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See Brick City: NA edges NH, 41-32

See Brick City: NA edges NH, 41-32
See Brick City: NA edges NH, 41-32
North Harrison junior all-state candidate Tara Miller (22) shows off her picture-perfect form as Trish Bennett of New Albany closed in on defense. Miller knocked down this three-pointer and finished with 15 points in the narrow loss. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

The girls basketball teams from North Harrison and New Albany added their construction expertise to an already-renovated New Albany High School last Thursday night. The two clubs added brick after brick and mortar shot after mortar shot in the gymnasium, with the host Lady Bulldogs stumbling their way past North, 41-32.
Neither club shot better than 35 percent from the floor.
‘I thought I was coaching in a junior varsity game,’ New Albany coach Dave Rarick said. ‘I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the score and realized that’s the kind of score you have in a junior varsity game. I think both teams had an off-night.’
Credit for the frigid shooting should also be given to the defenses of both clubs. New Albany’s goal was to shut down North’s all-state candidate guard Tara Miller, who came into the contest averaging just over 20 points a game. For the Lady Cats, the objective was to slow New Albany’s inside-outside attack of junior guard Trish Bennett and 6-3 classmate Stephanie Lynch.
Miller was held scoreless in the first half but erupted for 15 of her team’s 20 second-half points. Bennett scored 17, with Lynch adding eight. That was the difference in the ball game.
‘We did a great job on Bennett for a while, and then we’d lose her. We’d lose her in a half-court set, when you shouldn’t. You have to recognize where that shooter is. When you are double-teaming Lynch at the three-point line ‘ not just guarding, but double-teaming ‘ and you are leaving Bennett standing on the wing, that’s a problem. And we did that more than once.’
The Lady Cats (3-2) actually opened the game with a 5-2 lead on a goal by Morgan Carr and a three-pointer by Cassie Milburn. New Albany (3-0) countered with a 7-0 spurt as Lynch knocked in two free throws and a deuce around a three-pointer by teammate Amanda Miller.
There would be just two field goals over the final 2:25 of the period as North’s Lindsay Shroyer hit a trey and New Albany’s Kim Hardesty banked one home at the horn for an 11-8 Lady Bulldog lead.
The first four minutes of the second period turned out to be a stretch of futility by both clubs. Stefany Jaso finally broke the scoreless drought for the Lady Cats, but it was her team’s only field goal of the quarter.
Bennett answered with a long-range three-pointer and a steal and lay-in for a 16-10 lead. Shroyer and Carr each hit one free throw in the final three minutes of the half. Michele Sizemore hit a short jumper and Bennett drained her second triple of the contest for a 21-12 advantage at the intermission.
Tara Miller caught fire three minutes into the second half. She hit a 12-footer to trigger a 12-0 run by the Lady Cats. Along the way she buried two three-pointers, one of which returned North the point, 22-21. She had another goal for a 24-21 Lady Cat lead.
Bennett came to her club’s rescue with two more threes, and Milburn sank two charity tosses as New Albany retained its advantage at the end of the third, 27-26.
North Harrison, which shot a blazing 5-11 in the third period, returned to its horrid aim in the final eight minutes, hitting just one of nine attempts from the floor.
Meanwhile, New Albany heated up to shoot 6-for-9 in the period, including a three-pointer by Miller with 5:35 left that Voyles called a back-breaker.
‘That did it for us, I think, Miller’s NBA three-pointer. Ashley (Haub) was standing three inches on the other side of the line when she shot it,’ Voyles said.
Miller’s bomb was part of a 12-1 run by the Lady ‘Dogs over the last six minutes that put the game away.
The Lady Cats were just 10 of 41 from the field, and New Albany was 16 of 48. New Albany barely out-rebounded the visitors, 35-33, but committed two more turnovers, 17-15. The hosts got to the line just six times, hitting three, while North Harrison sank eight of 15 attempts.
Tara Miller finished with 15 points and scored all but five of her team’s second-half points. Lindsay Shroyer scored six, Cassie Milburn had five, and Morgan Carr put in three points.
After Bennett’s game-high 17, Lynch scored eight and Amanda Miller had six points.
The Lady Cats travel to Elizabeth tonight (Wednesday) to play South Central and then host Floyd Central Saturday evening.