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Lady Cats end skid with big runs vs. South

Lady Cats end skid with big runs vs. South
Lady Cats end skid with big runs vs. South
North Harrison’s Jill Book gets fouled by South Central’s Kelsey Miller on a fast break to the hoop. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

North Harrison broke a five-game slide by picking up the pace against South Central last Wednesday and running away with a 65-35 victory.
Led by 20 points from Kendra Lambert and 18 from Jill Book, the Lady Cats came out firing, rolling up 36 points in the first half.
‘I wanted to see us get out and play aggressively because we tend to play in spurts,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘We tried to put together a focus on being competitive the whole time we’re on the floor, not drifting off and forgetting what you’re supposed to do or missing a block out assignment or lost in the offense.’
A quick start certainly aided the Lady Cats offense. Five straight points from Lambert, followed by a Book triple, were only interrupted by a Samantha Turner 3-pointer for South Central.
The Lady Rebels were able to cut the margin to one possession at 9-7 when Maddison O’Connor put in a trey.
From that point, North Harrison went on a scoring spree. Freshman Shaylah Neal created havoc in the paint. She converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, along with drawing contact two other times. Her six points were part of a 10-3 run to close the opening quarter.
Momentum carried over into the second quarter, where the run continued. North Harrison scored 10 of the next 12 points to lead 29-12. Kasey Kelley, Brittany Knight, Lambert and Book helped spread the wealth in scoring during the run.
‘We’ve been working on getting the ball and running with it,’ Voyles said.
South Central used the 3-point shot to slow North Harrison before the half. Kelsey Miller and Savannah Milliner nailed long-range efforts, cutting the deficit to 36-18 at the break.
Struggles on the offensive end hit the Lady Rebels hard in the second half. North Harrison had a 16-0 run through the first six minutes. Kelley had three field goals during that span.
South Central bounced back in the final quarter to tally 12 points, but it was much to late to make a run at the Lady Cats.
The win came at a good time for the blue and white, after dropping five straight, including a nail-biter in its previous outing versus Columbus East (59-58).
‘We needed that badly,’ Voyles said of the win. ‘We played a pretty brutal schedule the last couple of weeks. That’s OK, I don’t mind that.’
Voyles said she has been encouraged the last few outings with her team’s ability to play well enough to be in positions to win games.
Becoming a smarter team on the floor has been a point of emphasis for the Lady Cats.
‘We put each other in bad positions,’ Voyles said. ‘Understanding your teammates and knowing when they want the ball, throwing the ball to Kasey when she’s on the move at center court in transition is not a smart basketball play. … It’s learning teammates.’
Neal reached double figures along with Kelley with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Kelley also had 11 rebounds, while Lambert swiped six steals.
Miller led South Central in scoring with nine points, while O’Connor had eight.
North Harrison will return to Mid-Southern Conference play tomorrow (Thursday) when the Lady Cats play at Salem at 7:30 p.m. South Central will play Friday as part of a girls-boys double header with Christian Academy of Indiana at 5:30 in Elizabeth. The following day, the Lady Rebels will travel to Barr-Reeve (1 p.m.) then play Tuesday at Henryville (7:30).