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Lady Cats able to hold off Salem in MSC thriller

The North Harrison Lady Cats came out flat then bounced back to hold off visiting Salem in a Mid-Southern Conference contest Thursday night for a 47-46 win. It was a game where coach Hal Pearson was glad to see his team get things back together after a lackluster performance by his starters two nights before at Paoli.
‘It was good to get out with a win and a conference victory, which moves us up to 2-1 in the conference, but any conference win is good,’ said Pearson. ‘Salem got us last year right before Christmas and we didn’t play real well.’
The Lady Cats didn’t play real well to begin this game either. North Harrison misfired on all 10 of its field-goal attempts and also missed three free-throw attempts. Salem, meanwhile, was finding the net from beyond the arc when Shaylee Brown and Jordyn Wroblewski drilled three triples. The Lady Lions went on to establish a 14-0 lead, which left the North Harrison coaching staff wondering what they needed to do to get a good first quarter.
‘That’s just been a nemesis for us,’ Pearson said. ‘We didn’t get a lot of shots and a lot of good looks. We had some turnovers and mistakes and errors. We did have two layups that we ran sets on and got layup (opportunities) and missed. Other than that, we didn’t have a lot of good looks, period.’
Jessica Mosier finally gave the Lady Cats their first basket early in the second. That started an 11-0 run finished off by a Sasha Grangier hoop as North Harrison pulled back within three, 14-11. Mosier later pulled North Harrison within one when she scored in the paint, but Brown got a long deuce to fall with :02 on the clock, allowing the Lady Lions a 20-17 advantage at halftime.
‘The second quarter was 17-6, which was a good quarter for us,’ said Pearson said. ‘We got back into the game.’
Pearson said he had former North Harrison shooter Chad Miller talk to his team following the Paoli game, hoping that his players would acquire a little more motivation.
‘Chad Miller came in and talked to our team about when he played on the JV team that was 20-0 a few years ago,’ Pearson said. ‘He explained execution and the expectations, what I want out of people and that it was difficult … I thought he did a good job talking about execution and coming out and giving 110 percent and playing together and playing as a team.’
Kayla Lambert and Katie Voyles put in two deuces to put the Lady Cats in front, 21-20 just over a minute into the second half. The lead swapped hands twice, then Megan Smith tied the game at 24-all with a deuce. Wynn Shroyer and Lambert countered with a pair of three-balls for a 30-24 Lady Cats advantage. Wroblewski hit from beyond the arc, but the Lady Cats scored the last four points of the period, giving North Harrison a seven-point cushion with one period remaining.
Salem fought back early in the fourth and was back within two when Brown swished a short jumper. Lambert and Grangier pushed the Lady Cats’ lead back to six, but Victoria Taylor cut that in half with a 3-point play. Grangier scored again, but Taylor countered.
One more time the North Harrison lead went back to six with help from Mosier and Lambert. In the final minute, Salem made one more push with Wroblewski scoring inside. Shroyer got one of those back, but Brown drilled a three with :17.3 left on the clock. The Lady Cats’ lead shrunk to two, 45-43.
With 13.2 seconds left, Sean Romero fouled Grangier, who gave North Harrison the breathing room it needed, connecting on both attempts for a 47-43 advantage. Salem missed a three, then North Harrison turned the ball over. Brown made one last three, but Salem was still a point short as the Lady Cats came out with the 47-46 win.
‘We were up seven there late, and once again made it interesting,’ Pearson said. ‘We talked about getting our execution better at the end of the game. We took a couple of time-outs to run an out-of-bounds, to just get the ball inbounds, and we kind of tightened up a little when it got real close. Brown hit a couple of nice shots coming across the lane, which was a tough shot.’
Sasha Grangier led the Lady Cats (7-4) with 14 for the game, and Kayla Lambert hit for 12 points. Shroyer added 10 for North Harrison, which hit just 15 of 52 field goals (28 percent). The Lady Cats connected on 13 of 22 free throws and committed 16 turnovers.
‘(Grangier) played solid the whole game and is always kind of there,’ Pearson said. ‘She does a good job, solid all the way through.’
Shaylee Brown led the Lady Lions with 22 points. Salem also shot poorly from the field, connecting on 15 of 53 field goals (28 percent). The Lady Lions hit 10 of 13 free throws and had just nine turnovers for the game.
‘Any win right now is big, so we can get back on a little bit of a streak,’ said the North Harrison coach.
The Lady Cats get a break now until their Dec. 28 session in the tournament. Pearson said there will be a lot of focus on his team’s shooting skills.

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