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Floyd Central clobbers Lady Panthers


January 26, 2011
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders held off a third-quarter blitz by visiting Corydon Central Saturday afternoon, pulling away in the fourth to secure a 55-40 win. For the Lady Highlanders, the key was getting considerable breathing room early to be able to hold off the Lady Panthers' second-half rally.

"Thank goodness," Floyd Central coach Joe Voelker said. "We got kind of complacent, I thought, at the end of the second quarter. We just made some really dumb fouls to send them to the line, and that was the only way they were scoring."

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Floyd Central’s Morgan Rookstool, right, drives against Corydon Central’s Savannah Eschbacher for two of her game-high 26 points in the Lady Highlanders’ 55-40 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"Back to the drawing board," Corydon Central coach Mike Uhl said.

Corydon Central led early but missed a flurry of shots in the paint midway through the first period. Floyd Central finished the period with an 11-2 run to lead 15-9 as the Lady Panthers hit just one of six shots.

Floyd Central used its size advantage over Corydon Central in the second quarter, hauling in rebounds at both ends of the floor. The Lady Highlanders scored the first 10 points of the period, with Taylor Pate getting her second three-ball of the game, before Corydon Central's Heather Uhl put up a three to stop the run.

Floyd Central scored the next five points to push its lead to 30-12.

In the last 2:17 of the half, Corydon Central went to the free-throw line four times, connecting on all eight freebies to close the gap to 34-20 at halftime.

Uhl said Morgan Rookstool, who had 16 points in the half, and Pate were the two players he had wanted his team to focus on going into the outing.

"She can shoot," Uhl said of Pate. "Rookstool wants to catch it in the high post and go to the basket. Don't let her do that. Pate can shoot it. Don't let them do that. Well, we just didn't react too well to that."

"We should have finished at 18 or 20," Voelker said. "Instead, we decided we were just going to foul kids at halfcourt and send them to the line. It gave them a little momentum and let them come in. Instead of it being 34-16, it was 34-20 and they had a look. We had the look there at the end, and it didn't fall, so it's a game."

Corydon Central's mo-mentum continued into the third period, with the Lady Panthers bursting for an 8-2 run, as Heather Uhl banged in two three-balls. Kelsey Mayfield scored inside for the Lady Highlanders, but Uhl countered with another three.

Following a Floyd Central turnover, the Lady Panthers scored twice more, cutting their deficit to four, 39-35, before Rookstool got a deuce to finish the period.

"We talked about just stepping up and hitting a shot," Uhl said. "We were getting the shots. We just had to make sure we don't let Rookstool get to the hole and don't let Pate get any shots, and hit a couple of shots. We hit a couple of shots, and we did a better job defensively."

"We hit two shots coming out in the third quarter then we got complacent as far as quit attacking the rim and settling for threes," Voelker said. "It was easy. They were sagging big time inside. But, if you're up 14, act like it and throw the thing around till you get a score."

The fourth quarter, however, belonged entirely to the Lady Highlanders. Corydon Central hit just two field goals in the first three minutes. The Lady Panthers missed their six remaining shots of the game while managing just a single free throw.

Floyd Central outscored Corydon Central 14-5 in the period and went on for the 55-40 win.

"I was pretty pleased at how we handled the fourth quarter," Voelker said. "We held them to five just handling ourselves with the lead. We were only 8 of 12 from the line (in the fourth), and I'd like to be a little better. We just did a good job of handling, not making turn-overs in that spot and getting stops at the other end."

Rookstool led the winners with 26 points and six rebounds. Pate, Mayfield and Niki Bruno also had six boards each. The Lady Highlanders were 16 of 37 from the field (43 percent) and connected on 21 of 30 free throws. Floyd Central had just seven turnovers for the 32 minutes.

"Our rebounding was spread tonight," Voelker said. "We had a lot of kids going to get it … We're playing better. We put up 80 the other night, and we should have had a few more. We put up 55 tonight. We've improved offensively, but you can't say we've im-proved much defensively this year. On the offensive end, we have gotten better."

Heather Uhl led the Lady Panthers with 15 points as she connected on five threes. The Lady Panthers hit just 10 of 45 from the field (22 percent), including just four of 20 three-point attempts. Corydon Central (5-12) was 13 of 17 from the charity stripe and had 11 turnovers.

"We just dug that hole, and I guess the last part of the first (half) there," Mike Uhl said. "There was a big dry spot at the start of the second quarter we just didn't get anything to go. I thought we had good shots, and it just didn't happen. We've just got to do a better job of knocking them down."

"They've played a very tough schedule," Voelker said. "Mike does such a good job, but we worked on this one. As a coaching staff, they put in a lot of switches and stuff."

With the sectional just a couple of weeks away, Voelker said what the Lady Highlanders want to do most is make it tough for whoever they play.

"If we can't beat somebody, we want to make it such a dogfight that we hurt them the next time they play," he said. "If we play somebody on Friday, we want them to have to work and make it tough on them when they come back on Saturday. That's all you can really say, and I think that's realistic this year."

Floyd Central (7-10, 0-5 Hoosier Hills Conference) visited Jennings County for a conference matchup last night (Tuesday). The Lady Highlanders will host Providence tomorrow night and then return to conference play Tuesday, Feb. 1, when they host Columbus East. Both games will tip at 7:30.

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