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Corydon slips by Lady Cats

January 27, 2010
Neither North Harrison nor the Corydon Central girls' basketball teams shot the lights out last Tuesday night in their annual county rivalry game. However, as is tradition, the game was a hard-fought affair, going down to the last second, with the host Lady Panthers pulling out a 39-35 Mid-Southern Conference win.

North Harrison vs. Corydon
"We're not an unbelievable shooting team," North Harrison coach Hal Pearson said. "It's a Corydon-North Harrison game. They're never real pretty, ever, so you've got to assume that."

"Rivalry games are sometimes kind of ugly," Corydon coach Mike Uhl said. "A lot of times that's just the way it is because you know each other so well. You don't play as loose."

North Harrison coach Hal Pearson
Corydon (3-11, 2-4) got the early lead, going up 9-4 midway through the first period, but the Lady Cats marched back to take an 11-9 edge as the Lady Panthers missed four straight shots. Heather Uhl scored before the end of the period, however, leaving the teams tied at 11 after eight minutes.

Deidre Book put the Lady Cats up by two to begin the second quarter, but Malea Dunaway countered with a pair of three-balls, and Jenna Keinsley knocked down a jumper to push Corydon in front, 19-13. North Harrison, however, countered with the next eight points, including a basket by Cassie Crawford just before the buzzer, to take a 21-19 edge at halftime.

Corydon Central’s Jenna Keinsley goes above North Harrison’s Kelsey Brunner, left, and Deidre Book in the Lady Panthers’ 39-35 win. Photo by Wade Bell
Points came few and far between in the third quarter, but North Harrison still managed to hold a 26-25 edge heading into the final eight minutes.

With 5:58 left in the game, Keinsley got a pair of freebies to put Corydon in front, 27-26. Crawford answered for the Lady Cats with a three-ball, and North Harrison led until Keinsley swished another freebie with a minute to go.

A dead ball went to Corydon on the next play, and Heather Uhl drilled a three to push the Lady Panthers in front, 36-34. Keinsley and Katlyn Whelan added to that for a 39-34 lead. Kelsey Brunner got one of those back for the Lady Cats, but North Harrison ran out of clock, falling 39-35.

"It comes down to execution with us in the last minute and a half," Pearson said. "We're up 34-30, and when we execute, turnover offense, turnover offense. We might have got fouled in that stretch and missed a free throw on the front end of a bonus, and immediately Keinsley went down and scored two. We had a jump ball or a turnover real quick again."

Dunaway led Corydon with 12 points on four three-pointers, and Keinsley added 10 points. Corydon was 12 of 41 (29 percent) from the field and 8 of 14 from the free-throw line. The Lady Panthers had 12 turnovers.

"We battled," Uhl said. "I just wish we had rebounded a little bit better. Of (North Harrison's) 21 (first-half) points, I thought 14 of them were put-backs."

Crawford led North Harrison (6-10, 3-3) with 11 points. The Lady Cats hit 10 of 45 (22 percent) field-goal attempts and 9 of 16 free throws. North Harrison committed just nine turnovers.

"We've struggled a little bit, when somebody turns it up a notch, trying to get back in a game," Pearson said. "We struggled a little bit closing out. If we had handled the ball and go to the free-throw line, even when it was 34-32, if we would have just handled the ball and got it across half court, and ran some clock, which we were doing a decent job of, then we would have been OK. It comes down to some execution at the end, and we didn't get it."

"It was ugly on both sides," he said. "I felt like we had good control of the game with about a minute and a half to go, up about four, and we just didn't finish it out."

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