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Lady Cats fall short in ‘Pressure Cooker’

Lady Cats fall short in ‘Pressure Cooker’
Lady Cats fall short in ‘Pressure Cooker’
North Harrison sophomore guard Lindsay Shroyer (21) takes a shot in the paint over Scottsburg's Ginna Napier (22) and teammate Rachel Cannon, left, in Saturday night's Mid-Southern Conference matchup. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

They don’t call it the “Pressure Cooker” for nothing.
Scottsburg’s Charles E. Meyer Arena is probably one of the hardest places to play basketball in Indiana. It’s hot, it’s old, it’s dark, and it’s loud. It doesn’t help that the home teams are pretty good, either.
So when her team jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first quarter, North Harrison coach Missy Voyles knew her squad better not let its guard down.
Eventually, it did. And Scottsburg made the Lady Cats pay.
After Tara Miller hit two free throws to lift North to a 29-21 advantage with 1:39 left in the first half, freshman Trisha Bennett bombed a three-pointer from 23-feet. Just a few ticks later, she had a steal and lay-in, and 11 seconds after that, fellow freshman Shelley Wallace had a steal and another basket to bring Scottsburg to within four, 29-25.
“The final minute of the first half, I felt, was the difference in the game. It was a definite mental meltdown on our part. We had people taking the ball out that weren’t supposed to do it. That messed up the press offense. I had upperclassmen committing unforced turnovers. You can’t have that and win big ball games on the road,” Voyles said.
Bennett and classmate Kristin Edwards came out of the break on fire, with Bennett dropping in 10 points and a pair of threes, and Edwards marking two treys as the Warriorettes rallied to take the lead at the end of the period, 53-49.
The three-point barrage continued into the fourth quarter as Bennett and sophomores Ashley Chasteen and Ginna Napier scorched the nets from downtown. With 2:41 left and the Lady Cats trailing 63-56, Kim McMillin netted a pair of free throws and followed the effort with a field goal at the 1:09 mark, to make it 63-60. North freshman Tara Miller sank a pair of free ones with 35 seconds left to bring the visitors within one. The Lady Cats fouled Edwards on the inbounds and she missed the front end of the one-and-one.
North freshman Rachel Cannon grabbed the rebound and passed off to Liz Geltmaker, who raced the ball up court. She passed off to the team’s leading scorer, McMillin, who had a wide-open jumper from six feet on the right baseline. The ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of Geltmaker, who raced out beyond the arc, faked around a defender and drove to the basket for an uncontested lay-up. Again, the shot missed, and Hannah Stivers came up with the ball for the Warriorettes. She was immediately fouled, but she hit both frees with two seconds left to seal the win, 65-62.
“Of course, if I’m going to win or lose on a last-second shot, I want the ball in Kim or Liz’s hands. They had good looks at the basket, both from under six feet. Of course, I can’t ask for any more than that. However, if we would have put some free throws in, then we wouldn’t have been in that position,” Voyles said.
The Lady Cats went 19 of 33 from the charity stripe.
Bennett led her team with 22 points and six three-pointers. A trio of Scottsburg players also reached double-digits in scoring: Napier had 15, Stivers 10, and Edwards 11.
For the Lady Cats — who had just five turnovers in the second half after 14 in the first — McMillin was 9-11 from the line and scored 22 points with eight rebounds and three steals. Geltmaker made out with 17 points on four treys, and Miller packed in 14 points with seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Lindsay Shroyer also had a good floor game with six points, five assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
Voyles said the hot-shooting Warriorettes were a tough team to defend, not necessarily in matchup problems but because they were shooting so well.
“My first thought after the game was that we should have gone man-to-man sooner. However, after watching the tape, I don’t think it would have helped,” Voyles admitted.
“I had a defensive player standing on the 3-point line right in front of her. (Bennett) is so quick that I don’t think we would have been playing her any tighter in a man. She is going to be a great player. I’m not going to take anything away from Bennett or Edwards. They are both excellent point guards with great offensive moves, and they just play so hard. Hustle can cure many ails.”
Despite the Mid-Southern Conference loss, an insightful Voyles still thinks her team has a shot for the M.S.C. crown.
“Conference, I think, is still pretty open. Scottsburg is a young team. Young teams tend to get upset occasionally, and I don’t think they are going to hit threes like that every night, even though they are great shooters,” North’s coach said.
“I would hope this loss would fire (my team) up. If it doesn’t, then I would be pretty disappointed. If we don’t learn from this loss and step up our play and try to improve on some things, then my team isn’t as competitive as I thought they were.”
North Harrison hosts Silver Creek tonight (Wednesday). The JV game begins at 6 p.m. and the varsity contest should tip off at 7:30 in a Mid-Southern Conference battle.

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