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Lady Cats pull away from Corydon

Lady Cats pull away from Corydon
Lady Cats pull away from Corydon
The Lady Cats used some furious 'D' against visiting Corydon in the third quarter as Taylor Rennirt strips the ball away from Corydon Central's Allyssa Edwards. Photo by Wade Bell

Near the end of the third quarter of the junior varsity game between the North Harrison Lady Cats and Corydon Central Lady Panthers last Tuesday evening, North Harrison freshman Madison Nicolas went chasing after a ball in the corner. Nicolas, moving at a high rate of speed, flew straight into the concrete wall with her arms outstretched to stop her forward momentum.
There was a pop.
Nicolas went down in a heap to the floor screaming, and North Harrison team trainer Kimberly Holzbog flew out of the bleachers to be the first to reach her. Nicolas’ injury to her arm ‘ a severely dislocated elbow ‘ was serious and completely visible to her teammates and coaches. (Nicolas said the next night there also was a small fracture of the radius.) The game was halted as it took more than 30 minutes to splint and package Nicolas for a trip to the hospital by ambulance.
The next chore for the North Harrison coaching staff, knowing that Nicolas, who raised her good arm with a half-heart, was going to be OK, was to get its players’ minds back on the game before them against their biggest county rival.
‘Kids are emotional after you see a teammate go down like that and leave in an ambulance,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘The good news is it’s a dislocation and no (serious) fracture. That’s positive for her. … It was just, ‘OK, let’s play.’ We went back into our game plan again and we’ve got a game to play. It’s bad, but we’ll see what it is when we’re done.’
North Harrison came out shaky at the start, and Corydon Central was keeping the game turned up on ‘Go fast’ mode. The Lady Cats had four early turnovers that allowed the Lady Panthers to take an 8-5 lead. North Harrison quickly put a halt to that, countering with a 10-0 run, with Cali Nolot scoring eight of those, including six on a pair of three-balls.
Cami Schmitt sank a Corydon Central 3-pointer to keep the Lady Panthers to within four. North Harrison, however, got the next four from Lilly Hatton and Nolot to lead 19-11 after one quarter.
‘We were trying to limit them on the offensive end, but part of that is not letting them shoot layup after layup after layup, because their defense causes turnovers,’ Corydon Central coach Mike Uhl said. ‘That’s what you’ve got to eliminate when you play them. You can’t give them the easy baskets, because they’re just too good. They’re too good to just give up easy points.’
The two teams traded baskets during the first half of the second period, but the Lady Cats boosted their lead into double digits with Hatton scoring inside and Nolot sinking a pair of freebies for a 28-15 advantage. Gracie Paden scored for Corydon Central, but Nolot followed with another deuce and Jessicka Chiquito drilled a three.
Hatton got two from the stripe, and Stevi Burns converted off of a Corydon Central turnover for a 37-17 North Harrison lead. Grace Carver scored the final points of the half, cutting Corydon Central’s deficit by two as the Lady Cats took a 37-19 lead to the locker room at the break.
‘It’s intense,’ Voyles said of when the two county rivals get together. ‘Their adrenaline was flowing, and they hit some good outside shots early. We were being a little impatient. We got to doing a little better job moving the basketball and finding openings … We were executing on the offensive end, then we were coming down and getting lost on defense.’
The third quarter, however, belonged to the North Harrison defense. The Lady Cats converted off of two Corydon Central turnovers to lead 41-19. Moments later, converting off of three more turnovers, the Lady Cats scored eight straight points.
Corydon Central called timeout but immediately turned the ball over following the break with Burns scoring for North Harrison. Taylor Rennirt got a deuce to go down on another Corydon Central miscue for a 54-21 lead.
Schmitt finally got two points for the Lady Panthers, but North Harrison continued the onslaught, outscoring Corydon Central 22-8 in the quarter for a 59-27 lead with one to go.
‘That third quarter was a lay-up fest for them,’ Uhl said. ‘The end of the second quarter was too, but the third quarter was just bad. You just can’t do that against them, because they’re just too good. Give them credit; they forced us into some stuff, and, if you give them 30 easy points, they’re going to beat you.’
The final period began with a 6-3 burst by the Lady Cats. The Lady Panthers got a couple of three-balls from Allyssa Edwards and Madison Engleman, but it was much too late as the Lady Cats went on for the 72-40 win.
‘We got to playing the passing lanes a little better and pressuring in the right position, figuring out where we’re supposed to be,’ Voyles said. ‘Stevi (Burns) is a good defensive player, and she tends to score off her defense. It was a good game for her.’
‘That’s the thing about them, they’re so good defensively,’ Uhl said. ‘They started getting deflections, and we had a couple of real soft turnovers, and those turnovers turned into quick layups, and it was a snowball going down a hill there. It was on a roll.’
Hatton led the Lady Cats with 25 points, and Nolot followed with 17. Rennirt had a quiet 14 points for North Harrison, which hit 29 of 54 shots from the field (54 percent) and 9 of 15 free throws. The Lady Cats finished with 13 turnovers.
‘(Lilly’s) come a long way from the 8-year-old who used to shoot two-handed from her chest,’ Voyles said. ‘She’ll tell you herself. It was two-handed ‘Weeeeee!’ up in the air like a rainbow. She laughs about it now. She used to shoot it over the board.’
Edwards led Corydon Central with 14 points. The Lady Panthers connected on 15 of 37 field-goal attempts (41 percent) and 4 of 5 free throws. Corydon Central’s big stat was its 29 turnovers.
‘We’ve got a good group of kids,’ Uhl said. ‘They play hard. They know they played hard. I told them they played hard. We’ll regroup.’
Voyles said things are falling into place for her team as it is gaining confidence heading toward the tournament. She also said playing the bigger (Class) 4A schools has helped it prepare.
‘I think they’re in a really good place,’ she said of her players. ‘They’re fired up. They’re focused. They’re playing well together. … We’ve still got a conference game left (at Brownstown Central). We’ve got two more Hoosier Hills (Conference) teams. I kind of feel like I play two conferences sometimes. … You want to get through your conference play and make sure you get through that solid, then worry about your sectional.’
‘The thing with the big 4A schools is they tend to have a little height with them that you don’t always get with the smaller schools,’ Voyles said. ‘It’s good for us to compete against that as much as we can, because you are going to see it as you go down the road in the tournament play. So, I like to play as many of them as I can.’

Corydon Central 11 8 8 13 ‘ 40
North Harrison 19 18 22 13 ‘ 72
Corydon Central (11-10) ‘ Paden 2, Edwards 14, Rowlett 6, Engleman 5, Schmitt 7, Carver 6
North Harrison (19-1) ‘ Rennirt 14, Hatton 25, Hinton 2, Nolot 17, Nokes 2, Chiquito 4, Burns 8
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 6 (Edwards 2, Rowlett 2, Engleman, Schmitt); North Harrison 4 (Rennirt 2, Nolot 2).