Posted on

Lady Cats pick up pace, roll in opener

Lady Cats pick up pace, roll in opener
Lady Cats pick up pace, roll in opener
Lanesville's Peyton Sonner contests a shot inside by North Harrison's Emma Nokes in the second half last Tuesday. Photo by Brian Smith

North Harrison began its follow-up season to a state runner-up finish a year ago with a 100-27 victory at Lanesville last Tuesday.
The Lady Cats needed a few minutes to find the proper gear, but, once they did, they rolled off 37 consecutive points to overwhelm Lanesville.
‘They are excited to get started,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said of her squad. ‘They are tired of practicing with us, tired of hearing us gripe.’
There was a sea of blue-and-white behind the North Harrison bench, a community excited for the season to commence. North Harrison entered the preseason coaches’ poll ranked No. 2 in Class 3A.
‘People are excited,’ Voyles said. ‘I’ve heard it all summer. People are excited to see what they can do. I think we are going to have a good year. I don’t know if it’s going to be a 28-3 year. We had some close games last year with good teams and came out on the winning side of. We’ll see.’
Hitting the 100-point mark for the first time since the 1991-92 Lady Cats posted 102 versus Perry Central, the current crop of North Harrison girls’ basketball players were hitting their marks.
All 11 dressed varsity players recorded at least two points, led by 6-foot-1 sophomore Lilly Hatton’s career-best 28.
‘I don’t think she missed a shot in the first half,’ Voyles said.
Lanesville coach Kevin Smith was aware of the match-up differences between the two teams.
‘We have nobody with Lilly Hatton’s size or as quick as their guards,’ Smith said. ‘It was not a very good match-up for our first game of the year.’
It was Lanesville that struck first. A left-side 3-pointer by way of Katelyn Pavey started the scoring for the Lady Eagles.
Then, North Harrison picked up the pressure. The Lady Cats forced 17 first-quarter turnovers.
Hatton knocked down a jumper, then 3-pointers started to fall. Cali Nolot, Stevi Burns and Hatton nailed triples to put North Harrison up 16-3.
‘We had a lead,’ Smith said. ‘We made them wake up. That’s a bad thing.’
North Harrison continued to pour in points during a 35-point first quarter. Taylor Rennirt mixed it up on the offensive glass to score four points on second chances. Nolot and Burns picked off steals and raced to the other end for layups.
‘The first two minutes, we turned the ball over three times,’ Voyles said. ‘We weren’t very focused. They did pick it up.’
Lexy Terrell added a free throw before the close of the opening quarter, seeing the Lady Cats up 35-3.
Lanesville broke the scoring drought with a single free throw from Peyton Sonner. The senior went on to hit a pair of 3-pointers, leading Lanesville in scoring with 10 points.
Scoring continued for North Harrison. Off the bench, Savana Rhodes swished a 3-pointer. Hinton and Nolot put in three field goals apiece in the second quarter. Seeing her first action since a knee injury, Jessicka Chiquito scored in the paint.
Lanesville managed a 10-point third quarter with field goals coming from Mckenzie Randolph and Sonner.
‘The big thing was, we saw the effort and determination we’ve been looking for,’ Smith said. ‘I didn’t see a lot of heads hanging. Of course, when you get beat like that, you have a tendency to hang your head. At times, they showed in spurts they could play hard.’
North Harrison went on to pull away, hitting the 100-point mark with a Shelby Kondovski basket.
‘We’re anxious to get going,’ Voyles said. ‘We have a really tough schedule. We start with Jeff, we picked up Bedford, we have Tippecanoe Valley and possibly Greenfield or Plainfield. New Albany is good this year. We have a very tough schedule.’
With high expectations from the outside, Voyles said her team plans to take it game by game.
‘We’re not going to win every game,’ she said. ‘I hope we do, but I don’t see that because it isn’t easy to go undefeated, especially with our schedule. I think we’ll have to come to compete on many, many nights. Sometimes you learn more from failures, not that I want to fail.’
Lanesville will return to action at the Corydon Central Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Eagles will take on the host school at 10 a.m.
Smith said his team will move on from the experience of facing North Harrison.
‘I think deep down they knew they were over-matched,’ Smith said. ‘We wanted to make sure we could come out and give them a good game if we could. With only six varsity players, it’s hard to do that early in the season against a team of that caliber.’
North Harrison will open its home slate of games Friday against Eastern (Pekin) followed by Charlestown on Saturday.

North Harrison 35 23 21 21 ‘ 100
Lanesville 3 8 10 6 ‘ 27
North Harrison (1-0) ‘ Hatton 28, Nolot 17, Burns 14, Rennirt 8, Rhodes 7, Hinton 6, Nokes 5, Shelton 5, Terrell 4, Kondovski 4, Chiquito 2.
Lanesville (0-1) ‘ Sonner 10, Pavey 6, Randolph 6, Jacobs 2, Philpott 2, Miller 1.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 5 (Burns 2, Hatton, Nolot, Rhodes); Lanesville 5 (Sonner 2, Pavey 2, Randolph).