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PURPLE HEAVEN

PURPLE HEAVEN
PURPLE HEAVEN
The Lanesville Lady Eagles romped past Borden 50-19 to capture their first girls' basketball sectional championship Saturday night in the Class 1A tournament in Elizabeth. Lanesville (18-6) advances to Saturday's Springs Valley Regional to face second-ranked Vincennes Rivet (26-0). See Sports for complete coverage. Photos by Brian Smith

Within the community of Lanesville and Southern Indiana basketball, there was a conversation topic Lady Eagles’ guard Georgia Brumley couldn’t avoid. It often began with, ‘When this happens … ‘
Since 1976, the Lanesville girls’ program has gone without a sectional title, but that all changed Saturday night. No longer will there be a blank Southern Athletic Conference girls’ basketball banner in the Eagles’ Nest. And one addition, a Class 1A Sectional banner, will need a spot on the opposite wall.
‘It’s awesome to be the first,’ Brumley said. ‘We came into it with a lot of pressure this year … It was never ‘We’re going to win’; it was always we had to work to get this.’
The championship game against Borden was tight in the opening quarter, but the final three frames were all purple and white. Outscoring Borden 41-11 the rest of the way, Lanesville could unwind in the final minutes to build up toward gripping that first sectional trophy through a 50-19 victory.
‘Honestly, this means everything,’ Lanesville sophomore forward Danielle Haire said. ‘My mom tells me that, when I have children, they are going to say, ‘My mom was the first one to put numbers on the basketball banner.’ It’s fun to make history. It’ll always be a story to tell.’
First-year Lanesville coach Angie Hinton is no stranger to coaching in big games. Her previous head coaching stop was New Albany, where the 1998-99 Lady Bulldogs won a Class 4A state title. Lanesville assistant coach Joe Hinton, a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, knows a thing or two about winning sectionals as well.
‘It never gets old,’ Angie Hinton said. ‘You are in Indiana, and winning a sectional has been the most gratifying event regardless of class and level. This is what Indiana basketball is about. This is what you want to do on Saturday night, go play basketball and try to win a championship. To have this kind of community support is so much fun.’
Borden used 3-pointers by Christina Knight to take an early lead off the tip. Gracie Adams, who received 10 stitches on her lower lip after taking a blow to the face the night prior, showed no signs of worry, despite the obvious swelling.
Adams ended the first quarter with a 3-pointer, sending Lanesville to a 9-8 lead. The standout sophomore ended the night with a game-high 18 points along with six rebounds and four assists.
‘What guts Gracie has playing with all those stitches in her mouth,’ Hinton said. ‘That’s determination.’
Adams, through her quiet demeanor yet aggressive play on the court, wasn’t shook.
‘It made me have more of a chip on my shoulder,’ Adams said. ‘I’m not done. I’m not down because we were ready to win this. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t play through.’
The Lanesville crowd grew louder and louder as the second quarter progressed. Haire and Kennedy Gordon netted jump shots, followed by Adams scoring again for a 16-8 lead. Kayde Faulkenburg nailed a 3-pointer for Borden with 3:55 to go until halftime. That would be the last field goal Borden would score during the next 16:35 of game time.
‘At the beginning of the game, we came in thinking they would lay down a little bit,’ Brumley said. ‘They didn’t and gave us a run, so we had to pick it up. We had to put more pressure on the ball to create turnovers.’
Austin Crosier closed out the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer, giving the Lady Eagles a 24-13 half-time lead.
Crosier and Gordon, both freshmen, were stifling on defense. They combined for 11 steals with seven credited to Gordon.
‘Crosier is so long and can make players do things they don’t want to do,’ Hinton said. ‘She may not be the benefactor with scoring, but the team is.’
Possession and scoring were troublesome for Borden the rest of the way as Lanesville surged ahead. Adams, Haire and Brumley had field goals to balloon the margin to 20-plus in the third quarter. Soon, it was all about getting to all zeros on the clock to slip fingers through scissors and cut nets.
‘In the third quarter, when we started super strong, I knew we had it, 100 percent,’ said Haire, who had 12 points and three boards.
Gordon closed with seven points, Crosier five, Elizabeth Turner four, Allison Slaughter two and Brumley two. Turner dished six assists.
‘Everybody on this team made a difference,’ Hinton said. ‘They are a true team. My coaching staff is great. Our support staff is great. I couldn’t do it without them … This is a lot of fun.’
Lanesville came into the sectional as the hottest team in the field. Now, with an eight-game win streak and a record of 12-2 since December, the Lady Eagles proved they could turn the corner as a program.
‘We had to bust it in practice,’ Adams said. ‘Everybody did. Players who may not have played in the sectional much, they really helped us in practice. Our whole team brought it together.’
From improved fundamentals and understanding the game, Adams said another key has been communication. The goal has been, for some time now, a sectional.
‘I don’t think it started this year,’ Brumley said. ‘Our assistant coach, Lacy Crosier, started working with us in the fourth grade, and our goal then was to work up toward this. I think this shows we have continued to work toward this. When we got the Hintons, that was a big step for us. We aren’t freshmen anymore. We had to grow up.’
Coach Hinton said she used the Christmas break to focus on seeing who would step up as practices began to intensify.
‘The kids really bought in,’ she said. ‘When we pushed them, they were taking it. Then, I would push them a little more, and they kept taking it all in. We always come back with love. When these kids know you are working really hard for them and respect what you are doing, then they give you their best. They really played their hearts out.’
Haire, a fiery player on the court, echoed her coach.
‘Coach Hinton was lenient early in the season, getting to know us,’ she said. ‘Then, she really hit our bones and dug in at mid-season, doing what really good coaches probably do.’
The end result was the most pleasing. It wasn’t all about the scoreboard or point totals, rather the victory as a community.
‘After the game, looking in the crowd and seeing the smiles on people’s faces … you could see how happy they are for us,’ Adams said. ‘They are here for us too.’
Improving to an 18-6 record, the win total is a program record as well for a team that has one senior, Macie Witt Haley.
‘It’s so gratifying to see people so happy,’ Hinton said. ‘It’s truly opened my heart.’

Borden 8 5 3 3 ‘ 19
Lanesville 9 15 11 15 ‘ 50
Borden (9-16) ‘ Christina Knight 8, Kayde Faulkenburg 5, Gabby Thomas 3, Kaylie Magallanes 2, Dayton Nale 1.
Lanesville (18-6) ‘ Gracie Adams 18, Danielle Haire 12, Kennedy Gordon 7, Austin Crosier 5, Elizabeth Turner 4, Allison Slaughter 2, Georgia Brumley 2.
3-point goals ‘ Borden 3 (Knight 2, Faulkenburg); Lanesville 3 (Adams, Gordon, Crosier).

Class 1A Springs Valley Regional information

Lanesville advances to the Class 1A Springs Valley Regional, which will take place Saturday in French Lick.
The Lady Eagles will take on Class 1A No. 2 Vincennes Rivet (26-0) at 10 a.m. Unbeaten in the regular season, the Lady Patriots are coming off a state runner-up season a year ago. Rivet is paced by Indiana University commit Grace Waggoner, a 6-foot forward, along with junior forward Tia Tolbert.
The opposite semi-final will feature No. 12 West Washington (17-9) versus No. 8 Tecumseh (18-5) at noon. The winners will return at 7:30 p.m. to play for the regional championship.
Lanesville faced West Washington during the regular season, on Nov. 17, and lost 55-46.
Admission for Saturday’s contest will be $7 per session or $10 for both sessions.

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