Lady Cats drop rival Crawford 70-31
The North Harrison girls’ basketball team cruised to its second win of the season last Tuesday night, dominating the inexperienced Crawford County Lady Pack, 70-31, in the Ron Ferguson Gymnasium. The Lady Cats led from the first point of the game to the last.
‘I feel like we’ve got a lot of room to grow,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘There’s a lot of thing we’re not doing that I think we need to do. I’m fairly pleased with a lot of things.’
‘We knew going in there playing North Harrison, a lot of their strengths is our weaknesses,’ Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. ‘Because of our inexperience, we have a hard time reading defenses. With that pressure they put on you with their full-court and their half-court, their traps and switching defenses, it caused us problems.’
The Lady Cats wasted no time in using that pressure, putting the heat on in the first period to blast to a 9-2 lead.
Kendra Lambert later got a three to fall then added a free throw as North Harrison’s advantage swelled to 15-5. The Lady Cats continued their run to a 21-7 lead by the end of the period.
‘I was not happy with our press early,’ Voyles said. ‘We were not where I wanted us to be. Then, we weren’t quite understanding where I subbed to get people where they belonged. We’re a little disorganized at the moment.’
Cox, who said he has missed some practices because of a recent surgery, praised assistant coach John Bowles for preparing the Lady Pack for the North Harrison pressure.
‘I thought he did a nice job getting them prepared to attack the press,’ he said. ‘We executed well against the press, and, really, the mistakes we made were mistakes that happened attacking the press. It wasn’t really anything North Harrison did to us. It’s what we did to ourselves.’
North Harrison’s heat turned into a blowtorch in the second period as the Lady Cats began with a 20-3 run to lead 43-10. By halftime, North Harrison’s advantage ballooned to 49-15.
Voyles was forced to use some of her younger players early because of injuries to Megan Naegele and Regan Comer and illness to Kennedi Winn. Freshman Carlie Burson and sophomores Hayley Elliott and Megan Smith also saw action, gaining early-season varsity experience.
‘It wasn’t my intention, but, with Naegele hurt, and then you start the year off with Kennedi Winn sitting over there sick and (Regan) Comer’s hurt, you have to start pulling somebody,’ Voyles said. ‘(Burson’s) practiced pretty well. She’s very athletic. She’s a very smart kid; right now it’s just a little overwhelming for her at the moment.’
‘You’ve got seven kids who are playing a lot of basketball, but Megan Smith has done some really good things this year,’ Voyles said. ‘We’re working with her a little bit.
‘I don’t want to play Elliott on varsity if I don’t have to. I’d like for her to play four quarters, 24 minutes, JV every night, but, at the moment, with my post players being injured, I have to put her there. She’s handled it pretty well,’ Voyles said. ‘She’s tremendously improved from last year. She looked nervous all last year. She has really grown up this year. She’s doing some good things.’
Cox said his main halftime talk was about being aggressive and not giving up.
‘We talked about having pride in our defense and we talked about that 49 we let them score,’ Cox said. ‘We talked about not taking a possession off. You can’t play defense every other possession. You’ve got to take pride in it because we’ve got to be able to stop people from scoring because we have trouble scoring ourselves. It’s not like we’re going to be able to run up and down the floor and out-shoot people and out-score them.’
North Harrison came out in the second half in a bit of a funk, hitting just three of 14 shots and turning the ball over five times. The Lady Pack picked up their defense with more aggressiveness and won the period, 10-8. Crawford County was still well behind, however, as the Lady Cats led 57-25.
‘We’ve decided that, if basketball is only two quarters, we’re a great team,’ Voyles said. ‘We’re not real good at the second half right now. I don’t know if that’s maturity or focus or what. We play a great first 16 minutes.’
North Harrison came back in the fourth to get the ground they had lost plus a little bit more as they went on to win, 70-31.
‘Right now, we’re more concerned about ourselves rather than who we’re playing,’ Cox said. ‘Because of our inexperience, we’ve got things we need to work on. We’re still scouting teams and, as the year goes on, we may worry a little bit more about what other teams are doing. But right now we need to worry about ourselves and not what everybody else is doing.’
Lambert led the Lady Cats (2-1) with 19 points, and Jill Book finished with 16. Brittany Knight added 10 points for North Harrison, which connected on 26 of 63 field-goal attempts (41 percent) and 12 of 19 free throws. The Lady Cats had 15 turnovers.
‘It’s just tweaking some things and getting comfortable with what we’re doing,’ Voyles said. ‘We’re not real comfortable with our transition yet, and it shows. We’re not real comfortable transitioning into our offense yet, and that shows. I’ve moved some people around playing new positions and just made that decision four days ago. I keep them on their toes, keep changing them around.’
Tylynn Allen led the Lady Pack with nine points. Crawford County punched in 13 of 40 field-goal attempts (33 percent) and just six of 16 free throws. The Lady Pack had 29 turnovers, the majority due to North Harrison’s pressure.