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North Harrison rocks Lady Cubs

North Harrison rocks Lady Cubs
North Harrison rocks Lady Cubs
North Harrison’s Gracie Fouts looks for a teammate as she is pressured by Madison Consolidated’s Alaina Kelley in the first half of the Lady Cats’ 49-46 win last Tuesday night. Photo by Wade Bell
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer

With the final week of the regular girls’ basketball season coming to an end, the North Harrison Lady Cats wanted to send their seniors — Chloee Shewmaker, Kyra Case and Audrey Tucker — off on a good note on senior night against visiting Madison Consolidated. While the Lady Cats haven’t had the best of seasons, they made their final home game a big one with a 49-46 win over the Lady Cubs.

“It was a good night, and it was great night for three great, young women to end with wins on their own floor and the last chance they get to play here,” said North Harrison coach Jamie Kolkmeier. “I really hate it that Audrey Tucker had to sustain that injury and wasn’t able to play here for the last month, but what a great kid. She was really into it and focused and communicating well on the bench. She kind of served as an assistant coach here. She wanted to play really bad and I hated it for her, but she did all of the things you’re supposed to do and was really mature about it.”

“Chloee gave us good minutes tonight,” he said. “She has a spark and some competitiveness at times that she can be one of our more competitive people. We need that from her, and we need that attitude. Kyra had a pretty good game overall.

“I thought early they did some things that maybe could give us some problems, but I did think they could not be as successful guarding Kyra and Grace Goldman inside. I thought those two worked hard early that would to be hard to guard and more competitive.”

The five minutes saw little scoring for both teams. Goldman got the first basket for the Lady Cats then about two minutes later Cameran Cahall scored in the lane for a 2-2 tie. The scoring finally picked up when Lydia Wilkins, Goldman and Madi Clunie put down back-to-back-to-back three-balls for an 11-2 lead. Breck Ralston finally broke the run, and the quarter ended with North Harrison up by seven.

The Lady Cats’ shooting went into the deep freeze in the second period, hitting just three of 12 shots from the field. Madison Consolidated was no better with just two of 10 attempts going in. North Harrison, however, had free throws going in, and the Lady Cats outscored the Lady Cubs 10 to six and had a 21-10 lead at the break.

“I was getting a little worried at the beginning,” Kolkmeier said. “Neither team could put it in the basket and, about five minutes into the game, it was 2-2. I thought, ‘This may look like a delay game,’ and nobody’s really going that slow. As people got into the flow of the game, some more shots started going in. We were able to keep them from getting too many clean ones the first half and they didn’t shoot it great, which helped.”

Somewhere during the 10-minute half-time break, one light went out and the other light went on as the momentum shifted to the Lady Cubs. Madison Consolidated began with a 7-0 burst to close the gap to four. Sydney Smith finally got a pair of singles but Cadence Traylor countered with a three. North Harrison scored the next six, the Lady Cats’ lead back to 29-20. Madison Consolidated, however, countered with an 8-2 run to close within two, 31-29. The two teams traded points before the end of the quarter, and North Harrison took a 33-31 edge into the final quarter.

“They made a good run at us, and we were able to not turn it over and maintain control a little bit,” Kolkmeier said. “Obviously, at the end, you want to work on your rebounding and understand situations, get out wide.”

Juliana Davis scored inside to tie the game at 33 to start the final eight minutes, but Smith later drilled a three and Grace Fouts scored both inside and out. Meg Marinc later got a pair of freebies, and North Harrison’s lead was back to 10. Traylor drilled two Madison Consolidated threes in response.

Goldman scored inside, but Davis drilled a Lady Cubs’ three. Less than a minute following a Madison Consolidated timeout, Cahall drilled a three and North Harrison’s lead was cut to one with 1:02 to go in the game. From there, the final minute went to the free-throw line and the Lady Cats cashed in four while Madison Consolidated found just two, North Harrison getting the 49-43 win.

The win left all three North Harrison seniors beaming after the game.

“We came in with a lot of confidence because we knew it was senior night and we wanted to win for our seniors,” Shewmaker said. “We did what we needed to do. We ran a lot in practice what we knew they were going to do, so we were really prepared for this game.”

“We haven’t had the best of seasons,” she said. “The records don’t look very good, but to get a win on senior night means a lot to this team. The team just pulled together when we needed to.”

“It was just working together as a team,” Case said. “Now that we’re getting toward the end, I feel like we’re getting together more and more. It’s Senior Night. It’s a big night and we definitely want that big ‘W’.”

Tucker has had to sit the bench the last few weeks due to concussion protocol, but that didn’t take away her smile as her teammates pulled out the win.

“I was just so excited that they were all having fun, and I was enjoying cheering them all on,” said Tucker. “It was quite fun seeing them all out there having fun again.”

“The one key was they worked as a team better,” she said. “I feel like we haven’t been working as a team as much, and we just pulled together one last time. We were wanting it really bad. We were hyping each other up, really trying to get together to figure out how we can work together as a team, and somehow we got it.”

Goldman led the Lady Cats with 13 points, and Wilkins followed with 11. North Harrison connected on 16 of 40 field goals (40%) and 10 of 11 free throws. The Lady Cats had 18 turnovers for the night.

“We came out early and knocked down some shots,” said Kolkmeier. “Lydia knocked down two perimeter shots. Grace got going a little bit. Gracie Fouts hit two big shots there in the fourth quarter. She made the drive and got the layup to go in. She shot the one on the wing, one of those, ‘Oh, a little quick, a little quick, oh, good shot.’ Those were big moments where she stepped up with a lot of confidence, which she needed to do.”

Davis led Madison Consolidated with 16 for the game, and Cahall put up 11 points. The Lady Cubs hit 16 of 47 field goals (34%) and 3 of 6 free throws. Madison Consolidated turned the ball over 14 times for the game.

“The goal is to continue to play better and have confidence, find out what you can do well and try to improve on some of the things you haven’t done as well,” Kolkmeier said. “For us, the big part is playing with confidence, and I obviously think tonight helps us to play with some confidence. We’ve got to continue to build upon that.”

In their final game of the regular season on Thursday, the Lady Cats nearly pulled off another big win at Brownstown Central but came up just short in a 47-43 loss. North Harrison drew a bye into the semi-finals of the Corydon Central sectional and will meet the winner of the Corydon Central-Charlestown game.

Madison Con. 4 6 21 15 – 46
North Harrison 11 10 12 16 – 49
Madison Con. – Davis 16, Cahall 11, Traylor 9, Dyer 5, McQueary 3, Ralston 2.
North Harrison – Goldman 13, Wilkins 11, Smith 9, Fouts 5, Marinc 5, Clunie 3, Shewmaker 3.
3-point goals – Madison Con. 9 (Cahall 3, Traylor 3, Davis 2, Dyer 1); North Harrison 7 (Wilkins 2, Clunie 1, Fouts 1, Goldman 1, Shewmaker 1, Smith 1).