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Floyd Central's Sophie Gasaway looks for help after being stopped inside by New Washington's Mackenzie Drouse in the second half of the Lady Highlanders' 32-28 win. Photos by Wade Bell

Floyd corrals Lady Mustangs

January 15, 2020
In a game where shooting resulted in a loss for words, the Floyd Central Lady Highlanders held off the visiting Lady Mustangs of New Washington last Tuesday night for a 32-28 win. It was a much-needed win for the Lady Highlanders, who had fallen in nine of their last 10 games going into the night.

"The girls fought through it," said Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna. "We'd only gave them a three in two quarters."

Floyd Central senior Kalissa Fosskuhl, left, looks for a shot while being pressured by New Washington's Mackenzie Krouse in the first half.
There were a combined total of 24 field-goal attempts put up in the first quarter with only one finding its mark, that one being by New Washington's Taylor James early in the period. Floyd Central fired up 16 attempts in the eight minutes, but none found the hoop, leaving the score at 3-1 New Washington at the end of the period.

"The first quarter we just sat with the basketball," Gianfagna said. "We got good shots; we just couldn't make anything. The hood was on it. We played pretty well. The middle two quarters I thought we played well."

Makynsie Barger upped the Lady Mustangs' lead to four in the second period, but Mandy Hess finally got a three to go down to close the gap to one. That turned into a 10-0 run as Kalissa Fosskuhl scored inside, Kendall Brown drilled a three and Fosskuhl got a freebie. Callie Jo Celichowski scored in the paint to finish the run, and the Lady Highlanders had a 12-7 lead. The last point of the half came from Kalin Campbell, leaving Floyd Central with a 12-8 edge at the break.

"They played great tonight," Gianfagna said of Hess and Brown. "They've been a nice little combo for us. She broke kind of a scoring drought for us in the second quarter, then Kendall hit one right after it."

Floyd Central suffered a blow when starting guard Keegan Kaiser was hit with her third and fourth fouls a minute and a half into the third period. James put in one of two freebies, but Hess countered with the next seven and Sophie Gasaway added a freebie for a 20-9 Floyd Central advantage. Campbell later got two of those back, but Gasaway and Brown had lay-ins go in and Floyd Central had a 24-11 lead with one quarter left.

"They started pressing us a little bit," Gianfagna said. "Kalissa made a nice dish in the third quarter and hit Hess for a three, and then she drove it for a layup."

The Lady Mustangs weren't ready to roll over and started the fourth quarter with a 7-0 burst, with James sinking a three to close the gap to six, 24-18. The two teams traded points, then James drilled another three to pull New Washington back to within three. Brown scored in the paint and later Celichowski put in a deuce, advancing Floyd Central's lead back to seven. Barger countered for the Lady Mustangs, but Fosskuhl sank two free throws.

Krouse hit a three on the next Lady Mustangs' possession with seconds remaining and then called timeout with 3.3 seconds to go. Floyd Central turned the ball over, giving the Lady Mustangs one last three-point shot, but it missed its mark and the Lady Highlanders had the 32-28 win.

Hess came off the bench to lead the Lady Highlanders with 10 points. Floyd Central connected on 11 of 44 field-goal attempts (25%) and 7 of 13 free throws. The Lady Highlanders had 11 turnovers.

"We've got two freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors that have not played much," Gianfagna said. "This was their first varsity minutes, so there's time and scoring things we keep trying to work on; either you're up and trying to shoot threes and or that kind of stuff. We get hemmed in on screens, little things like that."

James led New Washington with 12 points. The Lady Mustangs managed 10 field goals of 39 attempts and 4 of 9 free throws. New Washington finished with 15 turnovers.

"It was just a good, all-around win," Gianfagna said. "We're not going to win many games when Keegan doesn't score."

New Washington 1 7 3 17 - 28

Floyd Central 3 9 12 8 - 32

New Washington - James 12, Campbell 5, Krouse 5, Barger 4, Ellison 2.

Floyd Central - Hess 10, Brown 7, Celichowski 6, Fosskuhl 6, Wood 3.

3-pointers - New Washington 3 (James 3); Floyd Central 3 (Hess 2, Brown 1).

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