Friday, December 15, 2017

GIRLS’ HOOPS: Bulldogs rally to beat Pioneers; Wolford sets Providence record

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — The night belonged to Providence’s Hannah Wolford. The second half — and the game — belonged to New Albany.
Wolford set the Robert I. Larkin Center on fire Thursday night, setting a new school record in scoring 36 points. The senior scored 16 points in the second quarter and 11 in the fourth period. Her offensive output put her team up by 10 points at halftime, and she kept them in the game until near the end.
New Albany, though, erased the 10-point deficit and pulled away at the very end to win 70-56.
Although New Albany (8-3) had a balanced scoring attack, most of the second-half damage could be attributed to the Lady Bulldogs’ Kelsy Taylor. She dominated the boards, and Providence could find no answer for her.
“Taylor on the boards in the second half — we couldn’t keep her off the boards,” said Providence coach Brad Burden. “She probably had around 20 rebounds. She just competed.”
Wolford agreed with her coach about rebounding being the key to the New Albany victory.
“The big difference in the game was rebounding,” said Wolford. “We weren’t able to keep Kelsy Taylor and Savanna Pinkston off the boards in the second half.”
New Albany coach Tammy Geron was pleased with the difference in the two halves for her team.
“Our energy level was better in the second half,” said Geron. “We executed better and dominated the boards. We made some changes at halftime and challenged the kids a little bit.”
After trailing by two points at 15-13 at the end of the first quarter, Providence (5-5) put together a powerful offensive show in the second period. The Pioneers outscored their guests 22-10 during the quarter, led by Wolford’s 16.
The big second quarter provided Providence with a 35-25 lead at the break.
New Albany came out at a much higher intensity level the third quarter and quickly erased the deficit. The Lady Bulldogs possessed the lead at 48-47 when the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter New Albany completely controlled the glass, and was pulling away at the end.
Wolford’s night, however, was the most impressive feature of the game. New Albany could not find a solution for her.
“Hannah Wolford proved tonight she’s one of the best, not just in this area, but in all of Southern Indiana,” said Burden. “Thirty-six points tonight are a new school record. She is second in school scoring for girls to Claire Rauck. She will be either first or second in every statistical category by the time she finishes. I’m glad I get to coach her. She makes me look smart.”
“I was really feeling it tonight. At first, my shot seemed a little off. But it came to me and I just kept shooting it,” said Wolford.
New Albany had four players in double figures. Ally Willis paced the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points. Taylor finished with 16, 14 of which came in the second half. Julyen Condra checked out with 14 points, while Pinkston added 10.
“We’ve had balanced scoring all year,” said Geron. “One night it’s this kid, the next night it’s another kid and they’re all right with that.”
Providence was hindered by missing its center, Brigid Welch, who was out with an injury.
Burden was happy with his team’s effort.
“I was really proud of the kids. They played really hard. We’ve got to keep building on our good things,” said the Pioneer coach.
Providence will return to action at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Charlestown Holiday Tournament semifinals. The Pioneers will play Silver Creek (5-8) in the second game.
New Albany will play at Evansville North (7-1) at 2:30 p.m. EDT Saturday.

New Albany      15   10   23   22—70
Providence        13   22   12   11—56
New Albany (8-3): Julyen Condra 14, Alayasia Douglas 8, Ally Willis 20, Savanna Pinkston 10, Kelsy Taylor 16, Mya Jackson 2, Layne Burke 0, Ke’ona Murrell 0.
Providence (5-5): Kaylee Kaiser 4, Sierra Brooks 8, Hannah Wolford 36, Brinley Prather 8, Alaina Banet 0, Bailey Brown 0, Natalie Boesing 0.
3-point field goals: New Albany 2 (Condra 1, Willis 1); Providence 6 (Wolford 5, Prather 1).
Total fouls: New Albany 16, Providence 12.
Fouled out: none.
Junior varsity: New Albany 35, Providence 19.

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