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Big 3rd lifts Floyd over Lady Cats

Big 3rd lifts Floyd over Lady Cats
Big 3rd lifts Floyd over Lady Cats
Floyd CentralÂ’s Emily Foster goes into full attack mode as she tries to pick Cassie CrawfordÂ’s pocket in the Lady HighlandersÂ’ 61-49 win. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders had a big third quarter against visiting North Harrison Saturday night then had to hold off a furious charge in the last eight minutes by the Lady Cats to come away with a 61-49 win. The contest became a game of contrasts in the third and fourth quarters.
‘I really felt this week that we turned a corner a little bit with our group,’ coach Joe Voelker said of his Floyd Central team, which defeated South Oldham (Ky.) for its first win of the season last Wednesday.
‘We’re playing with much more confidence. We’re playing with much more poise in a lot of areas except playing with the lead. We haven’t had the luxury of playing with the lead all season.’
‘If we can continue to improve, (we’ll) be that team that nobody really wants to draw (in the sectional),’ North Harrison coach Hal Pearson said. ‘Even though our record is 3-6 right now, I think it will get better. We’ve got some very winnable games coming up.’
The Lady Cats (3-6, 0-2) had a horrendous eight minutes of shooting in the first quarter as they connected on just two of 11 field-goal attempts. North Harrison did make up some of the deficit from the free-throw line with seven singles. Floyd Central’s 5-of-12 shooting kept it in the lead, but the Lady Cats stayed close, down three, 14-11, at the end of the quarter.
North Harrison pulled within two early in the second period. Brooke Hinton buried a Floyd Central three-ball, but Cassie Crawford swished a long deuce and Emily Giles got a free throw as North Harrison came back to within two.
The Lady Highlanders, however, clicked off an 8-2 burst, including a three by Emily Ziegler, to lead 27-19. Crawford finished the half with a three-ball, keeping North Harrison within five, 27-22, at halftime.
‘We just had a few nice drives, and we’re starting to play kind of how you picture coming in the pre-season, of some things you can do,’ Voelker said. ‘Kids are kind of accepting some roles, and we’re finding some roles. We’ve kind of run Ziegler at the end of the quarters. She hit a three for us.’
‘We’re doing a lot better job attacking and scoring,’ Pearson said. ‘I thought we hurt their press early.’
North Harrison had a disastrous first four minutes of the third period, missing its first five shots and turning the ball over four times. Floyd Central took advantage of the situation with an 11-0 run to lead 38-22. Taylor Pate was a big factor in the period, sinking three three-balls as the Lady Highlanders outscored North Harrison 20-9 for a 47-31 lead.
‘That’s where we lost the game,’ Pearson said. ‘It went from 25-22 at the half to 43-25 pretty quickly. You can give or take one somewhere, but you can’t give three or four to somebody who’s on your scouting report as a shooter. We did that, but we just didn’t do a real good job. We recognized one at times tonight, but we never recognized both of them (shooters) together.’
‘The biggest thing that Taylor has done in the past week to 10 days is Taylor’s played much better defensively and handled the ball much better and making better decisions all over the floor,’ Voelker said. ‘She’s talking and becoming a much better leader. It becomes contagious, and a couple of our other kids have taken steps up this week.’
The Lady Cats still had some fight in them, however, and brought it to the table in the fourth quarter, starting with a 9-0 run in the first 3-1/2 minutes to close the gap to 48-38, as Amanda Hartley converted twice on Floyd Central turnovers.
With 2-1/2 minutes left, Emily Giles scored inside to pull the Lady Cats to within nine, 55-46, forcing Floyd Central to call a time-out to regroup.
‘We tried to press a little bit and got back into it,’ Pearson said. ‘We created a lot of turnovers. That created some offense for us. We still at times didn’t want to push the ball. It was like we were just in a set mode and there was no urgency for a while.’
Foster immediately scored after the break to push Floyd Central’s lead back to 11.
Foster, along with fellow senior teammate Morgan Rookstool, added four free throws in the final two minutes as the Lady Highlanders went on to get the 61-49 win.
‘It was just a difference of being in a passive mode and attack mode,’ Pearson said. ‘Even like that defensively, we talked about that being more not so passive and attacking somebody, attacking defensively, attacking them offensively. When you do that, good things will eventually happen.’
Rookstool led the winners with 17 points, and Foster had 15, including seven on eight free-throw attempts. Pate followed with 14 points, including 12 on four three-pointers, for the Lady Highlanders, who were 20 of 44 (45 percent) from the field and 13 of 16 from the stripe. Floyd Central had 11 turnovers.
‘The two people we had on our scouting report were Rookstool and Pate, and those were the two that killed us,’ Pearson said. ‘Rookstool hurt us real bad the first half. We talked about her, and we still didn’t want to lose Pate, and we just had no clue to even where Pate was at.’
Giles led North Harrison with 13 points, and Lambert hit for 10. The Lady Cats were just 17 of 51 (33 percent) from the field and 15 of 22 from the free-throw line.
‘We’re getting better,’ Pearson said. ‘We had 18 turnovers tonight. They pressed pretty much the entire game, and that’s still too many, but we’re getting a lot closer. The first game of the year, we had 28 with somebody pressing us like this. The past two games, we’ve held them close to 15 turnovers with South Central and Floyd pressing us tonight the whole game.’
The Lady Cats hosted Paoli last night (Tuesday) and will travel to Salem tomorrow night for a 7:30 varsity tip.