North Harrison wins at Indian Creek
Wade Bell, Clarion News
The North Harrison Lady Cats had an up-and-down Saturday at the Indian Creek Christmas Blast basketball tournament but played well enough to bring home some hardware and a championship. North Harrison topped Monroe Central and Bloomington North to secure the crown. The North Harrison junior varsity also won their division as well, beating Indian Creek in their final.
“I think it gives them a little bit more confidence,” said North Harrison coach Barry Geltmaker. “We got out of playing the regular teams all the time, and we came out and played somebody different and showed that we could beat these other teams. I think it matters a little bit now. We’ve got a good stretch coming up.”
North Harrison vs Monroe Central
During its first contest of the day, Monroe Central got the early lead, but North Harrison countered with a 6-0 run to regain control and lead 16-10 at the end of the first period. The lead went to 10 early in the second on baskets from Ali Saunders and Jessica Fulk, but the Lady Bears scrapped their way back into the game with a 17-4 run for a 27-24 lead. Saunders scored again, but Monroe Central countered with eight straight to lead by five. Diana Burgher got two of those back, and North Harrison was down three at halftime, 33-30.
“We went in spurts,” Geltmaker said. “We got up 10 early then gave it back to them and just kept throwing it back to them. Then finally, I don’t know what happened, but we finally quit throwing it to them. We should have won by 20-something.”
The Lady Cats came out on fire in the second half, scoring the first 13 points of the third period to lead 45-35. The Lady Bears again made a run, this time 8-0, and the game was back to two points, 45-43, with one quarter remaining. Katie Pike scored to tie the game at 45 to start the fourth, but North Harrison countered with a 10-2 burst, pushing the North Harrison lead back to eight. North Harrison held on from that point and got the 66-54 win.
“We hustled a little bit better there at the end,” Geltmaker said. “We did right at the beginning and right at the end. In the middle, I don’t know what we were doing.”
Burgher led the Lady Cats with 27 points, and Saunders followed with 15. North Harrison was 27 of 53 from the field, hit 9 of 12 free throws and had 13 turnovers. Hannah Bolten led Monroe Central with 17, and Gabby Beckham finished with 16 for the Lady Bears.
“She was big today,” Geltmaker said of Burgher. “She hit a lot of easy shots, a lot of little quick jumpers at the free-throw line with the elbow. She beat them down the floor. They didn’t expect her to get down the floor, I guess. She played well.”
North Harrison vs Bloomington North
Geltmaker wasn’t completely ready for his championship round game against Bloomington North, which disposed of Indian Creek during the morning session.
“I really thought Indian Creek would win it; I was kind of shocked,” Geltmaker said. “I talked to the Floyd Central coach (Randy Gianfagna), and Floyd beat them by about three or four. … I was planning on playing them, but we don’t care. We’re there, and we’ll play whoever’s there.”
North Harrison got an early jump on the Lady Cougars to start the game and built up a 14-9 advantage by the end of the period. The Lady Cats’ lead jumped to seven in the second quarter, but fatigue was beginning to rear its ugly head on both ends of the court. Casey Thomas and Erin Lillis scored for Bloomington North to close the gap to three. Saunders and Burgher put in the last three of the half, and the Lady Cats’ advantage was 22-16 at the break.
“They were quick guards,” said Geltmaker. “Their one little guard (Aimsley Urbanski) was really good. She averages 20 a game. We finally got them stopped doing that and running around us, and we did OK then.”
Bloomington North began the second half with a 7-2 burst to close the gap to one, 24-23, and rallied on to take a 33-31 edge following a 7-0 burst, with Urbanski scoring five of those in the run. Skylie Burns got the last basket of the period, and the game was tied at 33 going into the last quarter.
Casey Thomas gave Bloomington North a 36-33 edge with a deuce-and-one to start the fourth. The Lady Cougars held on to the lead through the first four minutes until Lucy Robertson scored inside and Burgher got a deuce-and-one to put the Lady Cats up by three. The two teams traded paint, but Elyse Goad scored with just under a minute to go to put Bloomington North back on top by one. Saunders and Robertson countered with four. Bloomington North got off a mid-court shot at the end, but the ball went left, securing North Harrison’s 49-46 championship win.
“I think we got a little tired tonight,” said Geltmaker. “We’d had a long day and we were just kind of standing around and looking around, but we fought our way back again. We don’t give up. We keep fighting most of the time. We changed defenses there at the end and tried something different. It worked a little bit I think.”
Burgher led the Lady Cats with 17, and Saunders and Robertson finished with 12 and 10, respectively. North Harrison hit 18 of 39 from the field (46%), 11 of 15 free throws and had 21 turnovers. Urbanski led Bloomington North with 18, and Thomas finished with 16.
“We’ve got Providence then Seymour,” Geltmaker said. “Then it gets a little tougher when we go to Corydon. No matter what the record is, Corydon is always tough, especially down there. It’s the same thing when they come up to our place. It’s a rival game, so it’s tough. Then, we’ve got Bedford after that. That will be a tough one. I’d like to get that one.”
Monroe Central 10 23 10 11 – 54
North Harrison 16 14 15 21 – 66
Monroe Central (8-4) – H. Bolton 17, Beckham 16, Pike 7, McGrath 6, B. Bolton 3, Duncan 3, Morrison 2.
North Harrison (9-4) – Burgher 27, Saunders 15, Robertson 8, Fulk 7, Jacobi 5, Beyerle 2, Moore 2.
3-point goals – Monroe Central 6 (Beckham 2, B. Bolton 1, H Bolton 1, Duncan 1, Pike 1); North Harrison 3 (Fulk 1, Jacobi 1, Saunders 1).
North Harrison 14 8 11 16 – 49
Bloomington North 9 7 17 13 – 46
North Harrison (10-4) – Burgher 14, Saunders 12, Robertson 10, Burns 4, Jacobi 4, Fulk 3, Beyerle 2.
Bloomington North (5-9) – Urbanski 18, Thomas 16, Lillis 8, Goad 4.
3-point goals – North Harrison 2 (Saunders 1, Fulk 1); Bloomington North 4 (Lillis 2, Urbanski 2).