2nd half lifts Cats over Corydon, 62-49
The Jan. 20 girls’ basketball battle between North Harrison and Corydon Central was a tale of two halves. The most important half, the second, was all North Harrison, carrying the Lady Cats to a 62-49 win over the visiting Lady Panthers.
Corydon Central controlled the tempo through the first half, using a Meghan Bussabarger lengthy 3-pointer to give the Lady Panthers a 23-21 edge at intermission.
In the second half, consecutive baskets from Bussabarger and Jenna Keinsley surged the Lady Panthers ahead, 27-22. From that point on, North Harrison turned up its pressing defense to ignite a 12-0 run, eventually outscoring Corydon Central 26-10 during the quarter.
During the run, Kayla Lambert drilled a 3-pointer to help North Harrison re-take the lead, 29-27. Lambert followed a Kacey Cox layup with another long-range shot.
During the third quarter, North Harrison forced 10 turnovers and also hit three 3-pointers after going 0 for 8 in the first half.
‘The defense created a lot of the offense,’ North Harrison coach Hal Pearson said. ‘We didn’t come down and just sit halfcourt and pass around the outside and not attack.’
Corydon Central used four 3-pointers, one each from Heather Uhl, Katie Hayes, Keinsley and Bussabarger, to stay with North Harrison in the first half. The Lady Panthers also sat in a 2-3 zone, forcing the slower tempo. In the second half, the Lady Cats were able to force a faster pace.
‘You’ve got to give their defense credit,’ Corydon Central coach Mike Uhl said. ‘They played well. They played well in the second half when they had to, and we didn’t respond very well.’
Pearson said the Lady Cats are most comfortable in an up-tempo style. They forced Corydon Central into 25 turnovers.
‘We talked before the game (that) we didn’t want the score in the 40s or even low 50s,’ Pearson said.
Outscoring Corydon Central 26-10 in the third quarter gave the Lady Cats a 46-33 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Corydon Central drew as close as 12 in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cats hit 8 of 12 free throws down the stretch.
Lambert led all scorers with 23 points, including 15 in the second half. Eight different Lady Cats joined the scoring party. Providing a spark off the bench, Deidre Book reached double figures with 10 points. Sasha Grangier contributed nine points, and Cox added eight.
‘The shots were a lot better (in the second half),’ Pearson said. ‘We’re an up-tempo team, and in transition even those threes are decent looks because they don’t get back and we don’t let their defense get set.’
Corydon Central was led by Bussabarger’s 17 points. Keinsley contributed 11 points, and Uhl scored eight.
‘Wow, they are good,’ Uhl said. ‘We played well and still got beat by 13. They are by far the best team in our sectional.’
With one loss each, North Harrison and Brownstown Central currently sit in a tie for the top spot in the Mid-Southern Conference. The two teams square off tomorrow (Thursday) at Brownstown Central at 7:30 p.m. Two conference games will remain for the Lady Cats after the Brownstown Central match-up.
Also on Thursday, Corydon Central plays at Crawford County at 7:30 p.m.