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Lady Highlanders muzzle rival

January 14, 2009
The visiting Floyd Central Lady Highlanders earned a Hoosier Hills Conference win Saturday night by holding off potential sectional foe and county rival New Albany, 55-41.

Floyd Central sophomore Jennifer Smith keeps the ball away from New Albany's Kayton Cole after pulling a little thievery in the third quarter. The Lady Highlanders came away with a 55-41 win. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"We're very happy to get a conference win. They're a very good team and very athletic team," Floyd coach Joe Voelker said.

"New Albany did a good job stepping up and capitalizing and hitting shots," he said. "I was pretty pleased with the way we were able to come out of it, push late and get a few layups and put some distance between us."

There was no distance seen between the teams in the first eight minutes, however, as they traded points through a 12-all tie.

Floyd got a little breathing room early in the second quarter, when Morgan Rookstool scored inside and Brigid Morrissey swished a three-ball for a 17-12 lead.

The lead later increased when Bailey Hubert got a deuce and Camry Hinton hit from behind the arc for a 24-16 advantage. Rookstool then canned a pair of freebies and the lead went to 26-16.

Floyd kept its lead in double digits at the break at 28-18.

Morrissey's status had been questionable before the game.

"She had a head lay in the thigh yesterday afternoon, so we were worried (whether) she would even play," Voelker said. "To face a little adversity and come at it, I thought we did OK. We held a very good team to 41 points and hit one of our defensive goals."

Floyd (12-2, 2-2 Hoosier Hills Conference) kept the lead in double digits through most of the third quarter, but with about a minute to go, Kayton Cole scored a three from behind the arc to close the New Albany deficit to eight.

Things got even tighter early in the fourth quarter when Britany Sutton scored in the paint for New Albany.

Following a series of missed shots and turnovers by both teams, Sutton went inside again for two and Floyd found its lead cut to four.

"When we got in trouble, we quit going inside," Voelker said. "We started to rush some possessions."

Floyd's Jennifer Smith got two quick baskets to push her team's lead back to eight.

New Albany scored only one basket in the last 2-1/2 minutes while the Lady Highlanders rolled to the 55-41 win.

Smith led the Lady Highlanders, who shot 20 of 49 (40 percent) from the floor, with 16 points. Floyd made 10 of 12 free throws and committed 18 turnovers, continuing a bad trend.

"Erica (Smith) did a nice job running the floor, and Shelby (Allen) made a nice pass to Jennifer for a layup," Voelker said. "I don't think the clock stopped the last 2-1/2 minutes of the game."

Sutton led New Albany with 15 points, and Cole followed with 13. New Albany hit just 16 of 51 shot attempts (31 percent) and 7 of 11 free throws, while turning the ball over 13 times. Senior Brandi Waller was held to just seven points.

"Bailey Hubert did a heck of a job for three quarters of the game, and when she didn't, Jennifer and Morgan both stepped up and did a very nice job of defending (Waller)," Voelker said. "They made her earn what she got. So, I'm very proud of those kids."

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