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Better 2nd half lifts NH by Eagles

Balanced scoring and a monster second half by the North Harrison offense led the team to a season-opening 75-21 victory on the road at Lanesville last Wednesday in girls’ basketball.
Eleven different Lady Cats reached the scoring column, led by 11 points each from Jourdan McAfee and Cali Nolot. Stevi Burns chipped in 10 points.
Lanesville struggled to hang on to possessions through much of the game. The Lady Eagles eventually turned the ball over 34 times in large part due to North Harrison’s bothersome backcourt.
‘They started out pretty passive, which I don’t understand,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said of her guards. ‘They picked it up and did better as the game went on.’
‘We tried to simulate what we thought we’d get with North Harrison,’ Lanesville coach Kevin Smith said. ‘We had seven, eight girls playing defense on us in practice. They, North Harrison, are going to be all right. They have some girls that can play.’
Leading 25-7 at the half, North Harrison posted back-to-back 25 point totals in the final two quarters.
Cammie Jones kicked off the third quarter by hitting a short jumper. Jourdan McAfee followed by pulling down her own rebound after snagging a steal for a bucket.
Crashing the glass as well, Stevi Burns put back her miss for two points.
Burns also had a nifty outlet pass to Nolot, leading to a 3-point play.
In the third quarter, Burns caught the hot hand, scoring all 10 of her points in the eight-minute frame.
‘Stevi’s still trying to find herself,’ Voyles said. ‘She relaxed and played better in the second half. She feels the pressure to come out and lead. I told them in the locker room that no one should feel the pressure to come and lead every night.’
Voyles said she told her team it doesn’t matter who scores; it’s about winning as a team.
‘If it’s two or three different people a night in double figures, that’s great,’ she said.
Lanesville was able to hit a pair of field goals in the second quarter, one by Annie Parsons, then a buzzer-beater put-back by Michaela Behr.
North Harrison continued with the streaky scoring in the final quarter. McAfee put in three straight field goals in the early stages. The final was an old-fashioned 3-point play when the forward was fouled in the paint. Converting the free throw put North Harrison up 59-13 at that point.
Emily Davis hit a 3-pointer in the fourth for the Lady Eagles, part of the best frame for the home team. Carmen Jacobs, Hannah Walther and Parsons chipped in points in the final eight minutes.
‘(The Lady Cats) have a lot to do with us not getting going offensively,’ Smith said. ‘When we had the opportunity to run our offense, we saw some openings. We have to keep the ball moving. It’s a big learning experience. One game doesn’t make a season.’
Smith said the ball pressure was tough on his team.
‘We have to be able to handle pressure better,’ he said. ‘Tonight, we didn’t do that well enough.’
North Harrison came out of the gates with a 10-0 spurt. Savannah Taylor, Carlie Burson, Kendra Baumgarten and Jones made up the first points. It wasn’t until two minutes remained in the first quarter that Lanesville made a bucket. Davis had the field goal, a jumper from the baseline.
The defense of Lady Cat Hallie Hinton extended the North Harrison lead to 17-4. She accounted for three steals that led to five points, three by her and two on a dish to Nolot.
Lanesville held the margin to 12 points in the final two minutes with a Walther drive to the hoop. North Harrison, however, went on a 6-0 run in the final 90 seconds to lead by 18 at the break.
‘I thought we were a little flat to start off,’ Voyles said. ‘We were sloppy on offense the whole game.’
Smith said the mix of defenses in the half court was played well by his team.
‘I don’t think they thought we would play them man, but we tried to show them a couple of different defenses,’ Smith said. ‘I think it was 19-7, then went up to 25-7 with 1:30 to go. That let it get away.’
North Harrison’s great balance offensively also saw Burson score nine points, while Baumgarten, Jones and Hinton had seven each. Taylor Rennirt added six points.
‘We’re still trying to figure out what we are going to do rotation-wise,’ Voyles said. ‘Who plays what spot the best? We have a lot of kids that can play a lot of spots. It’s not a bad problem to have.’
Parsons and Davis led Lanesville in scoring with five points each.
Lanesville will return to action tomorrow (Thursday) when the Lady Eagles travel to Christian Academy of Indiana. North Harrison, meanwhile, will jump into Mid-Southern Conference play Saturday when the Lady Cats host Scottsburg. Both games will tip at 7:30 p.m.

North Harrison 10 15 25 25 ‘ 75
Lanesville 2 5 6 8 ‘ 21
North Harrison (1-0) ‘ Nolot 11, McAfee 11, Burns 10, Burson 9, Baumgarten 7, Jones 7, Hinton 7, Rennirt 6, J. Chiquito 3, Taylor 2, K. Chiquito 2.
Lanesville (0-1) ‘ Parsons 5, Davis 5, Walther 4, Jacobs 3, Behr 2, Pavey 1, Lawson 1.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 3 (Nolot 2, J. Chiquito); Lanesville 1 (Davis).