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Floyd Central senior Sarah Schraffenberger fights to keep the ball in play as she slides into the Silver Creek bench in the first quarter of the Lady Highlanders’ 72-32 win. Photo by Wade Bell

Floyd Central buries Silver Creek, 72-32

Apple ejected in first half

February 10, 2010
It was a good evening for the Floyd Central Lady Highlanders on Senior Night last Tuesday as they handily put away visiting Silver Creek, 72-32, in their final regular season game after suffering their first loss at Columbus East. For the Lady Dragons, however, it was a nightmare in more ways than one with coach Ryan Apple ejected in the second quarter, meaning he will have to sit out Silver Creek's opening game of this week's sectional.

Floyd Central vs. Silver Creek
"We had a real good practice yesterday," Floyd Central coach Joe Voelker. "There's still things we're not doing well, but we improved on things as the game went on. We did a much better job sliding our feet. We did a better job of handling their screens on the ball. We did a much better job of attacking the backboards there in the second half, especially the last 12 minutes of the game. That's how we're going to have to play (this) week, if we're going to be successful."

Floyd Central coach Joe Voelker
All the pre-game activities may have been a little distraction for the Lady Highlanders early as Silver Creek kept the game tight in the first quarter. Floyd Central took a 7-2 lead, but Emily Clayton nailed a three and Kim Jamros added a single to pull the Lady Dragons within one. After swapping baskets with the visitors, the Lady Highlanders finished the period with a 6-0 burst to lead 17-10.

"We played with no post the first four minutes," Voelker said. "When you're playing Senior Night, it gets things a little different."

Mandi Martin opened the second period with a three-pointer for the Lady Dragons, who pulled back within four. Jennifer Smith and Camry Hinton then went to work inside, putting together a 9-0 run to lead 27-13.

Apple's ejection came with 1:12 left in the half. Smith had blocked Clayton's shot, and Clayton went to the floor in pain with Floyd Central moving the ball downcourt. Apple stepped onto the floor to question the no-call and was hit with a technical foul. As he started toward his injured player, he was quickly hit with a second technical and ejected from the game.

"I deserved the first one," said Apple, who plans to appeal the ruling. "I didn't deserve the second one."

If the ruling is not overturned, it would mean Apple would not be on the bench for Friday night's sectional bye-round game against the winner of the North Harrison-Crawford County game.

The Lady Highlanders went on to outscore Silver Creek 39-16 in the second half to cruise to a 72-32 win. Voelker said it was important for his team to bounce back quickly following its loss to Columbus East.

"It's important to have a good showing," he said. "This has been coming. I didn't think we played real well at Providence, that we gambled too much on the defensive end. I don't feel we played real well against Jennings (County) the last time. We just tried to gamble too much."

Floyd Central put five players in double figures, with Smith leading the way with 20 points. Hinton followed with 15, and Brigid Morrissey and Morgan Roostool each had 11. Mercades Bierman added 10 points for the Lady Highlanders, who canned 27 of 58 (47 percent) of their field-goal attempts and 16 of 19 free throws. Floyd Central had 12 turnovers.

Sarah Schraffenberger had only three points, but Voelker said the senior's defense and rebounding played a major role.

"I thought Sarah Schraffenberger got her hands on a lot of balls," Voelker said. "She wasn't able to hang on to them, but she got her hands on a lot of them in there tight, ones that Jennifer or Morgan probably would have got and maybe put them back in. That put us a little out of sorts, but, in turn, we were resting a lot of ball handlers in the second half of the quarter."

Martin led Silver Creek with 13 points. The Lady Dragons were 12 of 38 (32 percent) from the field and just 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. Silver Creek finished with 31 turnovers.

"Our defense still has to improve," Voelker said. "That's one area we can't feel we've got a ton better at in the second half of the season. We haven't had to. We've been fortunate we can outscore people. We don't step on the floor and have to stop people every time down. Columbus East was the first game where we've had to get a lot of stops, and we weren't able to do it.

"Tonight, we took a step forward defensively in some ways … and, hopefully, that will go into (sectional play)."

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