Lady Eagles get tough conference road win
by George Browning, Sports Writer [email protected]
Lanesville hit eight out of 10 free throws in the final 1:30 to win Saturday’s Southern Athletic Conference game at New Washington, 63-54.
“If you are going to win games like this, you have to make free throws,” said Lanesville coach Angie Hinton. “We’re not a great free-throw shooting team either, so it was great to see some kids step up to the line and make them. We had some young kids who did that, too.”
The Lady Eagles got the lead in the opening minutes and maintained that advantage throughout but could never pull away from the Mustangs.
The closest New Washington ever got was to within one point, 6-5, midway through the first quarter. Lanesville used a 7-0 run to end that threat and provide a little cushion.
Morgan Sonner hit two free throws, and Gracie Adams hit a three and scored a two-point basket that made the Lady Eagles’ lead eight, 13-5.
The margin stayed between three and six points until Lanesville’s offense woke up.
A three by New Washington’s Taylor James cut the Lady Eagles’ advantage to three, 29-26, in the opening minute of the third quarter.
Linzie Wernert scored three quick points for Lanesville, and Sonner hit two free throws. A two by Emma Campbell was followed by an offensive rebound and a put-back basket by Wernert.
Georgia Brumley joined the fray by drilling a three-point basket that gave the Lady Eagles an 11-point lead, 39-28.
Another basket off an offensive rebound by Adams and two free throws by Brumley gave Lanesville its biggest lead, 13, with a score of 43-30.
A 5-2 run by New Washington to end the third quarter trimmed the margin to 10, 45-35.
The Lady Mustangs’ final charge came when Makynsie Barger hit a two and James another of her three threes. New Washington trailed 55-48, setting up Lanesville’s heroics at the line.
The victory wasn’t picture perfect, but it was the Lady Eagles’ ninth win in a row and it’s one that Hinton was glad to see her team find a way to win.
“Some of us didn’t have our best game today, but it was good enough to survive,” she said. “It was a methodical type game, and we came out with the win. It’s good to win games like this.”
Hinton credited the Lady Mustangs for having a solid game plan and sticking to it throughout the contest.
“New Washington was sticking to Gracie (Adams) pretty good,” she said. “It took us a while to get going and get to running up and down the floor a little bit. They have kids who can shoot the ball, and they have some veteran kids out there. They are going to show up to play and try to offset things we are doing. They had a good game plan and stuck to what they wanted to do. We just kept plugging away and just kept trying to use different people until we found the group that worked.”
Sonner led Lanesville with 16 points, 11 of which came in the final eight minutes. Despite the extra defensive attention, Wernert added 14 points for the Lady Eagles.
Both Sonner and Wernert are freshmen adjusting to the varsity game, and Hinton said the two are so talented it’s easy to forget they are still experiencing a lot of basketball firsts.
“Sonner and Linzie both are freshmen, and this is a big conference game and we take things for granted with those two sometimes,” she said. “This is their first go-round, and they are going to have some ups and downs but, overall, they did a good job.”
Some of Sonner’s points in the paint were due to Lanesville finally knocking down some outside shots. Campbell knocked down three 3-point baskets during the crucial second-quarter run that extended Lanesville’s lead. As a team, Lanesville ended up hitting seven.
“Campbell came in and hit some shots for us and did a good job handling the ball and defending,” Hinton said. “Her three threes in the second quarter helped us to pull away a little bit, and we kept trying to plug away.”
As far as adjustments Lanesville made to finally open the offensive flood gate, Hinton said there weren’t any. It was just a matter of some of the open shots falling. She said her team is talented enough that those open looks should be there.
“We feel like we have a lot of different weapons when we move the basketball and get it reversed; there are going to be some kids open,” she said. “When teams (double team) Gracie and Linzie (Wernert), we have some kids who are going to be open and Morgan is one of those kids and our guards will be too. We had all kinds of open looks in the first half; we just didn’t knock down those shots. Then, Morgan broke loose on the inside and we got the ball to her and she finished well and made some free throws at the end.”
The Lady Eagles will not participate in a holiday tournament but will return to the court Jan. 2 with a game at Tell City at 8 p.m. They will follow that with a game at home Jan. 3 against Cannelton.
Lanesville 13 16 16 18 – 63
New Washington 8 15 12 19 – 54
Lanesville (13-2, 3-0 SAC) – Morgan Sonner 16, Linzie Wernert 14, Gracie Adams 12, Georgia Brumley 11, Emma Campbell 9, Danielle Haire 1.
New Washington (6-9, 1-2) – Taylor James 17, Makynsie Barger 16, Mackenzie Krouse 8, Kalin Campbell 6, Adrian Miles 5, Grace Ellison 2.
3-point goals – Lanesville 7 (Brumley 3, Campbell 3, Adams 1); New Washington 8 (Barger 3, James 3, Krouse 1, Miles 1).