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Floyd advances past Evansville Harrison

Bedford Regional Semi-Final

February 24, 2010
When Floyd Central played Evansville Harrison on Dec. 21, the Lady Highlanders won handily, 68-49. Coach Joe Voelker, however, knew it wouldn't be that way when the two teams met Saturday morning in the first round of the Bedford Regional. The Lady Warriors kept it tight early, but a big third quarter pushed Floyd Central to a 66-52 win and into the final against Class 4A No. 3 Mooresville.

"They were a much better basketball team and played us much tougher," Voelker said. "They had more time to prepare as well as we did. Going and coming, yesterday was a travel day. You really have Thursday to kind of piece some stuff together. We were also trying to get some things to look ahead, as well."

Harrison led through the first four minutes, but then the Highlanders unleashed a volley of artillery rounds as Brigid Morrissey and Mercades Bierman drilled three triples for a 15-7 lead. The Lady Warriors continued to stay in the hunt with a pair of deuces. Jennifer Smith and Bierman both scored in the paint, but the Lady Highlanders still held only a 19-13 edge.

Floyd Central’s Brigid Morrissey fends off an attack by Evansville Harrison’s Elayna Dorsey during the Lady Highlanders’ 66-52 win in the Bedford Regional. Photo by Wade Bell
The second quarter saw more of the same as Harrison traded baskets with the Lady Highlanders, who advanced their lead by just a point, holding a 30-23 lead.

"They played us very well," Voelker said. "They tried to take the ball out of Brigid's hands a little bit and pinch on Jennifer, which would open Mercades up. They also weren't going to let Camry drive. Every time Camry (Hinton) touched it, there were five kids in the lane."

Floyd Central (24-1) had trouble shaking the Lady Warriors loose through the first four minutes of the third period. The Lady Highlanders then got a lift from Bierman, who drilled a pair of threes. The onslaught continued as Morgan Rookstool hit a pair from the stripe, Hinton got a deuce and Mercades sank another three and deuce for a 15-2 run and a 53-35 lead.

Harrison managed to get only four of those points back in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Highlanders moved on for a 66-52 win and into the final toward a possible regional title.

"I'm just proud of our kids, to make this game tonight and make the regional final. I'm very proud," Voelker said. "I just tell our kids we can't be satisfied where we're at. We've got to continue to go and continue to push."

Bierman led Lady Highlander scoring with 21 points, and Smith followed with 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Morrissey added 13 points with five assists and three steals for Floyd Central, which hit 21 of 47 (45 percent) field-goal attempts. The Lady Highlanders hit 15 of 22 free throws and had 12 turnovers.

"That's the way it has been with this team," Voelker said. "Somebody has stepped up. We've won games because of Jennifer. We've won games because of Brigid. We've won games because of Erica (Smith's) defense. We won the sectional final because of Camry's offensive play. We win the regional because of Mercades's offensive play. That's just the way this team has been.

"I've been very fortunate we've got a lot of weapons. We can put five kids on the floor that can score. If they give up something, we can take something back."

Khristian Hart led Moorseville with 26 points. The Lady Warriors were 22 of 53 (42 percent) from the field and 5 of 7 from the free-throw line. Mooresville had 14 turnovers.

"The kids adjusted pretty well, and we were able to slow them down after that quick start when it got to 7-4 and played from ahead," Voelker said. "Once we made the run in the third quarter, we played 10-up most of the game. It's always better when you give up a run and you're still ahead seven or eight points."

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