Fast start to new week
North Harrison’s run with an unblemished record came to an end the previous Saturday, falling at Columbus East. The Class 3A No. 9 ranked Lady Cats didn’t sulk much.
Instead, they looked to start another string of wins together.
Last Wednesday, North Harrison traveled to the southern portion of Harrison County to take on South Central. The Lady Cats started on a tear, jumping out to a 13-2 lead and rolling to a 69-34 victory.
North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said her team was challenged the week prior, facing Jasper, New Albany and Columbus East in a five-day span.
‘Any time you play three games in a week, it’s going to be tough,’ Voyles said. ‘Jasper was a good, physical team, and New Albany was mentally, physically and emotionally a tough game all the way around. Coming back to a third game against Columbus East, we didn’t match our intensity, but I was hoping we wouldn’t come out flat against them and we did.’
Being careless with the ball against Columbus East was a sticking point for the North Harrison coach. Bouncing back with better ball control versus the Lady Rebels was encouraging. They had 10 turnovers.
‘Our legs got us at the end (versus Columbus East), and we were sloppy,’ Voyles said. ‘It was good to see us come back and not be sloppy. We threw the ball away more (last) Saturday than we did in a very long time. It was nice to see us take care of the ball better, especially in the first half.’
It was the third highest scoring output of the season for North Harrison; much can be credited not only to the defense (forcing 20 turnovers) but sharing the ball. As a team, the Lady Cats accounted for 24 assists, including a team high eight from Jessicka Chiquito.
‘Jessicka had eight assists, and it was a good night for her,’ Voyles said. ‘She sees things we don’t sometimes and creates passing lanes.’
The assists led to balanced scoring. Putting the ball in the bucket inside were Carlie Burson and Lilly Hatton, tallying 14 and 13 points, respectively. From there, Taylor Rennirt, Jourdan McAfee and Stevi Burns added seven points each. Cali Nolot and Chiquito had six points apiece.
South Central coach Randall Schoen said his team struggled in a few offensive areas.
‘I thought we could compete a little better than what the final ended up,’ Schoen said. ‘We talked about handling their pressure and also knocking down shots. We didn’t do a very good job doing either of them. They did a nice job out of their defense. They played more man with us tonight than what I had seen them play this season.’
Scoring quickly, field goals by Burson, Nolot, McAfee, Hatton and Burns put the Lady Cats up 13-2. The first quarter featured a wealth of points by North Harrison, which led 21-9 at the break.
South Central had a short 5-0 run with Gracie Day swishing a 3-pointer. She ended the night as South Central’s top scorer with nine points.
Running the floor for transition baskets, Hallie Hinton snagged a rebound and sent a pass to the mid-court wing to Chiquito. From there, the guard zipped a forward pass to Hatton for a lay-in. It was part of a 6-0 start to the second quarter for North Harrison.
‘We got the bigs running to get easy buckets inside,’ Voyles said.
Chiquito added some offense in the form of scoring with a triple in the second quarter. Ally Davis made moves to the basket for South Central, putting in a pair of field goals. North Harrison, however, outscored South Central 15-7 in the second quarter to lead by 20 at the half, 36-16.
Putting the game well out of reach, North Harrison saw Hinton and Chiquito net 3-pointers as part of an 11-0 third-quarter surge.
South Central had another brief run when Sabra Walker hit a trey then Jordan Renn and Davis made field goals.
In the end, South Central couldn’t match the Lady Cats.
‘I can’t fault our effort,’ Schoen said. ‘I know our girls didn’t lay down. (North Harrison) is a really good basketball team, and I’m glad we don’t have to see them again.’
Recent games for South Central has seen the emergence of Jordan Renn off the bench. She finished with eight points against North Harrison.
‘She came in against Loogootee and played really well and has carried it on since then,’ Schoen said. ‘She’s playing relaxed and going and playing basketball.’
Davis and Walker also scored eight points each, while Alexis Knear was held to a single point.
Before the holidays, North Harrison will host Salem tomorrow (Thursday) in a rematch of the 3A Sectional final from a year ago, won by the Lady Lions. On Friday, South Central will play at 6 p.m. versus Christian Academy of Indiana with the boys’ game to follow.
Next week, South Central will head to the Toyota Teamwork Classic in Gibson County. The Lady Rebels will open against Wood Memorial (at Wood Memorial) at 8:15 p.m. on Monday then will return Wednesday to face 3A No. 1 Princeton at 11:30 a.m. (at Princeton) then Gibson Southern at 6:30 (at Gibson Southern). The placement game will take place Saturday, Dec. 26, to close the tournament.
North Harrison 21 15 18 15 ‘ 69
South Central 9 7 8 10 ‘ 34
North Harrison (10-1) ‘ Burson 14, Hatton 13, Rennirt 7, McAfee 7, Burns 7, Nolot 6, Chiquito 6, Hinton 5, Nokes 4.
South Central (2-5) ‘ Day 9, Renn 8, Davis 8, Walker 8, Knear 1.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 5 (Chiquito 2, Burns, Nolot, Hinton); South Central 4 (Day 2, Renn, Walker).