Bennett’s 18 helps NA double-up Lady Cats
The last time New Albany invaded North Harrison ‘ during the Lady Cats run to an undefeated regular season in 2003 ‘ the hosts defeated the Lady Bulldogs by six points, 48-43.
It was a rather uninspired effort from a North squad that was expected to pound its adversary.
Fast forward two years to Thursday night in Ramsey, where again the favored team ‘ this time 11th-ranked (Class 4A) New Albany ‘ didn’t quite play up to snuff against its opponent.
The Lady Bulldogs did manage to double-up North, 48-24, but considering North’s best player ‘ all state candidate Tara Miller ‘ was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury, it wasn’t necessarily a bad night for the Lady Cats.
‘Hey, we shot,’ North coach Missy Voyles said. ‘We haven’t been shooting. I told them before the game I’m tired of them shooting 30 times a game. We were almost to 40 this time.’
New Albany’s Trish Bennett paced her bunch with 19 points, Whitney Todd scored 10 and Indiana All-star candidate Stephanie Lynch was held to eight ‘ including a three-pointer ‘ thanks to the strong defensive play of Rachel Cannon and Stefany Jaso.
The Lady Bulldogs (3-0) rattled off the first nine points of the game ‘ on baskets by Todd, Bennett, Lynch and Corydon Central transfer Mindy Savely ‘ before Morgan Carr put the hosts (1-5) on the board with a three-point play with 4:34 left in the opening period.
Freshman guard Katie Voyles, who saw extended playing time due to a knee injury to Charissa Brooks in North’s loss to Jasper last Tuesday, hit a jumper from the left baseline to set the score at 9-5. With 52 ticks remaining, Cannon dropped home a deuce from the left elbow extended to make it a two-point game.
New Albany’s Ashleigh Holcomb netted a basket at the buzzer to give her club a slim, 11-7 lead after one period of action.
The visitors eventually pushed out to a 17-9 lead in the second thanks to a jumper by Todd.
Later, a jumper by North senior Morgan Carr made it 18-11.
A nice transition play from Voyles to Rachel Cann to Carr for a three-pointer brought the Cats to within four, 18-14, with 1:40 left in the half.
Donica Downs slowed North’s comeback with a goal, and then Lynch bombed a three-pointer over the head of the 5-2 Voyles (Lynch stands 6-3).
That was one of the turning points in the game, Coach Voyles said.
‘Stephanie had Katie standing in front of her, and Katie, being a freshman, didn’t know Stephanie would shoot that. I looked at her and said, ‘I should have told you she would shoot that.’ She kind of grinned,’ she said.
The Lady Bulldogs would slowly inch away in the third period, leading by 14 after three quarters and by 24 when the final horn sounded.
Voyles praised the play of her niece, as well as Carr.
‘She did play all right,’ the Lady Cat coach said. ‘I’ve been on her a lot about being more aggressive and stepping up and doing some things. She’s an extremely intelligent person, so when you tell her something, she will step in and typically do what you try to get her to do.
‘She has to ride home with me everyday and hear me say Liz Geltmaker did this or that and ‘You’re the same size as Geltmaker,’ You should be as aggressive as Geltmaker was. She wouldn’t have passed up that shot.’
‘She has to hear that constantly and is probably tired of hearing that.
‘(Carr) likes to be out on the wing,’ Voyles said. ‘If Lynch is going to guard Cannon and Sizemore has Morgan, then Morgan has an advantage. She has to be willing to go inside when she has a height advantage. She did a couple of times. We had trouble getting it to her in there, but when we did get it to her, she was productive.
Milburn and Carr each finished with eight points, followed by Cannon’s four. Mosier and Voyles scored two apiece.
New Albany swished 7 of 13 from beyond the arc (Bennett was 5-6).
Former Corydon Central guard Mindy Savely, who transferred to New Albany, scored two points and notched a couple of assists.