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Lady Cats rally, close out Providence

Lady Cats rally, close out Providence
Lady Cats rally, close out Providence
North Harrison junior guard Cassie Crawford looks around for a pass as ProvidenceÂ’s Kallie Ash applies pressure in the back court. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

The North Harrison girls’ basketball team rallied from a nine-point first-half deficit to eventually pull away in its first game of the season Nov. 10 for a 55-46 win at Providence.
The Class 3A No. 13 Lady Cats enter the season with a fresh group of faces on the hardwood to go along with a few players who have varsity experience. In the Tuesday contest, junior Cassie Crawford stepped up on the defensive end and also knocked down a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, leading to the win.
In the fourth quarter, Providence senior Megan Eve hit back-to-back 3s to start an 8-0 Lady Pioneer run. The spurt was capped by two Leah White free throws, giving Providence a 45-42 lead with four minutes to play.
Responding to the tie, Crawford found herself open from beyond the 3-point line and drilled the shot to tie the game. From that point, North Harrison outscored Providence 10-1 with all points coming from the foul line.
‘Eve hit a nice step-back 3, and we had someone tight on her and you can’t ask for better defense than that,’ said North Harrison coach Hal Pearson. ‘But Cassie did a good job denying her in the second half. Then, she turns around, hits a big shot for us. But as a team, we did a good job of keeping the ball late in the game. We hit free throws and didn’t turn the ball over.’
Crawford led the Lady Cat offense with 13 points. Sophomore Emily Giles nearly had a double-double in the game, scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Senior Caitlyn Janes also had an impressive effort with nine points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots.
The opening quarter was a struggle for North Harrison. Providence hit a pair of 3-pointers, leading to a 9-0 cushion. Off the bench, Giles provided a spark in the paint, scoring North Harrison’s first basket 4:30 into the game. North Harrison committed 14 turnovers in the first half, leading to easier Providence opportunities.
‘We talked about how we struggled on this floor two years ago with a pretty good group,’ Pearson said. ‘We knew it was going to be tough. I like (Megan) Eve a lot, and she is a great player. We just didn’t find her enough early in the game. We sat in some zones and tried to track her, but she hurt us.’
Providence extended its 15-11 lead at the end of the first quarter to 20-11 quickly into the second. From that point, North Harrison’s defense held Providence to two points to close the half. While the defense picked up the intensity, the offense mounted a slow rally to trail, 22-20, at the break.
‘In that situation, we wanted to get kids to pick up on some tendencies,’ Pearson said of the second-quarter adjustments. ‘We started to recognize a little better, but it probably helped out that they missed a lot of free throws, just like we did. They did a good job setting the tempo and breaking the press. We broke the press and scored some points. I think that probably won us the ball game. It gave us enough confidence in that span to carry it over into the second half.’
Neither team shot particularly well from the foul line. Providence was 10 of 25, and North Harrison was 18 of 35. Fortunately for North Harrison, most of the makes came in the fourth quarter.
‘We’ll take it,’ Pearson said. ‘Everything we didn’t do well is well within our control of making changes and adjustments in practice. We will grow. Most of these kids haven’t been in a varsity setting like this, especially in a close finish, which is encouraging for our growth.’
Eve led Providence with 14 points, and Katy Flanagan added 10. Deidre Book contributed eight points for North Harrison, and Hayley Renneker added six.
North Harrison dropped its second game to Class 4A No. 3 Jeffersonville, 85-36, Saturday. The Lady Cats next play at Scottsburg Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
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