Floyd girls overpower Harrison
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer
The Floyd Central Lady Highlanders got their second win of the season Saturday afternoon when they overpowered visiting Evansville Harrison, which made the trip from the southwestern part of the state. The Lady Highlanders’ defense made quick work of the Lady Warriors and sent Evansville Harrison home with a 63-22 loss.
“It’s great to get a win on senior night, so we’ll just keep moving forward,” said Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna following an early celebration for his seniors.
Floyd Central raced out to a 7-0 lead to begin the game, but Evansville Harrison got back into the game with a pair of baskets from Jordan Mackey and Tori Carroll. The Lady Highlanders scored the next six points, taking a 13-4 lead. MaKhya Robertson sank a pair of free throws, and Gabrielle Bushrod canned the only three of the game, closing the gap to four, 13-9. Kendall Brown and Grace Suer put in a single free throw each, and the period ended with Floyd Central leading by six, 15-9.
The Lady Highlanders turned up the heat defensively in the second quarter, allowing Floyd Central to make an 8-0 run to lead 23-9. Ava Verkamp scored in the paint for the Lady Warriors, but the Lady Highlanders countered with an 11-0 run to lead 34-11. Carroll finally got a basket for Evansville Harrison, and the Lady Highlanders went to the locker room leading 34-13.
“One of the things that we did a good job of was, (Bushrod), we just took the ball out of her hands,” said Gianfagna. “We did a pretty good job of that, and I was proud of them for that. We talked about we had a lot of turnovers the first half. We had four in the third quarter, so we really talked about that.”
The third quarter didn’t start out so well for the Lady Warriors, who came out of the locker room late, resulting in a technical foul being called for delay of game. Sophie Gasaway sank both freebies, and Floyd Central made a 9-2 run. Evansville Harrison hit just one field goal of 11 attempts and only one of 14 attempts in the fourth as the Lady Highlanders went on for the 63-22 win.
“It was very physical,” said Gianfagna. “It was rough and tumble. We did expect it to be physical … The little things we did really well. On the free-throw break, we got a layup. They’d shoot a free throw; we’d get a layup. We’ve been working on that, so some things that we saw I enjoyed doing.”
Suer led the Lady Highlanders with 13 points, and Keegan Kaiser and Mandy Hess finished with 11 points each. Floyd Central canned 25 of 55 shots from the field (45%) and 13 of 25 free throws. The Lady Highlanders had 18 turnovers.
“We’ve got to clean up our turnovers, but each game is going to be different down the road so we’ll see how they go,” Gianfagna said.
Suer recovered from a hip injury last year that required surgery and took her out of nearly the entire season. This year, she is back in better condition with no problem running the floor.
“Coming back from a hip injury is pretty tough,” said the Floyd Central coach. “I think once we got over that Columbus East, where she got hurt in that game last year, that was it.”
Kendall Brown finished with six points, but Gianfagna said there were other things she did on the floor to make up for having an off-night shooting.
“She’s one of our most athletic kids,” he said. “We keep telling her that and just to have confidence. I was proud of all of our girls.”
Carroll led the Lady Warriors with eight points, and Bushrod was held to her lonely three-pointer.
“We were doing a good job of cutting off (Bushrod), so I was proud of that,” Gianfagna said.
Floyd Central now hopes to take the momentum of its first two wins against a tough and physical Scottsburg tomorrow (Thursday) night.
“We had trouble with their big girl (Zoe Zellers) last year, so we’re going to work on that,” said Gianfagna. “She had a double-double last year on us. We’ve got to keep her off the boards. They have a guard that can shoot it a little bit. We’ve got our hands full, and we haven’t beaten them in a couple of years.”
“We’ve got to keep playing,” he said. “We’re just trying to stay healthy, No. 1 healthy and COVID healthy, too. Our Castle game got canceled next Saturday already because they played Jeff, and Jeff had the issue so now they’re in quarantine. We picked up Lanesville in December. I think it’s going to be if you get 15 games in, it might be a great year. Who knows. We’ll see what happens.”
Evansville Harrison 9 4 6 3 – 22
Floyd Central 15 19 19 10 – 63
Evansville Harrison – Carroll 8, Mackey 4, Robertson 4, Bushrod, 3, Verkamp 2, Wright 1
Floyd Central – Suer 13, Hess 11, Kaiser 11, Celichowski 7, Brown 6, Wood 6, Gasaway 4, Hamelman 3, Emerson 2
3-pointers – Evansville Harrison 1 (Bushrod).