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Shooting woes doom Lady Cats

Hitting the road, the North Harrison girls’ basketball team could have used a crowbar or hammer inside the Austin High School gymnasium.
The hardware tools would have been useful during last Tuesday night’s game to pry off the lid that seemed to be on the Austin irons.
The Lady Cats struggled to shoot the ball, thus preventing the visitors from sneaking a Mid-Southern Conference victory. Austin led by as many as eight points but had to withstand a North Harrison comeback to pull out a 45-41 victory.
‘Executing what we were prepared to do hurt us,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘It kept us from doing things well offensively. From the beginning of the game, we had two girls out there not looking to score. We weren’t looking to score in ways we were working on and, instead, settled for quick outside shots.’
North Harrison’s Hallie Hinton nailed a trey from the left wing to score the Lady Cats’ first points, but it seemed like forever before they hit another jumper.
Defense kept North Harrison in the game despite the woes on the scoring end.
Trailing 22-16 to start the second half, then falling behind eight after Holli Reynolds hit a field goal, North Harrison turned up the pressure defensively.
Jessicka Chiquito had five steals in the third quarter with the first two resulting in lay-ups. As a team, Austin turned the rock over 10 times in the third period and 25 times for the entire game.
Chiquito’s third steal came under the hoop while pressing the inbound pass, leading to a Stevi Burns basket. Continuing her run of play, teammate Jourdan McAfee dished to Chiquito for two points, knotting the game at 24.
North Harrison took its first lead late in the third when Taylor Rennirt found Hinton for a bucket. The Lady Cats turned a one-point lead to three, 30-27, when Chiquito sent a pass over the top to Rennirt for a lay-in.
‘Our defense tends to keep us in games,’ Voyles said. ‘And some games, like today, our offense can really sputter.’
Shooting struggles reared again in the fourth. For the game, North Harrison had trouble at the charity stripe, going six of 20. They were three of 10 in the final quarter.
Austin’s Akaya Walker got going for her team, making a shot to give Austin a slight edge. She later swished a shot from just inside the arc, increasing the Lady Eagles lead to four.
North Harrison had opportunities with Austin missing the front end of one-and-one tries on two occasions. Cashing in, Hinton hit a jumper, catching a pass from Cali Nolot. Burns brought the Lady Cats back again with a free throw, then used a Rennirt offensive board to score a put-back. With three minutes to go, Nolot’s make put North Harrison up 41-39.
Then the crowbar was needed again. The Lady Cats couldn’t buy a bucket the rest of the way as Nolot’s shot was the last points for North Harrison. Austin’s Hailey Misamore knotted the game with a 2-pointer, then, with 1:40 to go, Reynolds swished freebies to give Austin the lead.
North Harrison stayed within one possession until Reynolds hit a free throw with 15 seconds left. In the final three minutes, North Harrison had free-throw chances, open looks from beyond the arc and a lay-up not fall.
The loss dropped North Harrison to 11-7, including the team’s second defeat in league play. The Lady Cats managed to bounce back and defeat MSC-foe Clarksville in a rout, 60-10, Saturday afternoon.
Brownstown Central is 6-0 in MSC play with games remaining against North Harrison (Jan. 29), Corydon Central and Scottsburg. Charlestown is 5-1 and will visit the Lady Cats on Feb. 3. Eastern (Pekin), North Harrison and Scottsburg have two losses each.
Versus Austin, North Harrison created plenty of extra offensive opportunities, especially in the first quarter. The Lady Cats forced Austin into eight turnovers but only had five points to show for it.
Austin used 3-pointers by Kami Owens and Misamore to lead 11-3 through all the miscues.
North Harrison had 5-0 and 6-0 scoring runs in the second frame, but Austin offset each with little spurts of its own.
Voyles said her team had trouble executing what they practiced on the offensive end.
‘We knew some things would be open and we didn’t work for them,’ she said. ‘I wanted us to attack certain areas of the floor. It’s not executing the game plan as it was set.’
Nolot and Chiquito finished with 10 points each. Hinton closed with nine. Hinton and Chiquito had five rebounds each. As a team, the Lady Cats shot 25 percent from the field.
Voyles said Hinton played well all around the floor.
Austin placed three players ‘ Walker (12), Misamore (10) and Reynolds (10) ‘in double-figure scoring. Reynolds had a double-double, pulling down 11 boards.
North Harrison hosted Corydon Central last night (Tuesday). The Lady Cats will return to action at home Tuesday when they face Class 3A No. 15 Madison. The two Sectional 30 teams met at the Rumble on the River in December, a game Madison won 58-32. Tomorrow (Thursday), the Lady Cats will return to MSC action when the play at Brownstown Central.

North Harrison 5 11 14 11 ‘ 41
Austin 11 11 7 16 ‘ 45
North Harrison (11-7, 2-2 MSC) ‘ Nolot 10, J. Chiquito 10, Hinton 9, Rennirt 6, Burns 5, McAfee 1.
Austin (9-9, 4-3) ‘ Walker 12, Misamore 10, Reynolds 10, Owens 9, Brasher 2, Coomer 2.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 1 (Hinton); Austin 4 (Misamore 2, Owens 2).

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