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Crawford flies past Floyd in OT


January 05, 2011
After going back and forth for four quarters, the Crawford County Lady Pack basketball team blitzed Floyd Central in overtime Thursday night to earn a 51-42 win over the Lady Highlanders in the Floyd Central Shootout.

JELLISON
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Crawford County’s Chelsea Jellison tries to make a defensive stop against Floyd Central’s Niki Bruno in the first half but is called for a foul as she knocks away Bruno’s shot. Photo by Wade Bell
It was the second win of the day for the Lady Pack, who beat South Central in the morning round, 48-39, to redeem themselves after their poor showing against Assumption in the opening round the day before.

"We beat a good Floyd Central team," Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. "I know they're not the Floyd Central from last year by any means, but I think Floyd Central is as good or better than anybody on our schedule we've played this year. Joe Voelker does a great job with his kids, and they keep getting better every game."

"In the end of regulation the last two nights, we've made plays to get it into overtime, and then, in the overtime, we don't make plays," Voelker said. "That's on us. We've got to perform better. The kids have to take ownership of how we play. Some of them haven't been in those situations before and it's new to them. It's the way it is."

Just like with its game against Assumption, Crawford County had trouble scoring in the first period, hitting just one of seven shots. Floyd Central did slightly better, canning three of nine, but the Lady Highlanders hit a pair of triples for an 8-3 lead.

Crawford County missed its first shot of the second quarter but then lit up the nets, hitting its next five field-goal attempts to tie the game at 15 when Kayla Toney scored inside. Floyd Central's Emily Foster and Morgan Rookstool scored the next four points, and the Lady Highlanders took a 19-15 lead to the locker room at halftime.

"(Foster) got in the lane a couple of times on us," Cox said. "Rookstool, we just tried to suck it in and front her on everything. One of the problems we've had this year is, when we front people in the post, a lot of times they throw over the top because our weak side is not there, but our weak side got there."

"I thought our kids could have penetrated a little more," Voelker said. "It was a little soft. They have good quickness. They did a nice job of getting deflections off the top of it, and they outplayed us in the last 20 minutes, a credit to them."

Carolyn Pellman nailed a three to immediately start the second half, closing Crawford County's deficit to one. Floyd Central's Brooke Hinton answered with a three-ball, but Toney and Ashley Forbes got three from the charity stripe to tie the game at 24 after three quarters.

Rookstool scored inside to put Floyd Central up by two a minute into the fourth quarter. Crawford County answered with a 7-0 burst for its biggest lead of the game at 31-26.

Mayfield and Riley Kaiser pulled the Lady Highlanders back within one. Jellison hit a free throw to put the Lady Pack up by two, but Katie Kaiser scored in the paint for Floyd Central to tie the game at 32.

A 4-1 Crawford County bust put the Lady Pack up by three. Then, with 1:15 to go, Floyd Central's Taylor Pate got a three-ball to tie the game at 36.

Controversy came at the end of regulation when Hinton passed inside to Rookstool for a layup. One official called a foul on Crawford County's Crystal Allen, but the other said Hinton traveled before the foul. After the officials conferred, the travel was upheld and the game went into overtime.

"He said it was on Brooke," Voelker said, believing the call came very late. "That's what I told him."

The Lady Pack dominated the overtime period, connecting on all five of their field-goal attempts in the extra four minutes. Floyd Central hit just one of nine attempts and was outscored 15-6 by Crawford County, which went on to earn the 51-42 win.

"Tonight was a game our kids finally grew up a little bit," Cox said. "One of the things we talked about before the game, one of our concerns was Floyd's pressure. They come out and get after you. Joe's kids play as hard as anybody that we'll play this year. I was concerned how we would handle that with our composure."

"We knew it would be a 50-50 game," Voelker said. "We've got to be more physical on the backboards, and I thought we did that today in a lot of areas. We've got to improve our handle, and we've got to do a better job of attacking the rim out of more positions than just Morgan."

Jellison had a much better night that her four previous games, putting in 23 points. Toney finished with 11 points, and Forbes had 10. Crawford County was 13 of 37 from the field (35 percent) and 17 of 29 from the stripe. The Lady Pack had just six turnovers for the 36 minutes of play.

"Chelsea has been as cold as ice the last four or five weeks," Cox said. "She got some good looks at the basket, and she's been getting good looks at the basket. That's the thing with shooters: if you can hit a couple, it makes a big difference."

"Kayla Toney hit the boards, and all of our kids really stepped up and our kids know what their roles are," he said. "I couldn't be happier how things came out this weekend."

Rookstool led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points. Floyd Central was just 13 of 48 (27 percent) from the field and 9 of 16 from the free-throw line. The Lady Highlanders had 12 turnovers.

"We just take so many bad shots," Voelker said. "It's just three passes and, 'I've got to chuck one because I just feel like I need to.' That's just really not a good shot. When we've got kids that are shooting low percentages to search spots on the floor, we just keep shooting that shot. Do what you do well. Slash, protect the rim, go get a layup, and that's the way you do it."

"Some things came together for us in these two days," Cox said. "We got everything and more out of this tournament than we wanted. We talked about there'd be some tough times and some good times, and we had the tough times last night. … You've got to be able to battle through the highs and lows of that, and that's what good basketball teams are able to do."

"Today, we played much better than we did last night," Voelker said. "It's not a lost two days by any means. We competed, but you've got to get over the hump and start winning these 50-50 games. That's why we're sitting where we're at."

Crawford County (8-4) visited Southridge Monday night and will travel to South Central for a rematch with the Lady Rebels tomorrow night (Thursday) for a 7:30 tip.

Floyd Central (4-8) will visit Meade County (Ky.) tomorrow night. The game will tip at 7:30.

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