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Lady Highlanders grill North Harrison

The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders basketball team got in after midnight Friday following their win two hours away at Evansville Harrison. Less than 12 hours later, they came back on the court to take apart host North Harrison in a 55-35 shellacking Saturday afternoon.
‘Floyd Central is a physical team, so they’ve got a body on you everytime you go to the hole,’ said North Harrison coach Hal Pearson. ‘When you’re underneath, they do a good job walking up under you and getting a body on you. It makes your shots a little tougher. We just had a really bad off day.’
The Lady Highlanders looked fresh as they took the floor despite the quick turnaround. North Harrison got off to a better start, taking an 8-3 lead early on, but it was short-lived. Jessica Whittaker scored inside to start a 6-0 burst to put Floyd up by one, 9-8. Caitlyn Janes scored for the Lady Cats for a brief lead, but Whittaker then buried a three-ball and Abigail Hoskins scored inside for a 14-10 Floyd advantage. The last minutes of the period were made up of basket swapping, but Floyd had a 19-15 lead.
‘I wasn’t worried,’ said Floyd coach Joe Voelker. ‘The game we played last night was probably the most complete basketball game of the year. I knew we’d come out and play well. The question was just how long. We had the ability to play well today because the kids are playing with quite a bit of confidence.’
One thing hurting the Lady Cats was the loss of Sasha Grangier and Jessica Mosier with two early fouls each.
‘We were behind the eight ball from the beginning because of our foul trouble,’ Pearson said. ‘We were in situations we didn’t want to be in the whole game. Sasha was out, who’s a huge spark to our team, with two fouls with five minutes to go in the first quarter.’
The Lady Highlanders began to take control in the second quarter as Jennifer Smith slipped in a deuce and Hinton drilled a three for a 24-15 lead. Following a time-out, Hoskins added two freethrows for a double-digit lead. Kayla Lambert later got a three, and Madison Snodgrass got a free throw to cut the North Harrison deficit to seven. Erica Smith gave Floyd a big basket at the end with a three for a 32-22 Floyd lead at halftime.
‘If we hadn’t won the (Evansville) basketball game, everyone would have been down,’ Voelker said. ‘We did meet this morning and had meetings, and they looked a little shaky, but when we went through our walk-through, they were active.’
‘At some point early, we’re not getting any offense out of our halfcourt, so we had to pressure the ball and get after them a little bit,’ Pearson said. ‘They were content just to pass and literally just pick us apart, especially if we came out on Morrissey. She just dribbled through us and created for somebody else.’
The Lady Cats tried to gain ground in the third, closing their deficit to seven, but was countered by Floyd on every step. Morrissey drilled a three for a 10-point advantage, and Hinton later added a deuce for a 43-31 lead. The Lady Highlanders began the fourth with a 6-0 burst to break the Lady Cats’ backs and go on for the 55-35 win.
‘The game was dictated early because of the situation we put ourselves in,’ Pearson said. ‘Even in the third quarter, we’re down three, it’s a little bit different. We can sit in the zone and buy time. When you’re down seven and you know they’re going to hold it on you for a while, you’ve got to come out and do something different. They just picked us apart at that point. We were kind of running and chasing.’
Abigail Hoskins led the winners with 12 points, and Brigid Morrissey followed with 11. Camry Hinton added 10 for the Lady Highlanders (4-2), who connected on 19 of 48 field goals (39 percent) and 11 of 14 freethrows. Floyd had just nine turnovers.
Kayla Lambert led the Lady Cats with 15 points. The Lady Cats hit just 13 field goals on 40 attempts (32 percent) and 8 of 15 freethrows. The Lady Cats turned the ball over 14 times.
‘We tried to mix some things up,’ said Pearson. ‘You’re kind of playing the game you don’t want to in the first half, and you’re working on coming out in the second half with everybody back to normal with everybody in foul trouble. It was going OK. We couldn’t get a shot to fall, and we kept them within seven for a long time.’
Voelker said the big stat was North Harrison’s Wynn Shroyer being held scoreless.
‘Jessica (Whittaker) was pretty vital last night on the defensive end (at Evansville),’ Voelker said. ‘Tonight, I thought she did a pretty good job on Shroyer. I have her scoreless. She did a nice job making her work for shots and work for what she got.’
Pearson said his team is in a slump and just needs some confidence.
‘This is the first game we’ve not been in,’ said the North Harrison coach. ‘It’s definitely a slump. In the New Albany game, we were in it the whole game and gave it away. We were up five with a minute, 30 seconds to go at South Central. We need something to get some confidence back. They’re a little low on confidence right now with the way they’ve given away a couple of games. Mentally right now, we need a good game, a get-well game. We need a win.’

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