4th-quarter run lands Eagles on winning end
Stumbling through a turnover-filled first half, Lanesville cleaned things up in the second half against visiting Christian Academy of Indiana to pull out a 44-35 victory Thursday.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season.
‘We battled through the game tonight, and we didn’t play nearly as good as we are capable of,’ Lanesville coach Kevin Smith said. ‘We needed a ‘W’ on the home floor … It’s good to get off that streak.’
Leading by as many as eight points in the first half, Lanesville had to fend off the resilient Lady Warriors. CAI banked in a 3-pointer from the hand of Rachel Wright to pull the visitors to within two points, 30-28, early in the fourth quarter.
Two is as close as CAI would get. Lanesville went on a 12-1 run during the next four minutes to put away the Lady Warriors.
Scoring on a put-back, Lanesville’s Annie Parsons put her team ahead 34-29. A long string of clutch free throws aided the leaders as well. Mahailey Hall drained four straight freebies, while Erica Daly netted a pair as well. Daly capped the spurt of scoring with a field goal, pressing the Lanesville lead to 42-29.
The lead was plenty enough, despite CAI hitting two triples inside the final 40 seconds.
‘We talked about the North Harrison game, that, if we don’t have as many turnovers, it’s a closer game,’ Smith said. ‘When we started tonight, I thought it wasn’t going to look pretty, but the girls battled. They quit with the turnovers in the second half.’
Despite owning the lead for the entire contest with the exception of three ties in the opening quarter, Smith said he had to ask his team at half time what they thought of the game so far.
‘I asked the girls at half time if they thought we were controlling the game. They looked at me weird, but we were controlling the game, but we were giving away points with turnovers and not rebounding,’ he said of the conversation.
Lanesville turned the rock over six times in each of the first two quartersbut had just two in the final stanza.
Jessica DeWeese, Lanesville’s leading scorer with 13 points, nailed a pair of jumpers in the opening quarter. She was joined by Hall taking a pass from Annie Parsons to net a triple.
Leading 11-6 after the opening quarter, Lanesville was able to extend the lead in the second. Hannah Walther hit a 3-pointer, igniting a 7-0 run to give her team an 18-10 edge.
During the final three minutes of the second quarter, the Lady Eagles were held scoreless while CAI hit three field goals, including one off a steal by Allison Burch.
‘I saw Christian Academy play two times, and they are, by far, one of my favorite teams to watch,’ Smith said. ‘They just play hard. You see they enjoy the game, and I feel so bad for (Emily) Huffaker because she couldn’t play. I told her at the end of the game she is one of my all-time favorite players because she came back from knee injury, then I saw her sprain her ankle at West Washington, and she just wants to play. You want players like that.’
Defensively, Lanesville was able to pressure CAI into 27 turnovers for the game. Smith said the team worked on adjustments since the opening season loss to North Harrison.
‘We mixed our defenses a little bit,’ Smith said. ‘We get predictable. Everyone knows we’ll run a 2-3 zone, but we’re throwing in different wrinkles. Hopefully, we’ll get better with it. We were limited in practice this week with a sickness going around, so, hopefully we can get healthy, too.’
The two-point lead at half time grew by one point by the end of the third quarter. The big run of scoring, many buckets coming in transition, led to Lanesville securing its first win of the season.
Outside of DeWeese’s 13 points, Emma Zeller contributed nine points while Daly had eight and Hall seven.
‘We had six score again, where, last year, we struggled to get three people to score,’ Smith said. ‘That’s a positive for us. Turnovers and rebounding are areas we need to improve.’
Daly paced Lanesville in rebounds with eight, while Zeller pulled down seven.
Burch led all scorers with 14 points, while CAI’s Rachel Wright poured in seven points.
The Lady Eagles will return to the hardwood Monday when they host Perry Central at 8 p.m.