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No. 7 Lady Cats pummel New Albany 72-45

December 10, 2008
The Class 3A No. 7 North Harrison girls' basketball team rocked visiting New Albany in a 72-45 pummeling that kept the Lady Cats' record spotless at 7-0. It was the Lady Dawgs first loss of the season.

North Harrison's Madison Snodgrass, left, and Lindsey Blevins (right) put some heat on New Albany's Kayton Cole in the first half of the Lady Cats' 72-45 whipping. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"You can't tell looking at scores what's going to happen," said North Harrison coach Hal Pearson. "New Albany is a very great pressure team. Their defense creates a lot of their offense. I think that was part of the key tonight. When they weren't able to press us and get after us in the half-court and get our guards going backwards, our guards kept attacking then that took away a lot of our offense for them."

"We just did the things we had to do," he said. "We broke the press. We sped it up when we needed to. We slowed it down. There was a couple of lulls in the game where we didn't get into the things we wanted but overall our kids did a good job."

North Harrison exploded to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter. New Albany hit just 2-of-17 field-goal attempts in the period while North Harrison was more patient with eight attempts, hitting four, two being 3's.

New Albany put up 15 attempts in the second quarter but again connected on just three. Caitlyn Janes got a put-back to begin the second quarter then Brandi Waller scored twice inside for New Albany pulling the Lady Dawgs back within nine. North Harrison, however, scored the next eight points for 26-9 lead. The Lady Cats finished the half with a 6-3 burst to take a 32-13 lead to the locker room at the break.

"We started out pressing a little bit," said Pearson. "Sasha got a couple of quick fouls which changed our philosophy a little bit. We just wanted to make sure (Kayton) Cole didn't beat us from the outside and Waller didn't beat us from the inside. We did a good job of covering (Britany) Sutton and covering 3's. Late in the game she got some open looks but early, she didn't get too many open looks."

If there were any worries about New Albany making a rally in the third, that was quickly put to rest as the Lady Cats made an 11-4 run for a 43-17 lead. North Harrison began to find Katie Watts inside, who scored six of her eight points in the final four minutes of the third quarter. Sutton and Breia McBirth got 3-pointers to go down early in the fourth, but it wasn't enough to lift New Albany. The Lady Cat bench didn't give any ground, and North Harrison carried on for the 72-45 win.

North Harrison put 11 of its 12 players in the scoring column with Wynn Shroyer leading the team with 15 points, 11 rebounds and six steals. Kacey Cox followed with 13 points, and Kayla Lambert finished with 11 points. The Lady Cats were 23-of-54 from the field (42 percent), 18-of-24 from the stripe but had 24 turnovers for the 32 minutes.

"That's a pretty solid game all the way around," Pearson said of Shroyer's night. "I'm real proud of how a lot of our kids played tonight. We had kids step up and play very good games. Katie Watts played a great third quarter. She was feeling a little under the weather before the game."

Kayton Cole and Britany Sutton led New Albany with 11 points each, while Brandi Waller was held to just eight points. New Albany was just 15-of-60 (25 percent) from the field and 10-of-18 from the free-throw line. New Albany had 21 turnovers.

"The big thing is just keeping them off the boards," Pearson said. "Once they weren't able to board they almost quit boarding for a while in the second quarter, which was a thing we were worried about watching them on tape and having seen them –– how hard they go after you."

With his team at 7-0, the target on the Lady Cats back gets bigger with each game. Pearson said he knows his team can't have a letdown against anybody.

"We're just taking one game at a time," he said. "We've got South Central coming in. South Central beat us last year down at South Central. We controlled most of the game and let it get away late, and I've already reminded them of that. That's a county rivalry game, so we'll worry about South Central. I don't think there will be a major letdown. We're pretty focused right now and playing pretty solid basketball. We're just going to continue to try and do that game in and game out."

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North Harrison easily handled its road trip to Jasper earlier in the week (Dec. 2) with a 66-41 win. Wynn Shroyer and Kayla Lambert led the Lady Cats with 18 points each. For the Lady Wildcats, it was their third loss to open the season. Brittany Hopf led Jasper with 13 points.

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