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15-0 run propels Lady Cats over Jasper 51-42

It was a tale of two halves last Tuesday night as the North Harrison Lady Cats, after building a 15-point lead, held off a second-half rally by the visiting Jasper Lady Wildcats for a 51-42 win.
Neither team got off to a great start, with North Harrison hitting just three of 11 field-goal attempts and Jasper sinking three of just six attempts.
In the second period, however, the Lady Cats found some rhythm, beginning with a 15-0 explosion to run out to a 21-8 lead. Jasper found a couple of buckets, but threes by Wynn Shroyer and Madison Snodgrass pushed the North Harrison advantage to 29-14 by the half’s end.
‘The first half, that first three or four minutes, we were very sluggish and didn’t get into the game or didn’t get into anything much,’ North Harrison coach Hal Pearson said. ‘Late in the first and in the second quarter, we started swinging the ball well and moving from one side of the floor to the other.
‘We were hitting the middle and getting some rotation on our offense and turning it over a little bit, instead of being very one dimensional,’ he said. ‘Instead of attacking from one area, we were attacking from several different areas. We played well against the zone and hit some shots. It’s always better when some shots are falling.’
The Lady Cats began the third period by upping their advantage to 34-16 as Caitlyn Janes and Sasha Grangier scored inside.
At that point, Jasper began a counterattack as Abby Bartley buried back-to-back three-balls. Shroyer scored inside, but the Lady Wildcats began to get some confidence and scored the next eight points, closing the gap to 36-30. Jessica Mosier scored for North Harrison, but Rebecca Hutton later came back with two free throws, cutting the Jasper deficit to six with one quarter to go.
‘In the third quarter, the first couple of minutes were kind of bugging me and then all of a sudden, the Bartley girl stepped out and hit two threes in a row,’ Pearson said. ‘In a tape we watched, she hadn’t hit anything from outside. Tonight, she got hot and stepped out and hit two.’
Bartley scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to pull Jasper within two, 38-36. Mosier connected on a pair from the stripe, but Hutton scored on a backdoor play. Jasper stayed within two until Grangier and Shroyer scored inside to get a six-point edge. The Lady Cats stayed in front from that point on for the 51-42 win.
‘They got within two or three points and then we went to a quick box-and-one (on Bartley) and just guarded her, and she actually wore herself out,’ Pearson said. ‘That slowed them up offensively enough to give us some breathing room and let us stretch it back out a little bit.’
Shroyer led the winners with 17 points, and Grangier followed with 12. North Harrison (5-1) was 20 of 46 (43 percent) from the field and 8 of 17 from the stripe. The Lady Cats had 14 turnovers.
‘When we finally calmed down and turned our defense over, we were able to pound inside and Mosier got a couple of layups and made a nice pass to Sasha, who scored,’ Pearson said. ‘We had some nice transitions when that took place in the fourth quarter. We finally calmed down enough to run our offense to what we do and get it inside and look inside-out … We calmed down just enough to run the offense for a second or two.’
Bartley led Jasper (1-2) with 16 points and four three-pointers. The Lady Wildcats were 15 of 34 from the field (44 percent) and 8 of 11 on free throws. Jasper committed 21 turnovers.
‘They just changed to man (defense), and sometimes this year we’ve had trouble making the transition when somebody has played one defense the whole half,’ Pearson said. ‘When we run our zone offense and then translating it into our man-to-man offense the second half, we’ve been having trouble doing that.
‘Then, we kind of quit attacking,’ he said. ‘They pressed us a little. We broke the press. We didn’t have any turnovers. Instead of attacking the scorer, we kind of pulled back and started playing not to lose a little bit there, instead of playing to win.’
Pearson said there is still plenty to work on, but his team showed it could hold its composure to pull out a win.
‘The good thing is, last year, we wouldn’t have played a bad half and still won a basketball game,’ he said. ‘This year, we’re able to play a bad second half and come out and still get a win. That’s showing a little bit of maturity.’