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Lady Cats throttle rival Lady Pack

Lady Cats throttle rival Lady Pack
Lady Cats throttle rival Lady Pack
North Harrison’s Emily Giles scores on a put-back for the Lady Cats against Crawford County last Tuesday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

The North Harrison Lady Cats used two big quarters to pull away from visiting Crawford County last Tuesday night for a 71-34 win. The night improved North Harrison’s record to 3-0, but coach Missy Voyles said her team has a long way to go.
‘We’re not doing everything the way I want us to do things,’ she said. ‘I’m still frustrated at a few things we’ve been slow to pick up. I liked our defense a little better tonight than I did against Jeff. I thought we were more aggressive with it. We still get out of position from where I want them to be. They don’t quite understand what I want them doing right now. They’re getting better about it.’
Crawford County coach Alan Cox said he saw improvements in his team but noted that eventually the Lady Pack just wore down.
‘It’s a young group, and I see improvement every day with them,’ he said. ‘We’re still playing hard, and we’re not going to hang our heads on this. We know North Harrison is a decent team.’
The Lady Cats got a good jump on Crawford County, rushing to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter. Mandi McLain finally found the basket inside for Crawford County, but Kendra Lambert countered with a pair of freebies and a deuce inside. Lady Pack senior Chelsea Jellison got two from the stripe, and the period ended with North Harrison leading 13-6.
In the second quarter, the Lady Cats pushed their lead to double digits with a 7-3 burst for a 20-9 North Harrison advantage. Jellison countered quickly with back-to-back threes to cut the Crawford County deficit to five, 20-15.
The Lady Pack stayed within five points until the final two minutes as North Harrison finished the half with a 6-0 burst, with Lambert drilling a three for a 30-19 halftime advantage.
One of Voyles’ main goals was to slow down Jellison. Instead of a box-and-one like Providence had used days before, Voyles utilized a trapping defense with the focus on the Crawford County senior.
‘We worked on that all day yesterday,’ Voyles said. ‘We threw somebody out there and said, ‘This is Jellison.’ We did lose a few other people trying to stay with her all the time. I only got mad when we lost her. If she’s on the baseline, we’re going to be trapping on the baseline. If she’s at top, we’re going to trap up top. We’re going to try to keep two people on her. She’s a good player. You respect a good player like that, respect her enough to pound her all night.’
The Lady Pack hit just 7 of 22 shots in the first 16 minutes.
The Lady Cats started the second half with a pair of threes from Rebekah Stephenson and Jill Book for a 36-19 lead. North Harrison outscored Crawford County 21-6 in the period for 51-25 advantage.
‘It helps when you can come out and hit two big threes to start the second half,’ Voyles said. ‘That takes the pressure off a little bit.’
North Harrison began the fourth quarter with an 8-1 burst to lead 59-26. Crawford County had no escape, and the Lady Cats cruised to their third straight win, 71-34.
‘I’m pleased,’ Voyles said. ‘I could have got the trapping against Jeff, but they didn’t quite understand what I wanted. We worked on it a lot yesterday and ran some drills to get better. We’ve got a long way to go from what I want them doing defensively.’
Lambert led North Harrison with 19 points, and Stephenson finished with 14. Hayley Renneker followed with 11 points. The Lady Cats connected on 24 of 60 field-goal attempts (40 percent) and 15 of 27 free throws. North Harrison had 19 turnovers.
Lady Cats junior Megan Naegele was out of the lineup due to a knee injury during the season opener against Lanesville.
‘They think she dislocated her kneecap a little bit,’ Voyles said. ‘I’m not going to push her to come back too quickly. I’m not real concerned with what I win right now as to where she is in January.’
‘We’ve had six kids in double figures the first three games. We’ve got a lot of balance right now. She just kind of adds to that.’
Jellison and McLain led Crawford County with 12 points each. The Lady Pack struggled from the field, hitting just 11 of 40 field-goal attempts (28 percent) and 9 of 18 free throws. Crawford County had 25 turnovers.