Lady Eagles best 4A No. 9 Trojans to conclude Battle tourney showing
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
After starting the annual Cluckers Battle at the First Capital with a win over New Albany on Friday night, Lanesville began Saturday’s portion of the tournament on the wrong foot.
Unusually poor defending, foul trouble and some controversial calls from officials cost the Class 1A No. 1 Lady Eagles against host and Class 3A No. 8 Corydon Central in the tournament semifinals, 59-39. Matters were made worse late in the contest when head coach Angie Hinton was ejected with about 25 seconds remaining, forcing her to sit out the following contest as a result.
With one more game to play in the tournament, command of the Lady Eagles’ bench was turned over to the collective coaching staff, including Hinton’s husband and hall-of-famer Joe Hinton and daughter Hallie Hinton. The next opponent didn’t make matters any easier as the Lady Eagles took part in the third-place game against Class 4A No. 9 East Central, which included Josie Trabel, a potential Miss Basketball candidate.
Despite dealing with foul trouble throughout the contest, the Lady Eagles were able to relatively contain Trabel and a solid Lady Trojans’ offense as they took home the bronze on the back of a 53-39 victory.
“What happened to Angie was a bad situation, but what she wanted me to do was to be careful coaching, what with the health problems I’ve had,” Joe Hinton said. “(East Central’s) a good team that beat Columbus North last year and Trabel’s their best player, but we did a job defending her by switching different people on her.”
“We knew that (Angie) put herself on the line and fought for us and ended up not being able to coach this game,” senior wing Linzie Wernert said. “We knew that we had to come out strong in this game for her and fight with what we’re actually capable of.”
Wernert and junior forward Ellie Schneider helped the Lady Eagles jump ahead early with three-pointers. Sophomore guards Hadley Crosier and Hylton Brumley added buckets in the period, while Wernert had seven points total. The Lady Trojans countered with a bucket and free throw from Trabel, a triple from Caitlyn Dick and a basket from Laney Baker before the opening period ended with a 14-8 Lady Eagles’ edge.
Schneider and senior center Morgan Sonner kept up the pace for the Lady Eagles in the second quarter by working inside for four points apiece flanked by a long ball from junior guard Ava Kerr. Crosier and sophomore forward Shelby Allen supplemented the assault with a combined three free throws in four attempts. Baker cooked up all five of the Lady Trojans’ points in the frame before retreating to the locker room down 28-13.
The Lady Trojans began to pull closer during the third quarter as Baker and Bailey Ensinger each knocked down a bucket and a pair of freebies. Aside from a bucket from Crosier, Wernert carried the Lady Eagles through the period with another seven points after being held scoreless in the second quarter. Trabel was the catalyst in the frame for the Lady Trojans, pacing her squad with six points in the quarter, three coming on a triple seconds before the buzzer to cut the deficit to 37-27.
Trabel and Baker continued trying to will their way closer in the final quarter as they each converted a three-point play while the former added a prior bucket and Karlie Davis added four points. It wasn’t enough as five points from Wernert, four apiece from Sonner and Crosier and another Kerr three wrapped up the Lady Eagles’ tournament run with a 53-39 victory.
Wernert led the way for the Lady Eagles with 19 points followed by 10 from Crosier. Baker and Trabel held the majority of the Lady Trojans’ offense as they each notched 14 points. The Lady Eagles flirted with foul trouble late in the game as Wernert and Brumley each had four fouls.
“We got a little too comfortable towards the end; we were up and I guess we slacked off a bit towards the end,” Wernert said. “We settled down and took it easy instead of going hard like in the first three quarters, but we still managed to pull it out.”
“You got two of your seniors (in Wernert and Sonner); they got to play like they did tonight, then Ellie Schneider who’s a little inexperienced, but she made some shots for us tonight,” Joe Hinton said. “We’re not normally a man-to-man team, but now I know that we can play that way if we have to.”
The Lady Eagles will return to non-tournament action tomorrow (Thursday) when they travel to New Albany to face Christian Academy of Indiana. They will follow that up with their 2022-23 debut in the Eagles’ Nest when they host new sectional rival West Washington. Both varsity contests are slated to tip at 7:30 p.m.