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Austin contains Lady Cats

Austin contains Lady Cats
Austin contains Lady Cats
Photo by Brandon Miniard. North Harrison senior Diana Burgher goes up with a post hook to kick off the Lady Cats’ contest against MSC-rival Austin on Thursday. Despite a 21-point effort from Burgher, the Lady Cats fell to the Lady Eagles 59-42.
Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

In the post-Ali Saunders era, the North Harrison Lady Cats have seen their season take a turn for the worse.

Ever since Saunders’ swan song in the Lady Cats’ overtime victory against rival Salem on Dec. 16, the Lady Cats have had to adjust to competition without their leading scorer. The transition has been tough as the Lady Cats have dropped their last three games to the likes of Floyd Central, Trinity Lutheran and Seymour.

Starting 2022 at 0-1, the Lady Cats looked to get their first victory of the new year as they hosted Mid-Southern Conference-rival Austin on Thursday. That win did not come as turnovers and foul trouble doomed the Lady Cats to fall to the Lady Eagles 59-42.

The contest began as a contentious, low-scoring affair as Lady Cats’ senior wing Diana Burgher opened the scoring before the Lady Eagles’ Mayci Furnish countered with a three-point play. After Lady Cats’ junior Audrey Tucker and Burgher each chipped in a bucket, Kelsey Hawkins pushed the Lady Eagles ahead with the period’s final five points to give the visitors a slim 8-6 edge.

The Lady Eagles’ run only intensified in the second quarter as they outscored the Lady Cats 18-11 in the period, led by five points from Furnish, four from Lizzy Baker and a three-pointer from Erin Lee. Burgher did all she could to keep the Lady Cats in the contest with a pair of buckets, as well as combining with Tucker to go a perfect 7 for 7 from the charity stripe, only to head into the locker room trailing 26-17.

From the moment the second half began, the Lady Cats appeared to spiral downward as multiple turnovers and foul trouble led to an early 11-3 Lady Eagles’ run, the three Lady Cats’ points coming courtesy of a bucket from sophomore Sydney Smith and a Burgher free throw. Smith added the Lady Cats’ only triple of the contest alongside another Burgher bucket as the hosts managed only eight points in the quarter.

After scoring eight points in the first half, Furnish exploded in the third quarter for the Lady Eagles with nine points, six of which came off long balls, alongside four points from Alexus Hargrave. The offensive assault allowed the Lady Eagles to outscore their hosts 19-8 in the period, which concluded with a 45-25 guest advantage.

The Lady Cats managed to outscore their guests 17-14 in the final quarter, led by six points from Tucker, four from Burgher and two apiece from senior Molly Coomer, sophomore Graci Stegner and freshman Lydia Wilkins. The scoring effort was for naught as the Lady Cats dropped their fourth straight contest 59-42.

The Lady Cats entered the new week knowing that matters won’t be any easier as they confront a pair of Top 15 teams in Class 3A.
They began the week yesterday (Tuesday) by traveling to arch rival and 3A No. 11 Corydon Central for a hardwood edition of the Big Cat Classic. After dealing with the rival Lady Panthers, the Lady Cats will return to Ramsey on Saturday to host 3A No. 12 Evansville Memorial. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

Austin 8 18 19 14 – 59
North Harrison 6 11 8 17 – 42
Austin – Furnish 23, Hawkins 12, Baker 7, Lee 6, Bush 5, Hargrave 4, Buckel 2.
North Harrison – Burgher 21, Tucker 10, Smith 5, Coomer 2, Stegner 2, Wilkins 2.
3-point goals – Austin 8 (Furnish 5, Lee 2, Hawkins 1); North Harrison 1 (Smith).
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