10 Beech Grove

Facing its biggest challenge of the year Thursday night, University hung around all night, but ultimately dropped a 52-40 decision at Class 3A No. 10 Beech Grove.
Beech Grove (13-4) controlled the pace early, forcing the Trailblazers (14-4) into early mistakes and opening up a 15-5 lead late in the first quarter. University closed the first quarter on a 5-0 run, though, and opened the second with the same, drawing the game to a 15-15 tie early in the second quarter. The Hornets soon re-gained the lead, 17-15, but a Natalie Nickless 3-pointer gave University its first lead at 18-17.
That would be University’s only lead in the game, though. Beech Grove finished the half with a 4-0 spurt to lead 21-18 at the break, then stretched the run to a 12-0 one, and the lead to 30-18, early in the third quarter.
The Trailblazers clawed the rest of the way, cutting the lead down as far as seven, but just couldn’t get over the hump to truly get back in the game. Beech Grove led 36-25 at the end of the third quarter, and scored twice in the closing seconds to stretch a 48-40 lead to the 52-40 final.
Lindsey Syrek recorded another double-double for the Trailblazers, posting 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nickless’ 3-point shooting efforts helped pace her to a 13-point night, and Lily Snyder pitched in seven. Those three scored 35 of University’s 40 points.
The Trailblazers return to action Saturday looking for their first Pioneer Conference title, as they will host Bethesda Christian at 6 p.m. in the PAAC championship game. The teams, also co-favorites in Sectional 58, have already met twice this season — the Patriots won the first contest in November, while University won on a neutral court last month.