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NH nips CC in two OT, 77-74

NH nips CC in two OT, 77-74
NH nips CC in two OT, 77-74
North Harrison senior guard Kim McMillin sliced to the basket as sophomore Dana Beaven of Corydon Central tried to block the shot. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

If last night’s war between No. 5-ranked North Harrison and No. 13 Corydon Central was any indication of how a meeting in the Scottsburg 3A Sectional next month might pan out, a wise individual would demand tickets ASAP.
Thirty-two minutes of basketball wasn’t enough to decide who was tops in Harrison County girls hoops. Four minutes later, there still wasn’t a winner. Finally, with 37 ticks remaining in the second overtime, senior Liz Geltmaker swished home a three that not only gave her squad a 76-74 lead, but also gave her 1,000 points for her career.
Corydon tried to get another shot off, but Geltmaker came up with a steal on Lady Panther freshman Mindy Savely and was fouled. Geltmaker hit one of two frees to finish with 17 points as the Lady Cats posted a 77-74 victory in front of over 2,100 wild and crazy fans in Ramsey.
“Corydon definitely played a good game,” Geltmaker said. “We came out with a lot of nerves and they came out loose. They got us in a hole and I was getting a little nervous. We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump and finally we stepped up and got over the hump.”
It was North’s fifth straight win over rival Corydon and the 25th consecutive regular season triumph for the state’s most potent offense (74.08 ppg.), which sports a 14-0 mark heading into the home stretch of the season.
Corydon dropped to 13-2 (two losses by a total of five points) and 4-1 in the Mid-Southern Conference.
North moved to 6-0 in the M.S.C. with only Brownstown (7-5), Charlestown (6-13) and Eastern (6-7) standing in the way of an outright title.
In addition to Geltmaker’s 17, classmate and best friend Kim McMillin burned the Lady Panthers (13-2) for 30 points, Tara Miller had 14 points and slew of assists before fouling out with 3:34 left in regulation, Rachel Cannon added six points, Morgan Carr scored six, including four in the first overtime, and Lindsay Shroyer added three in the winning effort.
The much-hyped matchup would probably fall into ESPN “Instant Classic” status: North shot a sizzling 51 percent from the floor and Corydon was even better at 60 percent. The Lady Panthers shot a whopping 71 percent through three periods.
“This was our first good test since November,” North coach Missy Voyles said. “When Corydon came out and shot, they hit everything and it took us a while to settle down.
“This game was very similar to the New Albany-Connersville semistate game a few years ago. In that one, Kennitra Johnson and April McDivitt battled back and fourth and Kennitra would not let New Albany lose. I thought Kim kind of played the role of Kennitra. She stepped up when we needed her to after Tara had fouled out.”
North led just one time in the first period on McMillin’s opening three. Twenty-three seconds later, Corydon senior Sarah Esarey bagged a trey of her own and Colleen Merk followed with a short jumper.
Corydon would maintain a lead for the rest of regulation, pushing it out to as many as 11 by halftime.
North whittled away at the Lady Panthers’ lead in the third frame, making up four points heading into the final eight minutes.
After a Merk free throw, McMillin and Miller paired up for a quick 8-0 run to tie the game at 54 and send the home crowd into a tizzy.
Sophomore Dana Beaven answered the call for Corydon with a solo 5-0 burst.
McMillin sandwiched a two and a three around an old-fashioned trio by Merk. Shroyer knocked down one free throw with 3:12 remaining in regulation to leave North trailing by two, 62-60.
After Corydon missed the front end of a one-and-one, McMillin was able to drain a soft jumper with 15 seconds left to send the contest into the first overtime.
McMillin scored 11 points in the fourth period.
Carr, who stepped up for the Lady Cats in last season’s Jasper 3A Regional opener, got a clutch rebound and got the home team’s first three points on a deuce and free toss. Geltmaker had two free throws to give North its biggest lead at 67-62 with 2:38 remaining.
Esarey dropped in a jumper to trim the lead a bit, but the biggest burst of the game came just a few seconds later.
After making her first free throw, Savely missed the second, which was rebounded by Beaven and put in. Esarey stole the inbounds pass and added two to give Corydon a two-point lead, 69-67.
McMillin came to the rescue again for the Lady Cats with two free throws with :55 remaining.
Merk attempted to get off a shot inside, but Cannon came through with a key block as time expired.
Neither team scored in the first two minutes of O.T. II. Geltmaker finally broke the ice with 2:08 showing with a pair of free throws. Beaven and McMillin swapped baskets to give North a 73-71 lead.
With 54 seconds left, Esarey canned a three from the left side to give Corydon a two-point advantage.
At the other end, Geltmaker responded with a three of her own, which gave her 1,000 points for her career. Corydon’s attempt to run a play in the final seconds was spoiled by Geltmaker, who picked the pocket of Savely at the top of the key.
Corydon was paced by 21 points each from Merk and Beaven, with Beaven grabbing 18 rebounds. Esarey scored 17 with three three-pointers, Julie Hoehn hit two key threes in the game for her six points, Savely scored four and Wolfe had five.
“If you didn’t enjoy playing or watching that game, you can’t enjoy basketball,” Corydon coach Michael Uhl said.
The Lady Panthers were 29 of 48 from the floor (60 percent), 6-13 on threes (46 percent) and thrashed North on the boards, 34-20.
“We stepped up and shot the ball. In the big games when you get open looks you’ve got to hit them. We did fortunately,” Uhl said.
One statistic that finally caught up with the Lady Panthers was turnovers: the squad had 25, including three in the final overtime. The Lady Cats had just 13 for the game.
North Harrison shot 23 of 45 (51 percent), 7-19 on threes (36 percent) and performed well at the charity stripe at 24 of 35. Corydon hit 10 of 18 frees.
The Lady Cats’ second-half rally was due in large part to their field goal shooting. North was 7-12 in the third and 4-7 in the fourth to charge back against Corydon.
North Harrison returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. at West Washington while Corydon Central travels to Floyd Central on Saturday for a noon tip-off.
— Last night’s game will be broadcast on AM-1550 WOCC radio today (Wednesday) at 4:05.

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