January 23, 2013When a play was needed down the stretch, Corydon Central made it.
Three-point plays to end the third and start the fourth quarters helped the Lady Panthers gain an advantage they'd successfully close out against rival North Harrison.
Ten of Marie Rothrock's game-best 20 points came in the final frame, including 7-of-7 free throws to lead the Lady Panthers to a 53-49 win over the Lady Cats last Tuesday at Ramsey.
Corydon Central’s Symphony LeJeune scoops a loose ball while clearing out North Harrison’s Brittany Knight. Photo by Brian Smith
North Harrison had moments of several possession advantages, including the closing moments of the third quarter when leading 37-33. Corydon Central's Symphony LeJeune, however, was money from the top of the key, swishing a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Momentum carried into the fourth quarter for the Lady Panthers when Rothrock converted an old-fashioned three-point play following a Lady Cat turnover.
"We got a couple of run-outs early, and Symphony hitting the three at end of the third quarter was big, too," Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said. "Then, Marie had a nice three-point play to start."
North Harrison retook the edge when Jill Book hit a triple from the top of the circle, but it was quickly offset by a Taylor Frederick bucket. Field goals by Reagan Mosley and a bank shot by Savannah Eschbacher helped the black-and-gold extend the margin to 46-42.
Book made it interesting when she circled around a series of screens to nail another straightaway triple with 1:06 to play, bringing the Lady Cats to within one.
Inside the final minute, it was nearly all Rothrock at the charity stripe, as she made six straight, while Kayla Uhl added a single. North Harrison would add just one more field goal, a Carlie Burson bucket with 10 seconds remaining.
"It appeared to me at the end of the game that I really didn't have anybody that wanted to take the shot," North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. "We kept passing and waiting for someone else to score. There wasn't anyone on the floor that wanted to score at that point."
It was a quick start to the game for both teams offensively. Book, who finished with 19 points, nailed a pair of three-pointers early. Corydon Central, meanwhile, forced turnovers to garner baskets by Rothrock and Aly Chambers.
Corydon Central saw LeJeune make a long ball early in the second quarter to push the Lady Panthers ahead 19-13.
A sizable shift followed, to the way of the Lady Cats. Book free throws began a 12-0 run. Kasey Kelley added three blocks on the defensive end, while she, along with Kendra Lambert, drew contact and eventually sank freebies. Lambert also added a trey.
North Harrison would give up a Rothrock field goal late, but led 25-19 at half.
"We were up six points in the middle of the second quarter then, before you know it, we're down six," Uhl said. "I thought we were playing really well in the second quarter, but things changed … They got to the free-throw line, which we talked before the game about how they do a really good job of doing that."
The Lady Cats extended the lead to eight in the third quarter with points from Brittany Knight and Book. They held the advantage through the frame, but a pair of LeJeune three-pointers inside the final minute sparked the Corydon Central comeback.
"We lost LeJeune a few times," Voyles said.
Coming up with the big plays in the final quarter, however, was the difference.
"There is not as much money on a shot you are taking in, at any point in the game as it is when you take it in the last three minutes," Voyles said. "I really felt like the last three minutes we were waiting for someone to score besides the person who had the ball. We weren't looking to attack."
It was the fourth win in a row for Corydon Central, as well as in the series with its rivals.
"Give Corydon credit, they hit the big shots when they were needed," Voyles said. "There was no doubt in my mind at the end of the game Marie Rothrock was going to shoot free throws to win the game. Her teammates knew she wanted the ball in that moment."
Rothrock was 9 of 9 at the line for the game. LeJeune closed with 11 points, while Frederick added six. Mosley paced the Lady Panthers in rebounds with seven, while Uhl swiped five steals.
Lambert and Knight closed with nine points each, while Kelley pulled down eight boards.
North Harrison will travel to Brownstown Central tomorrow (Thursday) for a 7:30 p.m. contest. Corydon Central's next contest will be at home against Crawford County the same night at 7:30.