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Lanesville wards off Scottsburg for 18th straight win

Lanesville wards off Scottsburg for 18th straight win
Lanesville wards off Scottsburg for 18th straight win
Photo by Brandon Miniard. Lanesville junior center Morgan Sonner attempts to drive around Scottsburg power forward Abbey Martin during the Class 1A No. 2 Lady Eagles’ regular-season finale against the Warriorettes on Friday. Sonner led the way with a team-high 11 points.
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

While heavy snow once again harassed Southern Indiana on Friday night, it did nothing to prevent the Lanesville Lady Eagles from making the treacherous journey up an icy Interstate 65.

The Lady Eagles’ exodus took them to the historic confines of Charles E. Meyer Gymnasium in Scottsburg for a date with the Warriorettes. While the temperatures dropped to frigid levels, most of the heat gathered inside Meyer Gym as the Class 1A No. 2 Lady Eagles battled the Warriorettes in their regular-season finale.

While the two sides were nearly even in the first half, the Lady Eagles’ defense came through in the second half to finish the regular season with a 39-28 victory.

“We’ve been preparing for our tournament stretch, so we’ve been working on different things,” Lady Eagles’ skipper Angie Hinton said. “We knew that (Scottsburg) had great three-point shooters, and we tried to keep them out on the line as much as we could knowing that you’re going to give up a little bit on some drives. We wanted to pressure them so they couldn’t get set.”

The first few minutes of the contest was as much of a duel as one would expect of a tough, late-season matchup as Lady Eagles’ junior center Morgan Sonner and the Warriorettes Ellie Richardson exchanged opening free throws, followed by dueling threes from Lady Eagles’ freshman guard Hadley Crosier and the Warriorettes’ Hannah Stutsman.

Despite two early Crosier fouls and another Richardson bucket, Sonner added a basket of her own, followed by a three from Lady Eagles’ senior guard Emma Campbell and a free throw from senior Kennedy Gordon. Abbey Martin chipped in one last Warriorette bucket to cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to a slim 11-9 advantage.

Defense was the name of the game in the second quarter as both sides combined to score only seven points. The Warriorettes contributed only two of those points on a pair of Richardson freebies. The remaining points came from a bucket from sophomore guard Ava Kerr, who also combined with Sonner and junior wing Linzie Wernert to go 3 for 6 from the charity stripe, retreating to the locker room with a 16-11 edge.

“We’ve had some time between games and that really showed (early). We’ve been working very hard in practice, but games make a big difference,” Hinton said. “We were just half a second slower here and there defensively.”

The Lady Eagles’ defense, which averaged a state-best 22.7 points allowed coming into their season finale, allowed the Warriorettes only six points on Richardson free throws and buckets from Martin and Carrie Hiler. The Lady Eagles had no such issues as they began the third quarter on a 7-2 run powered by Sonner buckets sandwiched between a Crosier triple. Sonner added two freebies, while Wernert notched a pair of scores to give the visitors a 29-17 lead.

While the Lady Eagles’ defense had been stifling and their ball handling decent for much of the contest, both seemed to stall in the fourth quarter, leading to a number of turnovers. Some of those miscues turned into a pair of triples for Richardson and a long ball and bucket for Allison McGlothlin. The Lady Eagles kept their distance, thanks to buckets from freshman guard Hylton Brumley and a perfect 6-for-6 effort at the charity stripe between Crosier and Gordon to secure a 39-28 final.

Richardson was the only Warriorette to reach double figures, with 14, followed by McGlothlin’s five. The Lady Eagles had a more balanced scoring assault, led by 11 from Sonner and 10 from Crosier.

With the victory, the Lady Eagles concluded the regular season with a program-best 22-1 record, as well as extended their longest winning streak in program history to 18 straight. Their final three games of the regular season came against solid squads representing a tough Mid-Southern Conference, making for a strong preview to the competition they expect to see in the postseason.

“We lost (Scottsburg players) a couple of times, but they’re good shooters, a good team with good players, and you’re not gonna stop everybody. I thought, for the most part, we did a pretty good job containing them, making them shoot off a little bit,” Hinton said. “Overall, I’m pretty pleased, especially being off (10 days). It’s good preparation for us going into the tournament because now we got some good things we can look at. We got to get prepared for three games next week.”

As they transitioned into sectional play, they entered the first round yesterday (Tuesday) at New Washington at full power, which seemed in doubt during their home finale against Salem 10 days earlier. Brumley, who suffered a knee injury during the game against the Lady Lions, started against the Warriorettes and played well despite scoring only four points.

“It was scary when it happened in the Salem game, but I said my prayers, sent them up to God, and he kept me safe,” Brumley said. “I was happy that I could fall back on my team to win that game for me, but it was a long week of recovering. I was working with our trainer (Vince Stilger) a lot. He’s great, and he got me ready and we were all good in this game.”

The Lady Eagles began postseason play yesterday when they confronted Rock Creek Community Academy. A win over the Lady Lions would bring about a rematch between the Southern Athletic Conference’s top two teams on Friday when the Lady Eagles confront rival Borden in the sectional semifinals.

Lanesville 11 5 13 10 – 39
Scottsburg 9 2 6 11 – 28
Lanesville – Sonner 11, Crosier 10, Wernert 5, Brumley 4, Campbell 3, Gordon 3, Kerr 3.
Scottsburg – Richardson 14, McGlothlin 5, Griffin 4, Stutsman 3, Hiler 2.
3-point goals – Lanesville 3 (Crosier 2, Campbell 1); Scottsburg 4 (Richardson 2, McGlothlin 1, Stutsman 1).