Lanesville off to quick (2-0) start
Brian Smith, Sports Editor, [email protected]
Eight unanswered points out of the gate during Saturday’s home debut for the Lanesville girls’ basketball team put the Lady Eagles at 2-0 through the first week of action.
The follow-up to a 73-23 opening season rout at Shawe Memorial was a visit to the Eagles’ nest from Mitchell. Held to single-digit scoring in all four quarters, Mitchell had little luck stringing together meaningful runs versus Lanesville. Backed by a 28-point, 14-rebound performance out of junior Gracie Adams, Lanesville won 46-31.
While the 28 points was a game-best, the two points scored midway through the fourth quarter carried more meaning to the packed Lanesville crowd of students tucked in the corner of the gym.
Not only did Austin Crosier’s basket double up Mitchell’s score at the time, 44-22, the No. 44 paid tribute to classmate Thomas Elder. The senior basketball player, beloved by many in the school community, passed away in a vehicle crash earlier in the week.
When the clock showed 44, the band could have cued Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” as students jumped up and down with wide smiles across each row.
Lanesville coach Angie Hinton could have questioned what may happen on the court Saturday, but the Lady Eagles put that to rest early. Adams went to the line for a pair of free throws then scored on a put-back to put Lanesville up 4-0. The lead doubled when Crosier had a steal-and-score, then Georgia Brumley scored on a fast break with Elizabeth Turner dishing the assist.
“I know things have been very emotional for everyone this week,” said Hinton. “When the whistle blows, we talked about putting things to the side.”
The focus shifted to basketball as Adams closed the opening eight minutes with seven more points. She nailed a turn-around jumper then converted an old-fashioned 3-point play in the paint after drawing contact.
Lanesville forced 13 turnovers in the opening half, using five of those to help build a 15-8 advantage after one quarter.
An 8-2 start to the second period, predicated on points from Adams, pushed Lanesville’s lead to 13, 23-10.
“Gracie really takes the team on her shoulders,” said Hinton. “Sometimes, I think the kids, when Gracie is scoring big, forget what they can do and get caught watching too much.”
It was the opposite at Shawe Memorial. Hinton said the team played more relaxed on the road.
“I think tonight we had kids that were a little more tense,” she said. “It showed at times. Our defensive effort was there.”
Mitchell’s best run came in the second quarter with Mylea Slone, Lilly Zeeks and Madison Robertson finding the basket to get the game to 23-16. In the final 30 seconds, Adams added four more points to give Lanesville an 11-point half-time cushion.
Going with a taller lineup to start the second half to counter some length of Mitchell, Lanesville saw 5-foot-11 freshman Morgan Sonner score with an assist from classmate Linzie Wernert. Scoring was more balanced for Lanesville in the second half as Turner, Wernert and Adams tallied points as well.
“Morgan came in and did a great job in the second half,” said Hinton. “One thing we do struggle with is rebounding, and I think Morgan gives us that piece. Linzie is another freshman that gives us more strength in our overall game.”
Field goals by Danielle Haire, Adams, Crosier, Wernert and Turner helped Lanesville close out the final stanza strong.
Although Adams had a big night, which included going 7 for 7 at the foul line, four steals and three blocked shots, Hinton wants others on the floor to sit back.
“I feel like we have 10 kids that are all trying to share roles,” said Hinton. “Our roles are different in every game and will depend on the situation. Everybody has something to contribute, and I think sometimes our kids are thinking too much. They forget to just go out and play.”
Crosier ended her night with five steals to go with four points. Haire pulled four boards, while Wernert dished four assists and swiped a trio of steals.
“I like my team,” said Hinton. “I like what we can do. It’s still a work in progress. We expect a lot and will continue to expect a lot.”
The Lady Eagles had to fend off ball pressure against its guards much of the night, which is a welcomed test for the early slate.
“It gives us things to go back and work on in practice,” said Hinton. “We have been working every day against man-to-man pressure, putting kids in adverse situations. It’s also passing and coming to passes. It’s hard to simulate the other team in practice because each team is different. Mitchell came at us hard. We will continue to work.”
Slone paced Mitchell in scoring with eight points, while Madison Robertson added six.
Lanesville is set to play in the Battle at the First Capital, hosted by Corydon Central, on Friday and Saturday. The Lady Eagles will open the tournament on Friday versus Southridge at 6 p.m.
Mitchell 8 8 6 9 – 31
Lanesville 15 12 8 11 – 46
Mitchell (0-1) – Mylea Slone 8, Madison Robertson 6, Jordyn Sarver 4, Jayden Shaff 4, Brooklyn Peterson 4, Lilly Zeeks 3, Taylor Duncan 2.
Lanesville (2-0) – Gracie Adams 28, Elizabeth Turner 4, Linzie Wernert 4, Austin Crosier 4, Georgia Brumley 2, Morgan Sonner 2, Danielle Haire 2.
3-poing goals – Lanesville 1 (Adams).