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NH’s second-half struggles lead to Lady Dragon rally

NH’s second-half struggles lead to Lady Dragon rally
NH’s second-half struggles lead to Lady Dragon rally
North HarrisonÂ’s Hayley Renneker is fouled by Silver CreekÂ’s Emily Clayton on a jump-shot attempt in the first half. Brian Smith. (click for larger version)

Injuries during the first four games has caught the North Harrison girls’ basketball team to search for young players to step up.
Against Silver Creek in a pre-Thanksgiving tilt in Ramsey last Wednesday, the Lady Cats struggled to score in the second half, eventually giving way to the Lady Dragons, 46-41.
‘The first half, the girls came out to win and, in the second half, it seemed like they played not to lose,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘There was a defining difference.’
The Lady Cats entered the game without two starters ‘ Rebekah Stephenson and Megan Naegele ‘ due to injuries. Stephenson injured her knee in the game against Scottsburg and will miss the remainder of her senior season. Naegele, on the other hand, is expected to return in the coming weeks.
‘We played five games, and we’ve lost two players,’ Voyles said. ‘Two of the people that were in your starting lineup after the first two weeks of practice are sitting next to us (on the bench). I’ll get one back but not the other.’
In the Mid-Southern Conference battle with Silver Creek, North Harrison forced 13 first-half turnovers to dominate much of play. Jill Book and Kendra Lambert converted an old-fashioned 3-point play in the opening quarter to vault the Lady Cats ahead.
Book later added another field goal in the quarter to give her team a 13-7 lead at the break. Emily Clayton scored all seven of Silver Creek’s points in the opening frame but was later held to just two more.
North Harrison broke the lead open to nine with a 5-0 run in the second quarter. Kennedi Winn hit a pair of free throws, while Book contributed three points. Silver Creek came back with field goals from Alex Tinsley and Kelsi Scott.
At the close of the first half, the Lady Cats led, 25-17.
The second half, however, was all Lady Dragons. They held North Harrison to 16 points while making a charge to the lead.
‘We did not come out aggressively in the second half,’ Voyles said. ‘I thought we came out aggressive to start the game. In the second half, we weren’t executing our offense and couldn’t hit a free throw. We seemed to play in a panic.’
When Emily Giles hit a field goal at the four-minute mark of the third quarter, the Lady Cats moved ahead 33-23.
From that point, Silver Creek ran off on a 9-0 run. Kira Jamros scored on a putback to cut the deficit to one, 33-32, at the end of the third quarter.
North Harrison’s scoring woes continued into the final frame. They made good on 4 of 8 free-throw attempts but didn’t score another field goal until one minute remained.
Carissa Brown, who was hampered with first-half foul trouble, put the Lady Dragons ahead, 39-37, with 3:20 to play. Inside the final 1:29, Silver Creek made 7 of 10 free throws to keep its lead in tact.
North Harrison (3-2, 0-2 MSC) had a shot to tie the game with 20 seconds left but the attempt was missed.
Giles and Book reached double-figure scoring for North Harrison with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Lambert added nine points.
Silver Creek (3-0, 1-0) was paced by Tinsley’s 13, followed by nine each from Alexis McFarland and Clayton.
The Lady Cats look to move forward despite the injuries.
‘We have some young kids that are needed to step up and play in some roles,’ Voyles said. ‘There are adjustments that will take time. We have a little while to figure it out.’
North Harrison will travel to New Albany tomorrow (Thursday) for a 7:30 p.m. contest.