North Harrison sweeps holiday tournaments
After a string of easily won games, North Harrison had a barn-burner Friday night in the championship game of the Perry Central Holiday Tournament as the Mitchell Lady Jackets came within three points of an upset.
Mitchell coach Ross Simpson knew he had a mountain standing in front of him. After the morning round the skipper was hoping for some divine intervention.
‘Just say a little prayer for us,’ Simpson said after his team beat Crawford County. ‘We’re going to play our game. They’re tough. We’re just going to go out and battle as hard as we can.’
North Harrison got an early lead, but Mitchell quickly tied the game at eight. Morgan Carr put the Lady Cats up by three, but Emily Jones countered with a deuce. With just over a second left in the period, Tara Miller drilled a triple, to give North Harrison a 14-10 lead.
Elizabeth Castrale and Amanda Nolan put together a 7-2 burst to put Mitchell back on top by one early in the second period, 17-16.
Miller countered with a triple and free throw, but Nolan got a three and deuce, and Mitchell was on top again. Carr and Amanda Hardin pushed North Harrison back on top again, but Kaci Massey hit inside for another Mitchell lead.
Miller was there again for the Lady Cats in the final two minutes with four points to put the Lady Cats back on top by three, a lead which they took to the locker room at halftime.
Voyles said the tight game was a simple matter of her team taking Mitchell too lightly.
‘I think they honestly came out here all relaxed and goofy and thinking they were going to beat this team by 30 without trying,’ she said. ‘I went back and told them this was going to be a good team and they were, ‘OK.’ ‘
Voyles said her list of things to talk about at halftime was plenty long.
‘Spectating on defense, not communicating and rotating like they should have, poor decisions on offense, not executing on offense, reaching, grabbing instead of playing good position and getting beat down the middle,’ she said. ‘It’s not the smartest game of basketball we’ve played.’
Jones drilled a triple to begin the second half and tie the game again. North Harrison then made a 6-0 run, as Rachel Cannon worked the paint and Lindsay Shroyer found some range on the perimeter.
Kaiti Beitler scored inside, then Cannon was called for her fourth foul. Beitler nailed a triple, and the Lady Cat lead was cut to just one.
Amanda Nolan tied the game with a free throw after a foul on Hardin.
Cassie Milburn got a triple to go down, and Miller went inside to give the Lady Cats a five-point cushion. That was quickly deflated, however, as Mitchell responded with an 8-0 run to lead by three, 43-40 with 2:47 to go in the game.
Mitchell kept the advantage through the next two minutes. Massey got a deuce inside, then Simpson jumped across the floor calling time-out, but it was a call that was not seen by the officials. With 30 to go, Miller swished a three to tie the game at 49.
‘I could not have jumped at the officials trying to call a time-out more than I did before Miller hit that three,’ Simpson said. ‘They have no idea to look over at the bench in the late part of the game that maybe the coach wants to call a time-out. That’s the sign of a good official and a bad official right there, one that can do that kind of thing.’
Mitchell got its time-out after the Miller three with 29.2 seconds to go, but turned the ball over when play resumed.
Miller hit in the paint and got a free throw, to put North Harrison up by three. The Lady Jackets got one more chance with 8.6 seconds left, but turned the ball over again, allowing North Harrison to go on to the 52-49 win.
Miller led the Lady Cats with 23 points, and Cannon tossed in 13. North Harrison hit 7 of 15 free throws, and made eight turnovers.
Beitler led Mitchell with 15 points, and Nolan hit for 12. Mitchell hit 8 of 14 free throws, but committed 15 turnovers.
‘I don’t know what Mitchell’s percentages were, but they shot the ball awfully well,’ Voyles said. ‘Their inside game was a lot better than it was this morning. I don’t know if I should credit that to our poor defense or their offense.’
Voyles said it was probably a good time for her team to have a close game, after having several easy ones.
‘It’s kind of good, because we haven’t had a close one for a while,’ she said. ‘We had to stop and think and execute and do some things at the end to win a ball game. It’s good to see we can do that, come out on top like we should.’
Miller pours in 42 as NH cruises
North Harrison junior Tara Miller came just three points short of a North Harrison scoring record in the opening round of the Perry Central Holiday Tournament, pouring in 42 points and hitting eight 3-pointers, to lead the Lady Cats to an opening round win over Perry Central.
Mitchell, meanwhile, nosed out Crawford County by just two points in the second game of the early session that came down to the final seconds.
While most in the Perry Central gymnasium might have had a case of the ‘sleepies’ on the day after Christmas, North Harrison’s Miller was wide awake and ready to play as the Lady Cats began their game against the Lady Commodores. Miller knocked down four triples in the first period as the Lady Cats took a 22-5 lead.
‘I’m used to playing in the mornings,’ Miller said after the game. ‘I did it all the time in AAU.’
Others got in the scoring column in the second period for the Lady Cats, but Miller continued to roll, pumping in 10 more points, including two more triples, in the quarter. By halftime, the North Harrison lead was 40-14, with Miller collecting 24 points and hitting six triples.
Even with the Lady Cat bench on the floor, North Harrison continued its rout. The North Harrison defense kept Perry totally contained, as the Lady Cats went on to an 80-29 win.
Voyles said her star player most likely would have broken the school’s single-game scoring record had it not been for her fouling out with 2:38 left in the game.
‘I know she was mad because she fouled out,’ Voyles said. ‘She was going to get one more shot and she was done anyway.’
Besides Miller’s 42, Rachel Cannon contributed 12 to the Lady Cat total.
North Harrison canned 10 of 19 free throws and committed just nine turnovers.
‘She was three points from the record,’ Voyles said of Miller. ‘I had to make her shoot a couple of times. When we get ahead like that, she’s very passive and wanting to pass the ball. I’m like, ‘I don’t know if the record is important to you or not, but you’re close. You’re only going to get so much time out there, so I’m going to give you a shot at it.’ She’s got plenty of time to break that record.’
Lindsey Ransome led Perry Central with 13 points. The Lady Commodores hit 12 of 18 free throws but committed 26 turnovers.
As far as which team Voyles would watch more in the Crawford County-Mitchell game, the Lady Cat coach said both would have to be watched.
‘I’ll just watch them both and see what works for them,’ Voyles said. ‘Probably a little more on Mitchell, because I know who the star on (Crawford County) is.’
Members of the Perry Central All-Tournament Team were: Tara Miller, Lindsay Shroyer, Amanda Hardin, Rachel Cannon (North Harrison); Bianca Haverstock, Kim Presley (Crawford County); Lindsay Ransome (Perry Central); Kaiti Beitler, Amanda Nolan (Mitchell).