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Lady Cats crush Charlestown, 53-20

Corydon Sectional Semi-Final

February 18, 2009
The North Harrison girls' basketball team cruised into the sectional final by steamrolling Charlestown, 53-20, Friday night at Corydon. The lopsided game allowed North Harrison to play its bench most of the second half, saving the Lady Cat starters for the Saturday night championship game against Crawford County.

North Harrison senior Rachel LaDuke is swarmed by Charlestown defenders in the second half of the Lady Cats' 53-20 win. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"We played really well," North Harrison coach Hal Pearson said. "We attacked. We were really scared coming in. Charlestown is a very slow and methodical team. (Charlestown coach Tony Hall) kind of slowed us up when we played early in the year, and we struggled for a half."

Charlestown played closer than Pearson was probably happy with in the first quarter. The Lady Cats raced to a 10-3 lead, but the Lady Pirates got a pair of deuces from Cara Rhoten late in the period as the gap closed to 12-7 after the first eight minutes.

North Harrison finally got some breathing room in the second quarter by outscoring Charles-town 15-4 in the period, including a buzzer-beating three by Wynn Shroyer, to lead 27-11 at halftime.

"We talked about, tonight, we wanted to make sure we had enough defensive pressure, man-to-man or whatever we were in, so that they couldn't sit back and see what we were in defensively, so they couldn't sit back and run a quick-hit set on us every single time down the floor," Pearson said. "I think we just did a really good job of just pressure, pressure pressure. We never really let them get into a specific set."

North Harrison began the second half with a 12-2 run to lead 39-13. From that point, the bench took over and held Charlestown scoreless in the fourth quarter as the Lady Cats went on for the 73-20 win.

"We talked about getting out at halftime and trying to put it away real quick," Pearson said. "In the third quarter, if you've got somebody down, keep them down. They did a good job of attacking, eight or nine points straight out of the hole, and we were able to sub in and integrate a little bit. Our bench gave some good minutes. You never know when you're going to have to use somebody on a defensive or offensive possession here or there."

Kacey Cox led the winners with 14 points. North Harrison connected on 21 of 44 (47 percent) field goals and 8 of 10 free throws. Turnovers were a concern, however, as the Lady Cats coughed up the ball 18 times.

"It was good getting those kids (on the bench) in, and they did fairly well," Pearson said. "We ran our offense when they were in. We were still being pressed. We had a turnover early and then we settled down and we were able to handle the pressure, even in the fourth quarter, and run our offense like we wanted to."

Cara Rhoten led Charlestown with nine points. The Lady Pirates hit 9 of 40 (22 percent) field goals and 4 of 7 from the stripe. Charlestown committed 21 turnovers.

Pearson said he was proud of his coaching staff and his team for getting through last Wednesday's night game against Mitchell, which he missed because of a suspension due to getting ejected from the last game of the regular season.

"I listened to it on the radio with my brother on Wednesday night. … ," he said. "There were a lot of instances where we were sitting there that our coaching staff was pretty into it. We've got a great coaching staff and a great bunch of kids."

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Barbara Shaw
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