Floyd Central slips past Lady Pack
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer
Two evenly matched teams came into Ron Ferguson Gymnasium last Tuesday night as the Crawford County Lady Pack and visiting Floyd Central Lady Highlanders took the court. The game became one of who would have the best run, that coming from the Lady Highlanders in the second half, who went home with a 44-39 win.
“It was a big win for us today, tonight,” said Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna. “A lot of different players stepped up.”
“It was a very hard-fought game on both sides and overall very competitive,” said Crawford County coach Chris Broughton. “Give credit to the Floyd girls for taking care of the basketball with our pressure. I knew they were pretty fundamentally sound, and they showed that tonight.”
Crawford County scored the first six points of the game with Sarah Stutzman cashing in four of those. Moments later, the Lady Highlanders went on their first run with Kendall Brown getting a pair of free throws then converting a deuce-and-one off a Crawford County turnover. Crawford County turned the ball over again, and Mandy Hess converted to put Floyd Central up by one. Points went back and forth through the remainder of the period, and the quarter ended in an 11-11 tie.
Laney Siewert and Brown put Floyd Central up by four to start the second period, but Taylor Herbaugh countered with a three-ball, closing the gap back to one. Gloria Dennis added two free throws for the Ladypack, putting them back up by one. Grace Suer scored for the Lady Highlanders in the paint. Autumn Schigur hit a Crawford County three, and Herbaugh later sank a long deuce. The two teams traded points again, and Crawford County had a 25-19 advantage at halftime.
“A lot of credit goes to Floyd Central and coach Gianfagna for having his kids ready to play, and I think they shot the ball better than what they have been shooting,” Broughton said. “Overall, we are just still in search of our identity this season and, I believe once we find that, things will click and things will turn around. We still have everything in front of us left to play for and, hopefully, these games in December (losing close) will pay off in January.”
The Lady Pack hit their opening shot of the second half then fell into the freezer as they misfired on their next nine. Free throws kept Crawford County in front, but Floyd Central was quickly closing its deficit with Hess and Reese Stiles closing the gap to three. Stutzman hit a Crawford County free throw, but Sophie Gasaway drilled a three-ball in return. Schigur cashed in a single, and it was a two-point game, 31-29, going into the fourth quarter with Crawford County still in front.
Crawford County’s shooting remained coated in ice in the fourth quarter with the Lady Pack hitting just one of their 10 shots. C.J. Celichowski and Siewert scored the opening points of the period as the Lady Highlanders went out in front. Midway through the period Hess added to that run, but Schigur negated those from the charity stripe.
The free-throw line became important for the Lady Highlanders with Gasaway and Brown sinking four. Schigur hit a three, and Dennis got a single. The Lady Highlanders finished the game hitting five of six free throws and went on to secure the win.
“I think the fact that they took care of the ball well enough so we couldn’t get out in transition was a big part of the game,” said Broughton. “The last three games have been about the same. We’ve had the lead in the fourth quarter and just couldn’t hold on.”
Brown led the Lady Highlanders with 14 points. Floyd Central connected on 14 of 38 field goals (37%) and 14 of 24 free throws. The Lady Highlanders had 14 turnovers for the game.
“We knew we had to focus on Brown and Suer, and we felt they were the same type players, so we treated them equally,” said the Crawford County coach. “Give Brown credit; she made some big shots.”
Schigur led the Lady Pack with 13 on the night. Crawford County hit 10 of 40 shots from the field (25%) and 14 of 19 free throws and finished with 15 turnovers for the 32 minutes.
“I was overall very proud and pleased with Autumn Schigur as she’s still dealing with some injuries and could have not played harder,” said Broughton. “It was one of the best games I’ve seen her play, and I’m hopeful she is going to start turning into our ‘closer’ for us. She really picked up her offensive game in the second half as she scored 10 of our 14 points in the second half. As with prior games, we just turned the ball over too much and were not able to execute in critical situations (end of quarters, end of game).”
With Treasure Nickelson out for the season following knee surgery, Crawford County is working on combinations to fill the void.
“We have to find the right combination of kids at the end, and we’re still searching for that,” said Broughton. “This will be a good film game for us. I think some of our kids are pressing too much and maybe trying to do too much instead of letting the game come to them. We will get it figured out.”
Floyd Central 11 8 10 15 – 44
Crawford County 11 14 6 8 – 39
Floyd Central – Brown 14, Gasaway 7, Hess 6, Siewert 5, Stiles 5, Suer 3, Celichowski 2, Emerson 2.
Crawford County – Schigur 13, Herbaugh 7, Stutzman 7, Dennis 6, Kerce 4, Ashley 2.
3-pointers – Floyd Central 2 (Gasaway 1, Stiles 1); Crawford County 5 (Herbaugh 2, Schigur 2, Dennis 1).