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Floyd Central firepower tops North Harrison

Floyd Central firepower tops North Harrison
Floyd Central firepower tops North Harrison
Floyd Central's Levi Siewert, right, fights to hang on to the ball despite the hands of North Harrison's Quinn Kaiser early in the first half. Photo by Wade Bell

Too big. Too quick. Too much firepower.
That was the case of North Harrison versus Floyd Central on Saturday night as the Highlanders were just too much for the host Cougars to handle, resulting in a 65-49 win for the visitors. Despite the loss, however, North Harrison still managed to stay within a competitive distance of the Highlanders, who improved their record to 11-1, while the Cougars now stand at 8-4.
‘This was a good win over a good team that’s having a good year who competes hard, that have tough kids,’ Floyd Central coach Todd Sturgeon said. ‘But, the thing that pleased me the most was those two guys (Cobie Barnes and Luke Gohmann), who are two of the best players in Southern Indiana, and those two guys really working to get each other good shots was just something I enjoyed.’
‘They’re a good team,’ North Harrison coach Kevin Jones said. ‘They’ve got a lot of size. They’ve got more size than anybody we’ve played. They do a good job defending. They’re physical. They’ve got a lot of length. They can switch on things, and they just make it difficult for people to score. We had some free throws and stuff that we needed to get that we didn’t get to go down at crucial times.’
‘I thought we did a good job competing,’ he said. ‘We’re not satisfied just competing. We’re to the point where we think we ought to win those games, but they’re a very good team. We didn’t lay down and just let them walk all over us. So, we made some progress.’
The Cougars got the initial lead when Max Flock drilled a 3-pointer after Floyd Central misfired twice. From there, however, the Highlanders poured in 12 straight points to lead by nine.
The two teams swapped baskets for the remainder of the period, and Floyd Central led by nine, 17-8, after one quarter.
Flock hit another 3-pointer to start the second quarter, but the Highlanders responded with a deuce from Cobie Barnes and two 3-balls by Gohmann. The Cougars later made a slight gain with a 7-2 burst, with Flock getting his third 3 for the night, to close the gap to 10 at 29-19. Floyd Central made only a slight gain before the break, with the Highlanders leading 35-24.
‘They did a good job hanging in the game and making it difficult,’ Sturgeon said. ‘We knew we were within a couple of possessions there and putting it out where it was really going to be hard for them to come back. When it’s 14 or 15, a couple of possessions and it gets to 20, and that’s a long way back the way we normally defend. But, instead, it went to 10, and now it’s a ballgame. That’s to their credit. They just kept battling and competing. It remained a struggle for us to really put them away.’
‘We had a couple of lulls offensively and defensively, one in the second quarter for about two or three minutes where Gohmann got loose and hit a couple of 3s that hurt us,’ Jones said. ‘To start the third quarter, we didn’t come out very strong.’
‘We just had to hit shots,’ he said. ‘At halftime, we had hit four 3s, which is a good half of shooting from the perimeter, but we were four of 12 from inside the lane. Size will do that, too. We just didn’t do a very good job finishing shots in the lane. We were four out of eight at the half. We missed a couple one-and-ones, which are huge, too. We needed a couple more shots to go there in the first half. We got some good looks that just didn’t go.’
Floyd Central began the second half with a 12-1 run to lead 47-25. The Cougars fought to stay in the game but were just 2 of 8 from the field in the period. The Highlanders, meanwhile, hit seven of 10 attempts and led 54-32 with one quarter to go.
North Harrison had a better fourth quarter and made some gains, but, in the end, Floyd Central’s lead was just too much as the Highlanders went on to post the 65-49 win.
Sturgeon had prepared his team for Jeffersonville all week, but that game was postponed due to the snow on Friday. That meant a quick change in plans to prepare for the Cougars.
‘You’re always worried about it because we prepared all week, pretty much all of our time leading up to tonight, has been Jeffersonville,’ Sturgeon said. ‘Then, you get snowed out and you have to shift gears and go to this game. So, you’re worried about that. But, that’s the advantage of having some experienced guys. They know we have a good team but not good enough that we can come over here and get our butts whipped if we’re not ready to go.’
Jones said the third quarter was where his team lost control of the game.
‘It was an important stretch of the game for us,’ he said. ‘We talked about it. We were down 11, and we wanted to cut into that lead those first four minutes to just have a chance to have the lead under 10 to start the fourth quarter. We had some bad offensive possessions and didn’t hit shots, and they made a couple of nice run-outs and made a couple of nice plays. They kind of stretched it out on us a little there. We played them pretty much even rest of the way.’
Gohmann led the Highlanders with 22 points as he hit four shots from behind the arc, and Barnes finished with 18. The Highlanders found 27 field goals on 46 attempts (59 percent) but just 6 of 14 free throws. Floyd Central had 11 turnovers.
Skyler Wetzel led the Cougars with 16 points, while Flock and Jake Book finished with 13 and 12, respectively. The Cougars cashed in 13-of-37 shot attempts from the field (35 percent) and 15-of-22 free throws. North Harrison finished with 14 turnovers.
‘We needed to rebound better,’ Jones said. ‘They beat us by eight on the boards. We only had 14 turnovers, which isn’t horrible compared to the type of pressure they can put on you. Just taking care of the ball and getting good shots and making the good shots when we get open and getting to the line and hitting free throws, just the simple parts of the game. There was really no magic pill or potion that we needed to do. It was just all the little things we needed to be better to have a shot.’
One area Sturgeon said his team has not been short of is effort.
‘I thought on effort I’d give us an A, a solid A-minus or a little bit more,’ he said. ‘Other than a couple of late block-outs there and some fouls, I thought our effort was good. I thought our intelligence level, with us against a large percentage of our schedule, we’ve got a good enough team for our size, and we’re hard enough to play against, teams aren’t going to score in the lane against us, most teams. If we don’t turn it over and don’t let teams get open 3-point shots, they’re going to have a hard time.’
Jones said his team being able to compete against the Class 4A sixth-ranked Highlanders makes him believe the Cougars can deliver some surprises down the road.
‘Just being able to be competitive with them, to hang right there with them and take their punches,’ he said. ‘They won handily, and there was never any doubt they were going to win the game, especially in the second half. Going forward, if we can stand right there toe to toe with them and compete like we did all the way with them, I feel like we’ve got a good shot to do some good things the rest of the way.’

Floyd Central 17 18 19 11 ‘ 65
North Harrison 8 16 8 17 ‘ 49
Floyd Central (11-1) ‘ Heidbreder 1, Weimer 8, Siewert 2, Barnes 18, Hobson 8, Gohmann 22, Nichols 6
North Harrison (8-4) ‘ Flock 13, Harley 2, Book 12, Kaiser 4, Jenkins 16, Hatton 2
3-point goals ‘ Floyd Central 7 (Gohmann 4, Weimer 2, Hobson); North Harrison 6 (Flock 4, Book, Jenkins).