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North Harrison’s Kendra Lambert (5) and Hayley Renneker both look to take the ball from Lanesville’s Emma Bays in the first half of the Lady Cats’ 70-29 win over the Lady Eagles. Photos by Wade Bell

Lady Cats bury Lanesville, 70-29


November 16, 2011
North Harrison put four players in double figures and used a big second half to put away a stubborn Lady Eagles team from Lanesville in its season opener last Wednesday night. After allowing Lanesville to stay close in the first half, the Lady Cats grabbed a gear to run away to a 70-29 win.

"I thought, overall, they got out there and played really good team basketball," said coach Missy Voyles, back at the helm of the Lady Cats following a six-season hiatus. "I thought we moved the ball a little better the second half. I thought we got out defensively and did some things better the second half. I can't really complain."

North Harrison raced to an 8-0 lead early then pushed it to 13-3 following a three-ball from Kendra Lambert. Following a Lady Cats free throw, Brooklyn Keinsley buried a Lanesville three. North Harrison got two more freebies, then Keinsley drilled a second three-ball to close the gap to seven, 18-11. Kayla Smith then scored inside to close the gap to five.

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North Harrison’s Emily Giles (25) has to make a spin move to keep Lanesville’s Brooklyn Keinsley from stealing the ball in the second half.
Baskets by Emily Giles and Jill Book later pushed the lead back to 10, but Smith found a three and later pushed in a deuce to close the gap to five. In the last three minutes of the half, Hayley Renneker and Kasey Kelly sandwiched baskets around a Smith deuce to give the Lady Cats a 29-22 lead going into halftime.

"It was a little frustrating in the first half; well, not the whole first half, just the second quarter," Voyles said. "They took away what we were doing, and we didn't adjust for a little bit. We had a hard time and got a little tight and were trying to force things instead of moving the ball, what we'd been doing."

Voyles said there was a little heart-to-heart during the break about stopping the Lanesville threes.

"We had a hard time finding (Smith)," she said. "We found her the second half. … She was the topic of conversation at halftime, her and Keinsley. … We were just kind of laying back and letting them have wide-open looks. We threatened some physical exercise if they didn't find her the second half. They found her. That was the big difference, them getting out there."

The Lady Cats stopped just about everything Lanesville wanted to do in the second half. Erica Daly scored early for the Lady Eagles, but North Harrison responded with a 14-4 run to lead 43-28 after three quarters.

The Lady Cats' defense turned it up even higher in the fourth quarter, allowing Lanesville just a single point, that being a Keinsley free throw. North Harrison outscored Lanesville 27-1 in the period and rolled to the 70-29 win.

"We changed defense," Voyles said. "They're learning the way I want to play match-up, but I've got to go back to what they know well, too. They played man pretty well the second half."

Lambert led the Lady Cats with 17 points. Giles followed with 12 points while grabbing 12 rebounds, and Renneker also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. North Harrison had just 11 turnovers and shot 27 of 66 (41 percent) from the field.

"She shot 60 percent from the floor," Voyles said of Giles. "Renneker did the same thing, double-double. She got 10 and 10. I've been on both of them. I need them averaging double-doubles and get out there and see if you can get that many rebounds. If you get out there and rebound that hard, you're going to get six or eight points. They both got out there and rebounded really well."

Alex Gott came off the bench to light up for 11 points, all in the last 9-1/2 minutes of the game. Voyles said her team did a good job of finding Gott when she had the hot hand.

"Alex can be a good set shooter," Voyles said, "and when she's open, if we get it to her, she's going to put a couple in. Once she gets a couple in, she gets on a roll. I was impressed the girls didn't have to be told. A kid comes off the bench and starts scoring for you and they kept finding her."

Smith led Lanesville with 15 points, and Keinsley finished with 10. The Lady Eagles hit 10 of 39 field-goal attempts (26 percent) and had 35 turnovers.

Voyles said once her team grabbed the double-digit lead in the second half, the Lady Cats played a lot more relaxed.

"They got ahead a little bit early, and then, when they (Lanesville) came back and hit a couple of threes, they kind of tightened up and we quit doing things," Voyles said. "Once we pulled ahead a little bit again and got back into what we were doing, then it loosened us up. Anytime you can pull ahead, you pull your lead out a little bit, you can play more relaxed."

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