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North Harrison mauls Scottsburg by 28

Class 3A Charlestown Sectional First Round

March 06, 2013
The North Harrison Cougars came out with their fangs bared and claws sharpened last Wednesday night as they quickly took apart the Warriors of Scottsburg in the opening round of the Charlestown Class 3A Sectional. Cougar junior Cory Smith also set a milestone with his 1,000th career point.

North Harrison junior Cory Smith sets a milestone with this free throw in the first half of the Charlestown Class 3A Sectional as he scores his 1,000th point. Photo by Wade Bell
"Our guys did a great job," North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. "We've been focusing on this game since last year when the guys got beat by Salem. The guys worked all summer. So, this was a big focus for us."

Defense and rebounding have been among those focuses for the Cougars all year. North Harrison put that to work early as it held the Warriors to a single field goal in the first quarter, blasting to a 20-3 lead.

Smith's milestone point came late in the first period, and it came easy — from the free-throw line. The North Harrison junior put in two freebies to give the Cougars a 14-3 lead.

"As a junior, he's played three seasons of varsity basketball," Walters said. "His freshman year he didn't start out playing varsity ball. He started out on the JV team and, midway through the season, he was playing varsity. So, to reach 1,000 points, I'm real proud of him. It's a big accomplishment. I'm sure he would tell you more about the team tonight and their efforts."

Scottsburg managed just one field goal through the first four minutes of the second period, with North Harrison's lead ballooning to 34-5 with 4:20 left in the half. The Warriors finally got a pair of three-pointers to go down from Seth Helton and Israel Cook. Andrew Dones, however, came off of the North Harrison bench to cancel out one of those threes, and the Cougars led at halftime, 41-13.

"We've made a focus the last couple of weeks trying to defend and rebound," Walters said. "That's what we were able to do in the first quarter. This is probably our best defensive effort and rebounding of the season in those first two quarters."

North Harrison's biggest lead of the game came in the third quarter when Tyler Bement drove the lane to give the Cougars a 52-15 advantage. With both benches in the game, the Warriors won the final quarter, but by then it was too late. The Cougars notched the 76-48 win, advancing to the semi-final round where they would meet county rival Corydon Central, who disposed of Charlestown in the night's first game.

"We came out and played our best game and, hopefully, we can come out and replicate that on Friday night," Walters said.

Smith led the Cougars with 23 points, while Austin Nolot and Bement dumped in 17 each. North Harrison put in 28 of 61 field-goal attempts (46 percent) and 16 of 23 free throws. With the exception of the last quarter, the Cougars handled the ball well, committing 11 turnovers, eight of those in the fourth quarter.

"We've had a balanced effort all year," the Cougar coach said. "We've been right around having four guys in double figures. A lot of guys have played well, and other guys have had big games. I thought Nolot, in the first quarter, was huge for us defensively and rebounding. He made a couple of big baskets for us early in the game and got us going."

Cook led Scottsburg with 14 points. The Warriors connected on 15 of 50 shots from the field (30 percent) and nine of 11 from the charity stripe. Scottsburg turned the ball over 14 times.

"Early, we were winning the rebounds and, normally, we're fighting to stay even with somebody on the boards," Walters said.

Corydon Central topped the Cougars 63-55 in North Harrison's second game of the season. Walters said he knows the rematch will be a battle.

"Corydon is a great rebounding team. So, that will be a challenge," Walters said. "(We're) just trying to figure out a way to stop them. They're really good."

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