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Big 3rd quarter lifts Floyd


February 01, 2012
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders used a big third-quarter push to pull away from the visiting Lady Panthers of Jennings County last Tuesday night in a Hoosier Hills Conference matchup. The Lady Highlanders attacked from beginning to end to secure the 70-52 win.

KSMITH
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Floyd Central’s Kelsey Smith hits the deck as she forces a turnover Jan. 24 against Seymour’s Sydney Kirchner in the first half. Photo by Wade Bell
"We're getting better at that, trying to push the ball more, and that really helps us," Floyd Central coach Kirk Hamsley said. "When we can put pressure on them and get back defensively, it keeps them from getting back into zones and doing some things they wanted to do."

There were six lead changes in the first period, which saw Jennings County shooting more but the Lady Highlanders being more accurate. The Lady Highlanders were 8 of 16 from the field while the Lady Panthers hit 6 of 20. Despite that, Floyd Central held just a two-point edge, 17-15, at the end of the period.

Floyd Central gained some breathing room with an 8-2 burst in the second period for a 28-21 advantage. Emily Ertel and Kaitlyn Kopitzke then created a 10-0 run for the Lady Panthers, who gave Jennings County a 32-31 edge. Following a Floyd Central time-out, Kelsey Smith scored inside and the Lady Highlanders went to the locker room leading 33-32.

The Lady Highlanders did suffer a loss in the first half when freshman starter Maddison Kaiser sprained an ankle in the opening period.

"When Kaiser went down, it hurt us mentally a little bit," Hamsley said. "We were in a good rhythm and things were going well. When she went down, I thought that hurt us offensively. Not that she's everything, but she's one of our better players. … The kids kind of got stagnant a little bit."

Brooke Elmore put in the first five points of the third quarter to give Jennings County a 37-33 advantage. At that point, however, the Lady Highlanders went on a major offensive, outscoring the Lady Panthers 27-0 to lead 60-39.

Jennings County made just a slight gain in the fourth period, and Floyd Central went on to get the 18-point win.

"Give them credit, they played hard," Hamsley said of Jennings County. "They played their butts off. We had that little flurry in the third quarter and got them back on their heels, and they just couldn't recover."

Riley Kaiser came off the bench to lead Floyd Central (10-8) with 14 points. Kelsey Mayfield had 12 points, and Brooke Hinton finished with 11. Floyd Central hit 25 of 61 field-goal attempts (41 percent) and 16 of 25 free throws. The Lady Highlanders had 19 turnovers.

Hamsley credited Hinton as the key to the third-quarter push.

"She pushed the ball hard, and she put a lot of pressure on them," he said. "She made some nice passes and got people involved. Riley played a nice game for us, too. She usually doesn't play that much, but she played a nice game. She had a few turnovers, but she played well, and, as the game went on, she got better. She got more comfortable with the game. She really helped us. … Kingsley came off the bench and helped us again tonight. She got some fouls on the big kid, too. It was a nice team effort."

Ertel led the Lady Panthers (0-18) with 11 points, while Elmore was held to nine. Jennings County connected on 18 of 53 from the field (34 percent) and 15 of 27 free throws. The Lady Panthers coughed up the ball 24 times.

Hamsley said Floyd Central's tempo kept Elmore from getting any rhythm.

"She's real big and hard to beat up there," he said. "She's a load. I think as we pushed the ball and tried to get it down the floor, it put some pressure on them and she kinds of struggles in a game like that."

Hamsley said his team is beginning to gel, with the team's chemistry improving.

"Everybody shared the ball and were more comfortable and were accepting each other well," he said. "It just takes time. When you start your team, you think you can do this or that, but it takes you a part of a season to see who can do what and how they're going to come together. They have to accept each other, and I thought they were doing a better job of doing that."

"The next three games are tough," he said. "A couple of them we're not going to have the Kaiser girl with her ankle. She'll probably be out. We've got to fill that spot. Riley did a good job doing that tonight."

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