Monday, February 26, 2018

BOYS’ HOOPS: Sectional breakdown for best week of year

JEFFERSONVILLE – The sectional pairings are set throughout the state for the 108th annual IHSAA state tournament. Now, it is time for the best week of the season to start Tuesday night for most Southern Indiana teams.
The following is the pairings and breakdowns of each of the area sectionals:

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Bedford North Lawrence (14-8) vs. No. 4 Floyd Central (22-1), 6 p.m.
Seymour (11-11) vs. Jennings County (5-18), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 2
No. 6 Jeffersonville (20-3) vs. BNL or Floyd Central, 6 p.m.
No. 3 New Albany (21-1) vs. Seymour or Jennings County, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.

BEST DRAW: New Albany. The Bulldogs are in the bottom part of the bracket with the two teams with the two worst records in the tournament. In its victories over Seymour and Jennings, New Albany won by an average margin of 46.5 points.
TOUGHEST DRAW: Floyd Central. If the Highlanders are going to reach the sectional championship game for the second year in a row, they will need to beat a pair of teams they defeated in the regular season by a combined eight points. Floyd downed Jeff on Jan. 16 at home, 55-51. A few weeks later on Feb. 1, the Highlanders won at BNL in overtime, 46-42.
MY SECTIONAL PICKS: Floyd Central d. BNL; Seymour d. Jennings County; Floyd Central d. Jeff; New Albany d. Seymour; New Albany d. Floyd Central.

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Scottsburg (6-17) vs. Corydon Central (5-18), 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28
North Harrison (15-8) vs. Charlestown (3-19), 6 p.m.
Brownstown Central (17-6) vs. Salem (17-6), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 2
No. 8 Silver Creek (17-5) vs. Scottsburg or Corydon Central, 6 p.m.
North Harrison or Charlestown vs. Brownstown Central or Salem, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

BEST DRAW: Silver Creek. The Dragons received the only bye in the sectional and they will play a below-.500 Mid-Southern Conference foe in the first semifinal.
TOUGHEST DRAWS: Brownstown Central and Salem. The MSC rivals will square off in the first round in what is expected to be an extremely competitive and physical matchup. The winner then will most likely have to defeat North Harrison in the semifinals and the Dragons in the title game to collect the sectional championship. The Braves and Lions each have their work cut out for them.
MY SECTIONAL PICKS: Scottsburg d. Corydon Central; North Harrison d. Charlestown; Brownstown Central d. Salem; Silver Creek d. Scottsburg; North Harrison d. Brownstown Central; Silver Creek d. North Harrison.

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Eastern (6-17) vs. Austin (12-11), 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28
No. 16 Clarksville (16-6) vs. Providence (9-14), 6 p.m.
No. 6 Henryville (20-3) vs. No. 5 Paoli (21-2), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 2
Crawford County (10-13) vs. Eastern or Austin, 6 p.m.
Clarksville or Providence vs. Henryville or Paoli, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.

BEST DRAW: Crawford County: The defending 2A state runner-up earned the lone bye in the sectional. The Wolfpack has momentum on their side entering the sectional. They have won three games in a row, with the latest victory being a 62-60 double-overtime triumph over Paoli on Friday. In addition, prior to its win streak, Crawford gave Henryville a run for its money before losing to the host Hornets in double overtime Feb. 10, 47-41.
TOUGHEST DRAW: Henryville. The Hornets have their work cut out in both trying to keep their 20-game winning streak alive and capturing their first sectional championship in 13 years. Henryville must try to oust host Paoli in the opening round, followed by a possible matchup with Clarksville in the semifinals. The Hornets nipped the Generals by three points, 51-48, last Tuesday at Clarksville.
MY SECTIONAL PICKS: Austin d. Eastern; Clarksville d. Providence; Paoli d. Henryville; Crawford County d. Austin; Paoli d. Clarksville; Paoli d. Crawford County.

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Rock Creek (7-16) vs. Christian Academy of Indiana (14-9), 6 p.m.
Borden (7-14) vs. South Central (8-15), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 2
Lanesville (13-10) vs. Rock Creek or CAI, 6 p.m.
New Washington (3-20) vs. Borden or South Central, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.

BEST DRAWS: Borden, South Central: The host Braves and Rebels are in the lower half of the bracket, opposite of CAI and Lanesville. Unfortunately, Borden and South Central play each other in the first round, so only one team will be alive after Tuesday night. The victor of that game will face a struggling New Wash squad.
TOUGHEST DRAW: CAI. The Warriors must find a way to contain Rock Creek standout Terrence Browning in the sectional opener. If CAI wins, it will have to play a Lanesville squad that lost to the Warriors 60-58 in double overtime on Feb. 26 at CAI. To top it off if the Warriors reach the title game, they might play Borden in front of the Braves’ fans.
MY SECTIONAL PICKS: CAI d. Rock Creek; Borden d. South Central; CAI d. Lanesville; Borden d. New Washington; CAI d. Borden.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

BOYS’ HOOPS: Pioneers lose second-half lead, fall to Cougars 60-47

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — Things were looking rather rosy for Providence in the first half of Friday night’s game with North Harrison at the Larkin Center.
Rosy turned to rotten in the second half, however. The result was a 60-47 loss, dropping the Pioneers to 8-13 on the season.
“As well as we played in the first half, we didn’t play very well in the second,” said Providence coach Rob Murawski.
A win against an opponent like North Harrison (15-7) would have been a big boost for Providence just as the season is winding down heading into sectional play. Near the end of the first half, a win looked promising.
Just before the end of the second quarter, Providence’s Cullen Ebert hit a 3-pointer to give his team a nine-point lead at 30-21. This was the first of four treys Ebert hit for the game. He was mainly responsible for keeping the Pioneers in the game as long as they were.
In the third quarter, Ebert hit the third of his 3-pointers to put the Pioneers back up by nine at 38-29. Then a short while later, he drained his final 3, giving the Pioneers an eight-point advantage at 41-33.
It was at that point, though, that the bottom fell out for Providence. The Pioneers scored just six more points the rest of the game, while North Harrison pumped in 27.
“We were up by nine, and I thought we were playing well. Then, we took ill-advised shots and didn’t play defense,” said Murawski.
For the second half alone, North Harrison outscored its hosts 37-17, turning around a game it appeared the Cougars were going to lose.
The final period was nothing more than an exercise in futility for the Pioneers. Even though they led by two points entering the final eight minutes, Providence sat back and watched North Harrison run away with the victory.
“We gave it away,” said Murawski. “We didn’t rebound in the second half. We only scored four points in the fourth quarter. We weren’t very good.”
In the final period, North Harrison outscored Providence 19-4. The Cougars made it look easy the last quarter.
“We made some adjustments in the second half and they worked,” said North Harrison coach Kevin Jones.
“Until we play a full game, we’re not going to beat teams like that,” said Murawski.
Ebert finished with a game-high 21 points. Blake Murphy added 15 points, but he had a lot of difficulty finding the basket in the last two quarters. Providence had only five players reach the scoring column.
Jake Book paced North Harrison with 15 points, while teammate Braden Jenkins scored 13. Eli Gutknecht came off the bench and hit two key 3-pointers for the Cougars during their charge when they overtook Providence.
Providence will play at Brownstown Central (15-6) tonight. North Harrison will finish its regular-season schedule at home Tuesday night against Class 2A No. 6 Paoli (20-1).

North Harrison                 11   12   18   19—60
Providence                         12   18   13     4—47
North Harrison (15-7): Max Flock 9, Jake Book 15, Quinn Kaiser 2, Braden Jenkins 13, Skyler Wetzel 3, Eli Gutknecht 6, Jake Harley 9, Langdon Hatton 3, Trevor Haub 0, Chase Johnson 0, Ben Davis 0.
Providence (8-13): Blake Murphy 15, Cullen Ebert 21, Sterling Huber 6, Trey Beatty 3, Reece Libs 2, Austin Barnett 0, Hayden Burke 0, Nick Sexton 0, Alec Fougerousse 0, Aidan Finnegan 0, Bishop Edwards 0, Zach Johnson 0.
3-point field goals: North Harrison 6 (Gutknecht 3, Flock 1, Book 1, Wetzel 1); Providence 7 (Ebert 4, Huber 2, Murphy 1).
Total fouls: North Harrison 9, Providence 20.
Fouled out: none.
Junior varsity: Providence 57, North Harrison 50.

Monday, February 12, 2018

BOYS’ HOOPS: Shannon named Indiana All-Star head coach

NEW ALBANY – New Albany head coach Jim Shannon was named the head coach of the 2018 Indiana All-Star team last Thursday.
Shannon is in his 20th season at the Bulldogs’ helm, compiling a 375-102 record at the Floyd County school.
Shannon has been a head coach in the Hoosier State for 34 years. He coached at North Decatur, South Dearborn and Lebanon prior to coming to New Albany.
Shannon has a career record of 540-241. His 540 victories rank eighth among active coaches in Indiana and 24th all-time.
Shannon’s assistant coaches on the All-Star squad will be South Newton head coach Michael Hall and Lafayette Jeff head coach Scott Radeker. The Indiana Girls’ All-Star team will be coached by Columbus North head girls’ coach Pat McKee.
The Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Series for both boys and girls will be June 8-9. The games on Saturday, June 9 will be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The site for the June 8 contests has yet to be announced.
The Indiana All-Star boys’ and girls’ teams will play the Indiana Junior All-Star squads Wednesday, June 6 at a site yet to be determined.

Box score from New Albany-Madison boys' game

Official box score from New Albany-Madison boys' game Saturday:

New Albany       20  18  19  11-68
Madison             11    5    9  12-37
New Albany (19-1, 5-1 HHC): Romeo Langford 10-19 9-9 31, Sean East 7-13 2-2 18, Derrick Stevenson 4-6 0-0 12, Trey Hourigan 2-5 0-0 4, Julien Hunter 1-2 1-2 3, Cooper Biven 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Irvin 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Oberhausen 0-0 0-0 0, Darin Starks 0-1 0-1 0, Jordan Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-46 12-14 68.
Madison (7-13, 1-5): Cooper Yancey 6-14 2-2 19, Landon Conner 4-4 0-0 8, Blair Holt 2-4 0-0 4, Carson Livingston 1-3 0-0 3, Ian Strouse 1-5 0-0 2, Luke Miller 0-3 1-2 1, Gabe Caudill 0-0 0-0 0, Carson Howser 0-2 0-0 0, Luke Ommen 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Schafer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-36 3-4 37.
3-point field goals: New Albany 8-21 (Stevenson 4-6, East 2-6, Langford 2-7, Hourigan 0-1, Starks 0-1); Madison 6-15 (Yancey 5-10, Livingston 1-2, Miller 0-1, Holt 0-2).
Rebounds: New Albany 29 (Langford 11, East 5); Madison 15 (Strouse 4).
Assists: New Albany 12 (Langford 6, East 3); Madison 10 (Strouse 4).
Steals: New Albany 13 (Langford, Hunter 4); Madison 2 (Conner, Yancey 1).
Blocked shots: New Albany 8 (Hunter, Langford, Stevenson 2); Madison 0.
Turnovers: New Albany 11, Madison 18.
Total fouls: New Albany 9, Madison 16.
Fouled out: none.
Junior varsity: New Albany 64, Madison 36.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

BOYS’ HOOPS: Romeo scores 53; Bulldogs roll past Providence 92-44

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — It was no secret why everyone came to Providence on Friday night. It was the reason why the Larkin Center was a sellout.
Romeo Langford came to play.
The 6-foot-5 New Albany senior did not disappoint. He left everyone in awe, including his own coach.
“He was just incredible,” said New Albany coach Jim Shannon. “It was mostly him tonight. It was just one of those games.”
The incredible things Langford did at times left even the Providence crowd on their feet and applauding.
Langford finished the night with 53 points. He did this by hitting 12-of-20 regular field goals. He was 5-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc. He made 14-of-16 free throws. He pulled down 11 rebounds and he made a few plays that will be talked about for years by those who saw them.
In what seems to be a sidenote on the night, Class 4A No. 3 New Albany (18-1) won the basketball game by a score of 92-44.
“He shot the ball really well tonight,” said Shannon. “Another double-double. Another night at the office.”
Langford now has 2,749 points in his Bulldog career as he remains in fourth place on the Indiana boys’ all-time scoring list. He is 269 points behind third-place Deshaun Thomas, who played his high school ball at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Former Bedford North Lawrence great Damon Bailey is the all-time scoring leader with 3,134 points.
Langford came out with a vengeance, scoring 20 points in the first quarter and leading his team to a 26-12 lead after one stop.  The cherry on top of the first quarter was a nearly-full-court length shot at the buzzer that brought the crowd to its feet.
“It’s not fair,” said Shannon. “It’s just not fair to be able to do all the things that he can do and take a ball and throw it nearly the length of the court and hit that.”
The Bulldogs led 46-21 at the half and Langford had 29 points. They stretched the advantage to 70-30 after three quarters, and he had 40 points.
It was simply all Romeo, all the time.
“At times, we weren’t intimidated,” said Providence coach Rob Murawski. “We ran at him and made him take tough shots, and he hit them. He proved why he’s the best in the state.
“We tried to play physical. We understood that was probably the best way to get him off balance. He took tough shots early. But in the third quarter, he got a lot of layups.”
Despite the easy victory and the stellar play of his marquee player, Shannon saw some things that concerned him.
“Our defense was not good early,” he said. “It’s just getting to the point where we’re winning by such a large margin right now, it’s getting difficult for me to get them ready. I could feel it before the start of the game.”
Providence (7-12) also played the Bulldogs about as well as it could, something that did not escape Shannon’s notice.
“I knew they would come out ready to play,” Shannon said. “I know the score isn’t indicative, but that’s the best I’ve seen them play in a while. I know that sounds like I’m crazy. But honestly, they just don’t have the talent to play with us. But for what they have, they played really well tonight.”
Langford had a couple of other bring-the-crowd-to-its-feet moments, including a couple of dunks and even his coach was impressed.
“I think it’s when he kind of tipped it in. I just remember the crowd ‘Oohing’ and ‘Ahhing.’ Just amazing,” said Shannon.
Besides Langford’s 53, the Bulldogs also had Sean East in double figures with 16 points.
Providence was led by senior Blake Murphy with 12, while Cullen Ebert came off the bench to finish with 10 points. Murphy transferred to Providence from New Albany last summer.
“At times, we played all right,” said Murawski. “At times, we did what we wanted to do. I would’ve liked to have made a few more layups and few more 3’s, though.”
New Albany (4-1 Hoosier Hills Conference) will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at HHC opponent Madison (7-12, 1-4 HHC). Providence will play Rock Creek (5-14) at the Larkin Center on Tuesday, tipping off around 7:30 p.m.

New Albany       26   20   24   22—92
Providence         12     9     9   14—44
New Albany (18-1): Romeo Langford 53, Sean East 16, Derrick Stevenson 2, Julien Hunter 7, Trey Hourigan 4, Darin Starks 6, Chris Johnson 2, Anthony Irvin 2.
Providence (7-12): Blake Murphy 12, Sterling Huber 5, Nick Sexton 8, Hayden Burke 4, Reece Libs 0, Cullen Ebert 10, Austin Barnett 3, Alec Fougerousse 2, Aidan Finnegan 0, Trey Beatty 0, Bishop Edwards 0, Zack Johnson 0.
3-point field goals: New Albany 6 (Langford 5, East 1); Providence 5 (Murphy 2, Ebert 2, Huber 1).
Total fouls: New Albany 13, Providence 16.
Fouled out: none
Junior varsity: New Albany 65, Providence 26.

Damon Bailey, Bedford North Lawrence                 3,134
Marion Pierce, Lewisville                                         3,019
Deshaun Thomas, Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers              3,018
Romeo Langford, New Albany                               2,749
Brody Boyd, Union (Dugger)                                    2,632

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BOYS’ HOOPS: Pioneers battle their way to 51-35 win over Crawford

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — The Providence Pioneers came out and battled in their game against Crawford County on Tuesday night at the Larkin Center. It was one of their most impressive outings of the year.
The Pioneers of coach Rob Murawski really turned the heat on in the second half. During the final two quarters, they turned a two-point halftime lead into a 16-point victory.
Providence (7-11) won the contest by a score of 51-35. The victory gave them two wins in a row in their final game before their most challenging game of the year this Friday.
“They finally came out,” said Murawski. “It was a battle the first half. We were having a hard time scoring, but we really weren’t letting them score much.”
Crawford County (7-11) led much of the first quarter and 12-9 at quarter’s end. The Pioneers then outscored their guests 9-4 in the second frame to lead just 18-16 at the break.
“They came out in that third quarter and ready to play,” said Murawski. “I was really pleased with the way they played. I told the boys that we had to concentrate on two possessions: a score and a stop, and they did it.”
Providence stretched the lead to as many as 13 points in the third quarter, and it led 39-26 heading into the final frame.
The last quarter the Pioneers maintained what they were doing, never letting Crawford inch closer.
Murawski has shuffled his lineup recently, and it apparently paid off for this game. Murawski has inserted Hayden Burke and Nick Sexton into starters’ roles, replacing Austin Barnett and Cullen Ebert, respectively.
The switch showed effectiveness against Crawford County. Sexton ran the point, while Burke was very active on the court and a physical presence inside.
“Barnett’s a little more comfortable coming off the bench,” said Murawski. “The freshman Sexton is playing very well for us. I kind of like the lineup, and I think we’ll stick with it. I think they played really well.”
Sterling Huber really got the ball rolling for the Pioneers in the second half. He drained four 3-pointers en route to leading his team in scoring with 14 points.
“Sterling Huber got hot in the second half. He’s very capable at any time of turning it on,” said Murawski.
Barnett also reached double figures with 11 points.
Crawford County was led in scoring by Matt Dearborn, who matched Huber with 14 points.
Providence will face a monumental task on Friday as it entertains Class 4A No. 3 New Albany (17-1), tipping off around 7:30 p.m. Providence athletic director Mickey Golembeski said that the final available tickets have been sold, so the Larkin Center will be a sellout on Friday.
Crawford County will return to action on Friday. The Wolfpack will travel to North Harrison (13-6), starting at 7:30 p.m.

Crawford County             12   4   10    9—35
Providence                           9   9   21  12—51
Crawford County (7-11): Preston Coleman 7, Gavin Coleman 7, Christian Carlton 1, Trevor Harvey 6, Matt Dearborn 14, Kaleb Newton 0, Noah Adams 0, Colten Nickelson 0, Nick Stroud 0, Taten Arnold 0, Reese Sturgeon 0.
Providence (7-11): Blake Murphy 7, Austin Barnett 11, Nick Sexton 9, Hayden Burke 5, Reece Libs 2, Cullen Ebert 1, Sterling Huber 14, Trey Beatty 2, Aiden Finnegan 0, Bishop Edwards 0, Alec Fougerousse 0, Zack Johnson 0.
3-point field goals: Crawford County 1 (G. Coleman 1); Providence 6 (Huber 4, Murphy 1, Sexton 1).
Total fouls: Crawford County 15, Providence 16.
Fouled out: none
Junior varsity: Crawford County 44, Providence 31.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Class 4A Seymour girls' sectional final box

My box score from Saturday's Class 4A Seymour girls' hoops sectional championship game:

Jeff                        11     4  16    8  10  6-55
Bedford NL           8    10  10  11  10  8-57
Jeff (20-6): Nan Garcia 5-11 5-10 16, Britney Epperson 6-9 0-0 12, Kelsie James 3-8 3-4 12, Tori Handley 3-7 2-3 10, Kiersten Poor 1-1 0-0 3, Chelsea Gibson 1-3 0-0 2, Jasmine Lilly 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-40 10-17 55.
BNL (21-4): Jorie Allen 8-13 2-6 18, McKenzie Messmore 5-12 1-2 11, Chloe McKnight 2-7 4-6 10, Madison Webb 5-9 0-0 10, Jacy Hughes 3-4 0-0 8, Allie Crulo-rood 0-0 0-0 0, Gracie Crulo-rood 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Fisher 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 7-14 57.
3-point field goals: Jeff 7-14 (James 3-7, Handley 2-4, Poor 1-1, Garcia 1-2); BNL 4-7 (Hughes 2-2, McKnight 2-4, Webb 0-1).
Rebounds: Jeff 30 (Epperson 13); BNL 23 (Allen 10).
Assists: Jeff 14 (Lilly 8); BNL 14 (Allen 4).
Steals: Jeff 2 (Epperson, Lilly 1); BNL 8 (Allen, A. Crulo-rood, Webb 2).
Blocked shots: Jeff 1 (Epperson 1); BNL 1 (Allen 1).
Turnovers: Jeff 14, BNL 9.
Total fouls: Jeff 16, BNL 18.
Fouled out: BNL – Hughes.

Box score from East-New Albany boys' game

Unofficial box score from the Columbus East-New Albany boys' game from Saturday:

Col. East               13  15  15  17-60
New Albany         23  17  25  24-89
Columbus East (8-8, 1-3 HHC): Drew Hasson 5-8 3-4 13, Thomas Myers 4-6 3-3 13, Max Nolting 5-8 0-0 11, Drew Johnson 3-9 0-0 8, Luke Poindexter 4-5 0-0 8, Carson Whitehead 2-4 0-0 5, Matthew Frost 1-4 0-0 2, Tyler Boyer 0-0 0-0 0, Dane Denniston 0-0 0-0 0, Beck Kelley 0-1 0-0 0, Wyatt Koopman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-45 6-7 60.
New Albany (17-1, 4-1): Romeo Langford 16-27 10-11 44, Sean East 7-11 2-2 18, Derrick Stevenson 4-6 0-0 10, Trey Hourigan 3-4 2-2 8, Julien Hunter 1-4 3-4 5, Chris Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Savion Southers 1-2 0-0 2, Cooper Biven 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Irvin 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Oberhausen 0-0 0-0 0, Darin Starks 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-57 17-19 89.
3-point field goals: East 6-13 (Myers 2-3, Johnson 2-4, Nolting 1-3, Whitehead 1-3); New Albany 6-21 (Stevenson 2-3, East 2-4, Langford 2-11, Hourigan 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Starks 0-1).
Rebounds: East 20 (Johnson 4); New Albany 34 (Langford 13, Hunter 7).
Assists: East 6 (Frost 3); New Albany 3 (East 3).
Steals: East 2 (Frost, Johnson 1); New Albany 6 (Hunter 2).
Blocked shots: East 0; New Albany 3 (Langford 2).
Turnovers: East 10, New Albany 3.
Total fouls: East 18, New Albany 9.
Technical fouls: East – Frost.
Fouled out: East – Frost, Myers.
Junior varsity: New Albany 53, East 39.

Friday, February 2, 2018

GIRLS’ HOOPS: Condra’s clutch 3 helps New Albany get past Panthers, 51-46

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
SEYMOUR — Julyen Condra picked an opportune time for her shot to return from an uninvited vacation.
The New Albany senior hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds remaining in the Class 4A Seymour Sectional first-round game Wednesday at Scott Gym against Jennings County, propelling the Bulldogs to a 51-46 victory. This was the icing on the cake for her, as she led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points and in rebounding with 10 rebounds.
Condra had some difficulties to close out her senior regular season, but that came to an end Wednesday night. She was not the only New Albany player to play an important role in the outcome, but she was the most noticeable.
“Julyen made a 3 at the end, and that’s what made the difference in the game,” said New Albany coach Tammy Geron. “She had a big game tonight. She played within herself.
“She lost some confidence down the stretch of our season. Her shot was off. I’ve not seen her shot off that badly in four years. But she put a lot of work in the gym this past week to get it back. We welcomed it back from vacation.”
The Lady Bulldogs held the lead nearly the entire game except for a brief period in the second quarter. Other than that, New Albany (12-11) held the Lady Panthers at bay, but never very far away. New Albany’s largest lead of the game was eight points twice in the contest.
Jennings County (8-15) never quit, though. The Panthers continued to remain within striking distance the entire contest.
“Even on our scouting report, one of the things we could say about them (Jennings County) is they don’t quit,” said Geron. “We knew it would be a dogfight tonight. I never expect anything less from them. We were just lucky enough at the end of the game to hit some shots.
The Lady Bulldogs scored first on a 3-pointer by Alayasia Douglas. They maintained a lead for the entire first period and led 12-10 at quarter’s end.
The second period was the closest one of the night. During this quarter, there were four ties and two lead changes. New Albany went ahead for good at 23-21 on a bucket by Kelsy Taylor late in the period. Then, Ally Willis drained a 3 with 11 seconds to play to put the Lady Bulldogs up 26-23 at the break.
New Albany stretched the advantage to its largest point at 40-32 near the end of the quarter. But the Lady Panthers closed to within five on a 3-pointer by Kylee Matern just before the buzzer.
The Lady Bulldogs appeared to put the game away in the final quarter, once again stretching the advantage to eight at 44-36.
The Lady Panthers once again refused to quit and scored the next eight points, tying the game at 44-44 with 2:08 to play. Taylor then hit a bucket, which was followed by a basket from Jennings’ Callie Wilder at the 24-second mark.
That set up Condra’s heroics. Willis then stole the inbounds pass and was fouled. She sank each free throw, giving the final margin of victory.
New Albany’s inside game of Taylor and Savanna Pinkston struggled for much of the night. Each spent time on the bench because of fouls.
“I thought our inside game was struggling tonight,” said Geron. “They packed it in, and we had a hard time getting the ball inside and getting good looks.”
Taylor was the only other New Albany player to reach double figures with 14 points. She and Pinkston, however, helped the Lady Bulldogs dominate on the boards. Taylor finished with seven rebounds, and Pinkston had 8.
Wilder led Jennings County in scoring with 20 points and rebounding with nine.
New Albany will play Class 4A No. 11 Bedford North Lawrence (19-4) in the second semifinal at about 7:30 p.m. Friday. That game will follow the Class 4A No. 8 Jeffersonville (19-5) versus Floyd Central (8-15) semi at 6 p.m., with the winners meeting Saturday for the sectional championship.

New Albany                       12   14   14   11 — 51
Jennings County               10   13   12   11 — 46
New Albany (12-11): Julyen Condra 7-15 1-3 18, Alayasia Douglas 3-11 0-0 7, Ally Willis 1-5 2-2 5, Savanna Pinkston 3-5 1-2 7, Kelsy Taylor 7-12 0-3 14, Mya Jackson 0-1 0-2 0, Devon Hunter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 4-12 51.
Jennings County (8-15): Madi Skinner 0-2 0-0 0, Addyson Kent 1-5 0-0 3, Macy Roth 2-5 0-1 4, Callie Wilder 8-18 4-5 20, Baylee Byford 0-1 0-0 0, Kylee Matern 2-5 2-4 8, Alexus Brown 3-5 5-7 11, Grace Ramey 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-42 11-17 46.
3-point field goals: New Albany 5-9 (Condra 3-4, Willis 1-1, Douglas 1-4); Jennings County 3-6 (Matern 2-3, Kent 1-2, Roth 0-1).
Rebounds: New Albany 35 (Condra 10, Pinkston 8, Taylor 7); Jennings County 26 (Wilder 9).
Turnovers: New Albany 11, Jennings County 10.
Total fouls: New Albany 13, Jennings County 12.
Fouled out: none.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

GIRLS’ HOOPS: Despite battling sickness, Jeff downs Seymour in 4A sectional 40-27

Special to Southern Indiana Preps
SEYMOUR — The Class 4A No. 8 Jeffersonville Red Devils had two opponents in the Class 4A Seymour Sectional first-round game Tuesday night at Scott Gym.
The first opponent was host Seymour, which Jeff defeated 40-27. The second one was perhaps in this case more formidable and impossible to defend. The Lady Red Devils have been battling sickness, with numerous girls missing school and being limited on practice time.
Jeff (19-5) disposed of Seymour (11-12) fairly handily on the strength of two nice runs — one in the first quarter and one in the third. The game was not a work of art, though, as the physical effects of sickness were apparent throughout.
“It was extremely ugly, but we were happy to play that way,” said Jeff coach Mike Warren. “We’re battling a lot of stuff, and we’re figuring out a way to get kids everywhere and get a few healthy bodies and have enough kids to step up off the bench and do it for us. We’ll take it any way we can get it right now.”
Jeff took control of the contest early, and never relinquished the lead or let Seymour get back within striking distance.
After Seymour’s Maddie Roark opened the game with a 3-pointer, Jeff responded by scoring the next 15 points of the period to take the lead after one quarter by a 15-3 score.
The Lady Red Devils kept the defensive clamps down on the Lady Owls throughout much of the second quarter as well. Seymour had a mere five points going into the final minute of the half before it scored four points within the last minute. Jeff led 19-9 at the intermission.
“Defensively in the first half, we were outstanding, covering up shooters the way we needed to,” said Warren.
The third period was nearly identical to the first one. Seymour opened with a field goal to cut the deficit to eight points at 19-11. At that point, the Lady Red Devils reeled off 11 consecutive points to go up 30-11. A Seymour free throw made the margin 30-12 at the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, things got a little dicey. Seymour went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to eight at 33-25 with three minutes to play.
Sophomore Kiersten Poor stepped up for Jeff, though, hitting four free throws and settling the Lady Red Devils.
“In the fourth quarter, it was mental fatigue,” said Warren. “We didn’t have our rotations. We lost our mind there for about two or three minutes, which is not uncharacteristic of us. But at the end, we kind of collected back together and put it in the right person’s hands.
“Kiersten Poor has hardly played at all this year on varsity, and she steps up and makes huge free throws at the end of the game and settles us down, and I’m extremely proud of her.”
Although she struggled early, Nan Garcia paced Jeff with 10 points and nine rebounds. The sophomore went just 3-of-13 from the field, missing most of those early. She recovered nicely in the middle quarters, though. Warren said that Garcia is one of the players who has been battling sickness lately.
As a team, the Red Devils hit just 12-of-39 field-goal attempts (30.8 percent). That was better than Seymour, however, as the Lady Owls made only 25 percent of their attempts on 10-of-40 from the field.
Jeff dominated the glass as well, outrebounding the Lady Owls 41-26.
Roark was the only Seymour player to reach double figures with 10 points.
Jeffersonville advances to Friday night’s semifinal, where they will play Floyd Central (8-15), which drew a bye. Tipoff is scheduled for 6.
“We have some kids just not feeling very good. They’ve barely been at school and barely practicing,” said Warren. “We’re just praying to be sick-free the rest of the week and go full bore on Friday and Saturday.”

Jeff            15   4   11   10—40
Seymour     3   6     3   15—27
Jeff (19-5): Jaylyn Brown 0-5 0-1 0, Jasmine Lilly 3-4 0-4 9, Kelsie James 0-1 3-6 3, Britney Epperson 4-7 1-2 9, Nan Garcia 3-13 4-5 10, Chelsea Gibson 2-5 1-2 5, Kiersten Poor 0-4 4-5 4, Diamond Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, AaLeiah Winford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 13-25 40.
Seymour (11-12): Aidan Hiester 2-6 1-2 6, Ashton Chase 0-7 0-0 0, Maddie Roark 4-11 0-0 10, Makenna Fee 3-6 1-2 9, Grace Meyer 1-7 0-0 2, Megan Ritz 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 10-40 2-4 27.
3-point field goals: Jeff 3-8 (Lilly 3-4, Brown 0-1, Garcia 0-1, Poor 0-2); Seymour 5-18 (Fee 2-2, Roark 2-7, Hiester 1-2, Meyer 0-3, Chase 0-4).
Rebounds: Jeff 41 (Garcia 9, Lilly 8); Seymour 26 (Ritz 6).
Turnovers: Jeff 11, Seymour 11.
Total fouls: Jeff 12, Seymour 16.
Fouled out: Gibson.