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NH bigs too much for Crawford

NH bigs too much for Crawford
NH bigs too much for Crawford
North Harrison's size and defensive trap makes it rough on the Crawford County Lady Pack in the first half as Lady Pack guard Gabi Gaines tries to work between North Harrison towers Chloe Jacobi, left, and Lilly Hatton. Photo by Wade Bell

Crawford County girls’ basketball coach Chris Broughton knew that last Tuesday was probably going to be a rough night against the much larger visiting North Harrison Lady Cats, including 6-1 center Lilly Hatton. From the tip-off, North Harrison gave the Lady Pack much more than they could handle, and Hatton matched Crawford County in the 70-39 win.
‘I just want to start off and just compliment Lilly Hatton,’ Broughton said after the game. ‘She’s just a tremendous player. This is my sixth year coaching, and she’s the best player that I’ve coached against, and maybe will coach against, in this area. Hats off to her.
‘She’s a great kid and put 39 on us tonight. She scored the same total that we did. We tried everything we could to stop her. We don’t have the physical strength to have anybody to guard her. So, hats off to her. She’s just a tremendous player.’
‘We know we have a size advantage, and we attempt to use that,’ North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. ‘They were having a hard time guarding us tonight. Ali (Saunders) was passing the ball tremendously well, so we got a lot of easy looks.’
North Harrison came out with a trapping defense that just overpowered the Lady Pack. The Lady Cats went on a 17-0 run to start the game.
Autumn Schigur had the Lady Pack’s only field goal of the first quarter as they misfired on the other eight attempts. The Lady Cats put in 10 of 17 from the field during the period, most of those coming from inside, and took a 25-5 lead at the end of the period.
Voyles said the trap did what it was supposed to do in the first period.
‘We were playing it very well,’ she said, ‘but, then, we got in foul trouble and had to pull out a little bit.’
‘Momentum is everything in basketball,’ Hatton said. ‘With our trap right now and our length on the court, it scares teams. … We’re looking forward to scoring off of our defense, because that is something we haven’t been able to do a lot in the past.’
Broughton said his team wasn’t ready for the North Harrison defense.
‘That’s on me,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to do a better job of preparing them for that. It hits us at a bad time. We had three games over the weekend, and I think the kids were a little tired. We don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare for them, but they’re in the same boat ‘ they played (Eastern) Pekin and Charlestown Friday and Saturday ‘ and I’ve got to do a better job of getting us prepared for that.’
North Harrison had another big quarter in the second with 22 points, but Crawford County did as well, finally finding a groove. The Lady Cats began with a 7-2 burst. The Lady Pack answered in kind, pulling the North Harrison lead back to 19. Crawford County dug deep trying to find a way to catch up, but North Harrison went on to hold a 47-21 lead at the break.
One Lady Cat who got some extra time in the half was junior Maddie Nichols, who gave North Harrison a boost on defense.
‘She played pretty controlled,’ Voyles said.
‘We wanted to make a few little adjustments defensively,’ Broughton said of his half-time talk. ‘I still really felt like we could have pressured them and denied them the ball, it would cause some problems out front, that we would have had a better chance.
‘We did that to start the third quarter, but we were aggressive going at her (Hatton),’ he said. ‘We didn’t want to back away from her, and I thought at times early we kind of shied away. We had a little fight there at the start of the half, and I think we cut it to about 20, and then I think we kind of ran out of steam a little bit, too.’
Hatton drew her third foul early in the third quarter but had plenty of backup as Dianna Burgher and Chloe Jacobi worked more in the paint. Crawford County got a pair of 3-balls from Jadin Wolf later in the period, with Brooke Elliott adding a third, to give the home fans something to cheer about.
North Harrison, however, was just too strong and Crawford County’s hole was too deep. While the Lady Pack did win the third quarter by two points, they lost the fourth quarter by seven, and the Lady Cats cruised to the 31-point win.
‘They did play hard,’ Voyles said of her team. ‘I had some kids step up. I’ve got kids injured (Lucy Robertson and Skylie Burns), and I had other kids step up and play very well for us. So, I’m pleased with that.’
‘It’s, ‘What do you do?’ ‘ said Broughton, who had Hatton double- and even triple-teamed at times. ‘We fought inside, and it’s just a credit to her. She’s just a great player.
Hatton’s 39 points were four short of her personal record of 43. Jacobi also scored in double digits with 10. The Lady Cats were 29 of 51 from the field (57 percent) and 10 of 15 from the free-throw line. North Harrison finished with 11 turnovers.
Hatton credited a lot of her points to her teammates who fed her the ball inside, especially Saunders, a freshman.
‘Ali Saunders had some of the most beautiful lobs I’ve ever gotten playing high school basketball,’ the North Harrison senior said. ‘They were perfect. I couldn’t have pictured a better pass. I didn’t even know I was open, and she was throwing it right into my hands where I could finish. It was awesome. She did a great job and so did our other guards.’
‘They did so good,’ she said of her teammates. ‘We’ve really worked on that in practice. We all want to be offensive threats because we can have people who aren’t being guarded, because that opens it up for teams that double-team me.’
‘We’re short a little bit right now with Lucy Robertson out and also Skylie Burns out, so we had a couple of girls who haven’t had major varsity minutes out there,’ Hatton said.
‘They did panic a little bit. They were, ‘Oh, I’m in a varsity game and no one is guarding me. What do I do? I didn’t expect I’d have to score.’ So, that will be a thing building their confidence up.’
Treasure Nickelson led the Lady Pack with 12 points. Crawford County made just 11 of 37 shots from the field (30 percent) and 14 of 19 from the charity stripe. The Lady Pack had 15 turnovers, including 11 in the first half.
Broughton said he was pleased with how his bench played under a tough situation, especially Wolf in the second and third periods.
‘I thought Jadin played well,’ the Crawford County coach said. ‘She came in and didn’t back down. She had a couple of open looks and wasn’t afraid to shoot the ball. She stepped up and shot it. Jadin played well, and she showed herself a little big tonight. I expect to see her come in a little more than usual.’
Voyles said her team still needs to work on keeping its opponents off the charity stripe.
‘We’ve got to learn to play without fouling,’ she said. ‘We did that a lot today. So, just a better position and rotation a little better.’
For Broughton, he wants his players to put this game behind them and move on to the ones ahead of them.
‘We’ll be fine,’ he said. ‘It’s a quick turnaround. The thing with kids nowadays, they usually have a short memory, so I think that can be a good thing. We’ve got to get ready for Tell City Friday and Lanesville next Tuesday, and we want to finish this little stretch out here headed into the Thanksgiving break on a positive note … We’ll regroup and we’ll come back and we’ll get them playing hard again.’

North Harrison 25 22 12 11 ‘ 70
Crawford County 5 16 14 4 ‘ 39
North Harrison (3-1) ‘ Nicholas 2, Saunders 7, Hatton 39, Jacobi 10, Burgher 4, Fulk 2, Coomer 6
Crawford County (3-3) ‘ Schigur 3, Wolf 6, Gaines 2, Elliott 9, Sturgeon 4, Nickelson 12, Fraime 1, Logsdon 2
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 2 (Saunders 2); Crawford County 3 (Wolf 2, Elliott 1).