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Fall sports seasons end with championship tilts

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AND AGAIN: Karli Miller became the second-straight Maconaquah runner to reach the IHSAA Cross Country State Finals in October. The sophomore joined Braves graduate Madison Winegardner, who ran in the 2017 finals, in competing at the Laverne Gibson Championship Cross Country Course against the best in the state of Indiana.
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RUMBLINGS: Maconaquah’s football team broke two long-standing postseason droughts on its way to reaching a sectional final. The Braves won in the postseason for the first time since 2002 and reached a sectional final for the first time since 1999.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Fall sports in Miami County managed to reach November for the first time since 2014 but after Friday, athletes will now have to zero in on the winter sports seasons that are close to kicking into full gear.

Here, the Peru Tribune looks at the final moments of the fall season and the postseason fates of the last few teams left in the month of October.

Team of the Month: Maconaquah Football (9-3, 3-1 TRC South (Third Place), Sectional Finalists)

Though the Braves were unable to cap their season with a conference or sectional title, the team made serious moves under first-year coach Austin Colby by breaking two long streaks of postseason ignominy while also matching the highest win total in school history.

After defeating Rochester in the third-place game in the TRC Crossover, Maconaquah notched its first sectional win since 2002 over John Glenn and reached the final for the first time this millennium after defeating Tippecanoe Valley, eventually falling to Mishawaka Marian in the sectional final.

Individual Recognition: Karli Miller

The Maconaquah sophomore was the second-straight Brave to reach the IHSAA Cross Country State finals.

Miller used a 23rd-place finish at the New Prairie Semi-State to be the ninth of 10 individual runners to advance to the finals, finishing the final race of the season in 112th place in a time of 20:10.0.

Football

North Miami (3-7, 2-2 TRC South (Sixth Place)) saw its three-game win streak and eventually its season ended with late surges by visiting opponents in the final two weeks of the season.

A close-run game against Northfield in the TRC Crossover through three quarters dissipated as the Norsemen pounded out three fourth quarter touchdowns to finish fifth in the TRC while Tri-County turned a second close game into a near-20 point win with a late surge of scores to see of the Warriors in the sectional opener.

Peru (0-10, 0-4 TRC South (Tenth Place)) could not find the same formula that made its first game with Manchester a nail-bitter as the Squires routed the Tigers in the TRC Crossover.

Conference runner-up Tippecanoe Valley eventually wore down Peru in the sectional opener, keeping the Tigers out of the win column for the first time since 2011.

Volleyball

Maconaquah (23-12, 8-1 TRC) advanced to the Western sectional final after picking up a hard-fought four-set win over Peru in the opening round and a sweep of West Lafayette in the sectional semifinal.

The Braves put up a better fight against Northwestern than in the first meeting, taking the third set off the Tigers, but missed out on a sectional title in a four-set loss.

Peru (9-23, 2-7 TRC) finally got off the snide in conference play but couldn’t make a move in the postseason yet as the team was paired off with Maconaquah.

The Tigers did not get off to the best start in the match but extended the outing with the Braves after picking up the third set, eventually falling in four-sets in the intra-county sectional matchup.

North Miami (6-25, 1-8 TRC) struggled to get any momentum going in the last two months of the season, only grabbing a late win against Whitko before hosting sectional play in the final week.

Rochester would be the team that ended the season for the Warriors again, knocking the hosts out in three sets to advance to the final, where the Zebras fell to Wabash.

Individual Results (Cross Country, Boys’ Tennis)

Three other runners advanced with Miller to the New Prairie Semi-State as Maconaquah’s Haley Salinas and Sam Bourne and North Miami’s Nicky Scher reached the penultimate weekend of the cross country calendar.

Scher finished 58th overall in the girls’ race in a time of 20:41.4. Salinas and Bourne both finished 101st in their respective races with the former crossing the line in 21:20.5 and the latter in 17:47.4

Cole Borden finally met his match upon reaching the LaPorte Boys’ Tennis Individual Regional, matching up in the opening round with a fellow unbeaten in Westview’s Kurtis Davis.

After a tightly contested three sets, Davis was able to oust Borden from the tournament 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, ending Borden’s season with a 22-1 record.