FC outguns Lady Panthers as Batliner tops 1,000 points
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders allowed visiting Corydon Central only two field goals in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Lady Panthers for a 59-48 Saturday afternoon win. It was also a milestone day for Floyd senior Emily Batliner, who broke the 1,000-point mark for her career.
‘I’m just really proud of the way our kids handled themselves in the fourth quarter,’ Floyd coach Joe Voelker said. ‘They could have folded, and probably in past years, we would have folded. They just did a nice job of playing with a lot of confidence and playing with some poise.’
‘They’re on a roll right now and playing really well,’ Corydon coach Larry Ragland said. ‘They did what they needed to do to win.’
There were a lot of hot hands on the floor in the first half. After Corydon took the initial lead, Brigid Morrisey drilled a three for a Floyd advantage followed by another from Rachel Martinson.
Corydon’s Bridgett Decker got one of those back from downtown, but Abigail Hoskins scored inside for a 10-7 Floyd lead. Mackenzie Dyer quickly answered with back-to-back three-balls for a 13-10 Corydon advantage.
In the last minute, Floyd’s Jessica Whittaker also went downtown and both teams were tied at 13 after one quarter.
Jenna Keinsley put Corydon up by two to start the second period, but Angela Zipp fired from downtown for a brief Floyd edge.
Dyer fired her third three-ball of the half to put Corydon back on top, but another tie came when Bailey Hubert scored inside, the game notched at 18. That was the beginning of a 11-0 Floyd run, the Lady Highlanders taking a 27-18 lead.
Dyer surrounded four free throws around a Hoskins deuce to close the gap to seven, but Martinson banged home a three-ball with two seconds left to send Floyd to the locker room with a 32-22 lead.
‘They didn’t give us a lot of looks, so we had to take a three,’ Voelker said. ‘The thing was, I thought our kids did a good job making the defense work and shift from one side to the other and back before we took a three. A month ago we would have taken the first pass down the line and chucked it.’
Corydon made a big charge in the third period. The Lady Panthers took the ball inside for half of their points during a 15-4 run. C.J. Reed hit a midrange jumper and a three-ball to finish the run off, Corydon coming back for a 37-36 lead.
From there, the lead teetered back and forth until Keinsley tied it up at 43 with a free throw at the end of the quarter.
‘They did a nice job making a run at us there in the third quarter,’ Voelker said. ‘We told our kids that was going to happen. We just needed to weather the storm and continue to battle. We felt we could wear them down a little bit. I probably got a little too complacent, and we didn’t play aggressive enough in the third quarter.’
Floyd started the fourth period with an 8-1 burst for a 51-44 lead. From there, the Lady Highlanders dominated as Corydon misfired on five three-points attempts in the 11-point loss.
‘I thought we did a better job in the second half of pushing them on the floor and guarding them,’ Voelker said. ‘They did a better job of going right at the rim. The help wasn’t there like it should have been.’
Martinson led the winners with 11 points, and Batliner and Morrisey had 10 points each. Zipp and Sara Hall each had seven points and nine rebounds. Floyd (9-6) was 17 of 39 (43 percent) from the field and 6 of 9 from the stripe, and made 10 turnovers.
‘We had six kids with seven or more points,’ Voelker said. ‘That’s probably another key to our streak, because we’re playing with so much balance. It’s nice to see.’
‘Sara has been huge since she started playing with us again right before Christmas,’ he said. ‘Sara has a lot to do with our five-game win streak, because she gives us a much taller post presence. She’s athletic and moves very well and is very strong.’
Batliner’s 1,000th point came on a 15-foot jumper late in the third period. She was awarded the game ball following the win.
‘I was glad we were able to do it at home,’ Voelker said. ‘We were able to give her the game ball. It’s nice to be able to do that and recognize that.
‘The last couple of years we’ve ran her off ball screen after ball screen and said, ‘Get a shot.’ The thing about this year is we can play very competitive basketball without her on the floor. We had some stretches today where we played without her and played real well.’
Dyer led Corydon (9-8) with 13 points and Meghan Bussabarger followed with 10. Corydon was 17 of 39 (43 percent) from the field and hit 7 of 9 free throws. The Lady Panthers committed just eight turnovers.
‘The kids are just coming together,’ Voelker said. ‘They’re practicing extremely hard, so they’ve been fun to be around. It’s a credit to how our other kids are playing right now. We playing with the balance we’re showing on the floor.’