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Lady Cats score inside, pull away

Lady Cats score inside, pull away
Lady Cats score inside, pull away
Taking a shot over Corydon Central's Mariah Jo Nye, North Harrison's Jourdan McAfee looks to put in a field goal during the first half last Tuesday. Photo by Brian Smith

The addition of Carlie Burson to the North Harrison lineup was welcomed recently by Lady Cats coach Missy Voyles.
Her presence on the block not only opened up additional scoring opportunities in the paint, but also freed up outside shooters. Teammate Cali Nolot scored a game-high 14 points, helping lead North Harrison to a 49-33 victory over rival Corydon Central last Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers hung around in the first half after hitting four of five 3-pointers, but the North Harrison offense got inside too often, eventually pulling away late.
‘It helps having Carlie back on the floor,’ Voyles said.
It was the second game back for the junior who missed a good chunk of the schedule with an injury.
‘We got a couple good buckets from her inside, then we got some from others off drives,’ Voyles said. ‘We got scoring a little more inside than normal.’
North Harrison started the game quick, scoring six unanswered points. Nolot slid inside for a field goal, while Stevi Burns turned a back-court steal into a lay-in.
While North Harrison went on a bit of a dry spell, Corydon Central’s Cassidy Saulman and Kelsey Smith buried outside shots to knot the game at six.
To close the half, Taylor Rennirt provided a bucket off the bench while Burson slipped open on an inbounds pass for an easy two.
‘We’ve done a really good job all year defending out-of-bounds plays,’ Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said. ‘That’s one area we’ve prided ourselves on, and we gave up too many easy baskets off them. We can’t score enough to give up easy buckets.’
Corydon Central came within two points, 10-8, early in the second quarter when McKendra Fisher scored on a put-back.
Then, North Harrison picked up offensive momentum. Hallie Hinton put in back-to-back field goals, including a long ball. Burson scored inside, then Rennirt added a single free throw. It was all part of an 8-0 Lady Cats run to surge ahead 19-8.
Rennirt provided four of her six rebounds in the second quarter to go along with a few steals. She closed with seven points off the bench.
‘She has really, from the beginning of the year to now, has come a long way,’ Voyles said of the freshman Rennirt. ‘You want to be at the point when you sub, you don’t feel like you lose anything. I don’t feel like I lose anything when I sub. I feel like she comes right in and adds to the game. She’s been very solid.’
Corydon Central gained some offensive momentum in the final four minutes of the opening half. Saulman added her second triple. Megan Rowlett swished one as well, while Fisher chipped in three points.
Answering many of the Lady Panthers’ scores, North Harrison’s Nolot and Rennirt found field goals, helping the Lady Cats lead 25-17 at the break.
Both squads were slow to start the second half until Nolot scored in transition nearly three minutes in. Later in the quarter, Nolot used a pump fake and drive to draw contact while making an attempt in the lane.
Carrying the momentum, Jourdan McAfee put down an outside shot from the top of the key.
‘Jourdi has been playing out of position,’ Voyles said of the long forward. ‘It has been great to move her out from underneath the basket so she can extend a little more and shoot from the outside. She’s got a beautiful shot. Facing the basket is where she naturally plays better.’
Voyles said she accepted more of an inside role when Burson was out with an injury.
Corydon Central had scores from Gracie Paden and Rowlett in the third quarter, but North Harrison outscored its Mid-Southern Conference-foe 14-8. The last bucket was a 3-pointer by Nolot in front of the Lady Cats’ student supporters off an inbound play.
‘Give them credit, they executed inbounds plays, knowing where the girl was supposed to be,’ Uhl said. ‘They found the open person and took advantage of it.’
North Harrison started the final quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 49-25, its largest margin of the night.
While Burson came back from an injury, Corydon Central’s Ashley Oliver sat out the game. She is working her way back after an ACL injury, taking a week off from games after returning during the holiday break.
‘We don’t want to over do it,’ Uhl said. ‘We may try to play her next week, but we’ll see how she goes in practice.’
Hinton closed with nine points for the Lady Cats. Allyssa Edwards, Saulman and Rowlett tallied six points each for Corydon Central.
‘Anytime you play Corydon and come away with a win it’s a good night,’ Voyles said. ‘They shot the ball awfully well in the first half. I was giving up a little bit, maybe more than we should have.’
The win moved North Harrison to 13-7 overall, 4-2 in MSC play. The Lady Cats have a tough stretch of games coming up, including three in league play. They faced Madison last night (Tuesday) then will head to Brownstown Central tomorrow. The Lady Cats will return home for the final two regular season games against Charlestown (Feb. 3) and Eastern (Pekin) (Feb. 5).
Madison, Brownstown Central and Charlestown figure to be among the top contenders in the Class 3A Sectional 30, to be hosted by Scottsburg. With North Harrison’s success thus far, the competition will show them where they fit in the sectional hierarchy.
‘This is a tough stretch for us: Madison, Brownstown, Charleston. It’s very tough,’ Voyles said. ‘We have to shoot a little better to win those games. We didn’t shoot horribly today, but we’ll have to shoot better.’
Corydon Central has two games this week, hosting Crawford County tomorrow then making a road trip to Brownstown Central on Saturday (1:30 p.m.).

Corydon Central 6 11 8 8 ‘ 33
North Harrison 10 15 14 10 ‘ 49
Corydon Central (2-17, 0-7 MSC) ‘ Saulman 6, Edwards 6, Rowlett 6, Paden 5, Fisher 5, Smith 3, Rennirt 2.
North Harrison (13-7, 4-2) ‘ Nolot 14, Hinton 9, Rennirt 7, Burson 6, J. Chiquito 6, Burns 4, McAfee 3.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 5 (Saulman 2, Edwards 2, Smith); North Harrison 4 (Nolot 2, Hinton, McAfee).