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Lady Pack 'D' downs Orleans


January 25, 2012
It was a night of solid defense for the Crawford County Lady Pack who shut down visiting Orleans Thursday. The Lady Pack held Orleans to 25 points and shooter Shelbi Samsil to just two points.

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Crawford County’s Chelsea Jellison squeezes between Orleans’ Lauren McCracken, right, and Whitney Daugherty to draw a foul in the first half of her team’s 37-25 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"I thought we did an excellent job defensively," Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. "Very seldom in most of the games I've coached have I ever played the same defense for the whole ballgame, especially a zone, because usually teams will solve it. They never really did solve our zone, and we really didn't have to change up much.

"We played that 2-3 zone every possession the whole game except for one down towards the stretch when we went after 3-2 with a box-and-chaser, after the first pass, on Samsil."

Orleans scored the first basket of the game, but the Lady Pack countered with the next nine points. Taylor Wheeler got a deuce-and-one for the Lady Bulldogs, but Crawford County senior Chelsea Jellison answered with five points to help her team to a 14-5 lead at the end of the first period.

Crawford County began the second quarter with a 6-1 burst to lead 20-6, but Orleans found some grip, with Whitney Daugherty drilling a three and Lauren McCracken scoring inside to close the gap to 20-11.

The Lady Pack didn't panic and fired back, as Jellison hit a three just before the buzzer to give Crawford County a 24-13 advantage at halftime.

"Offensively, we didn't do too bad when we ran our stuff, but sometimes we got in a little too much of a hurry," Cox said. "I felt we forced some shots, and we had some shots there in the second half that were just point-blank shots we didn't finish."

Crawford County's shooting went sour in the third period, as the Lady Pack hit just two of 15 field-goal attempts. Those two makes came early in the period as the Lady Pack extended their lead to 31-15.

Orleans hit four of its eight attempts in the period and made a run to get back in the game. Hayley Deckard cashed in a pair of free throws with no time on the clock after Sauer drew her third foul, and Orleans closed to within eight, 31-23, with one quarter to go.

"They made a run on us as all good teams will do," Cox said. "Orleans is as well-coached as anybody we play against. Defense was definitely the name of the game tonight."

The fourth quarter, however, belonged to Crawford County, with Orleans failing to convert any of its six field-goal attempts. The Lady Bulldogs were limited to just two free throws from Whitney Daugherty, and the Lady Pack went on to win, 37-25.

"Our defensive plan tonight was to make sure we had quick defensive transition getting back down the floor, because Samsil is as quick or quicker than anybody we play against," Cox said. "We held her to two points tonight. The thing that's scary about her, she can put points on a board in a hurry."

Jellison led the Lady Pack with 14 points, but she was also big on the defensive end with seven steals, six deflections and five rebounds. Mary Bolin added 12 points for Crawford County, which was 13 of 44 (30 percent) from the field and 9 for 19 from the charity stripe, while committing 13 turnovers. Brooke Sauer just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Cox also credited his bench with some big minutes.

"We had some kids come off the bench, and sometimes they don't realize how important it is," he said. "I thought Shawn Johnson came in, and she didn't play very long, she only got one quarter, but she came in and played a couple of good possessions, closed out on a shooter one time and got a nice rebound when we had somebody in foul trouble. Little things like that are big, and trying to get this young group to understand how important those little things are has been a real challenge for us this year. These kids are starting to understand that."

McCracken led Orleans with eight points. The Lady Bulldogs hit 9 of 34 field-goal attempts (26 percent) and 6 of 11 free throws. Orleans finished with 19 turnovers.

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