By GREG BURTON
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.
CLASS 4A SEYMOUR SECTIONAL
NEW ALBANY 51, JENNINGS COUNTY 46
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.