Win or go home: Area schools set for postseason tournament

The 2016-17 girls basketball regular season schedule has reached its conclusion.

Now, it’s win or go home.

All five Jackson County schools will fight for titles across southern Indiana starting today.

Class 4A Sectional 15

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Owls prepared for tough competition

Seymour coach Jason Longmeier says his team is going to have to play four quarters of solid basketball when his team faces Class 4A No. 9 Bedford North Lawrence tonight in the Floyd Central Sectional.

The Owls trailed the Stars 37-36 after three quarters in the Hoosier Hills Conference game on Nov. 8 before Bedford North Lawrence pulled away for a 57-46 win.

“I feel we played really well up until the fourth quarter,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “In the fourth quarter, Jory Allen kind of took over for them. They brought her out on the perimeter a little bit and she got some things done. She’s six-foot, and first and foremost we’ve got to limit her touches and her opportunities. We’re going to do some different things defensively. We’ve got to control her a little bit more.”

Longmeier said the Owls (15-8) need to be sharper on offense.

“We’ve just got to have fluidity in our offense. In the fourth quarter at their place we didn’t move very well,” he said. “We didn’t have good ball movement. We kind of got the ball trapped in areas and weren’t able to score against them.”

Kayla Griffin topped the Owls in scoring against the Stars (17-4) with 17 points and Lauren James added 15.

“We match up with them (size wise) as well as anybody in our conference,” Longmeier said. “Rebounding is always a key in tournament play. You have to limit second-chance opportunities and you have to create some second-chance opportunities, so we’re definitely going to have to rebound, especially when they plays us in zone.”

Longmeier estimated the Stars played zone about half of the time in the earlier game and said the Owls have had some success switching defenses in recent games.

“We played some really good minutes down the stretch, we just haven’t finished games. We had a really good chance to beat a good New Albany team and a good Jeffersonville team.”

Seymour will have to cut down the turnovers for a chance at the title.

“It’s going to be hard to beat (tough) teams if we don’t start taking better care of the basketball,” Longmeier said. “That has to be a big point of emphasis for us. The turnovers right now are just absolutely hamstringing us. We had 22 turnovers against New Albany.”

Class 3A Sectional 30

Braves face familiar foe

Brownstown Central will be out for revenge against Scottsburg Wednesday night at Corydon Central.

The Warriors defeated the Braves 50-43 in a Mid-Southern Conference game at Brownstown Nov. 25.

The Braves enter the sectional at 14-10 and the Warriors are 13-10.

In recalling the earlier game, Braves coach Karla Rieckers said, “For the most part I thought we played fairly well. We played with them for three quarters, and in the fourth quarter we made a couple bad decisions and they were able to beat us.”

The Braves held a 35-29 lead entering the fourth quater when the Warriors rallied to outscore the home team 21-8.

“We’ve had some kids that have improved throughout the year, and we can give them a competitive game,” Rieckers said.

“We need to make sure we contain (Paige) Barrett. The first time we played them we did a really nice job on her. We only allowed her to score two field goals, and the rest of her points came from the free-throw line so we certainly have to key in on where she’s at.“

Emma Waskom topped the Warriors in scoring against Brownstown Central with 13 points, Barrett scored 12 and Jaylah Mays 10.

The Braves held a 31-28 advantage in rebounds, while Brownstown committed 17 turnovers to 15 for Scottsburg.

“We need to rebound and we need to make sure we handle the ball,” Rieckers said. “In the fourth quarter they spread us out and drove to the basket. That was kind of our downfall, so we’ve got to make sure we slide our feet and make sure we’re playing good defense.”

Ashley Schroer led the Braves in scoring in the earlier game with 15 points.

Class A Sectional 61

Another county classic?

A pair of county schools will have a game to remember at the sectional in Orleans.

Trinity Lutheran and Crothersville will square off, again, to open play.

Crothersville (16-8) has the best record heading into the tournament while the Cougars (11-13) are riding a three-game winning streak.

On Nov. 19, the Tigers edged the Cougars 75-65 in overtime.

The Tigers trailed by nine points in both the third and fourth quarters before coming back. In extra minutes, the Tigers went on a 7-0 run to earn the win.

Senior Katrina Christian set a new school record for points in a game during the contest for Crothersville, amassing 39 points on 15 baskets and nine free throws.

Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said that Christian has taken on multiple roles this season.

“I’ve been trying to get (Christian) to understand that most teams will play a zone against us,” Hensley said. “It’s really hard to go one-on-one with Katrina. Katrina has been getting more of a point guard mentality to get other teammates involved.”

Christian totaled 14 points and six rebounds in the fourth quarter, and eight points in the overtime. She leads the county with 22 points per game.

“Katrina is the best player in the sectional, and I think that a lot of coaches will agree with that,” Cougars coach Mike Lang said. “She’s going (NCAA) Division I for a reason. She’s very talented and aggressive,if you key-in too much on her they have shooters that can beat you from the outside.”

The Tigers are the fifth highest scoring team in Class A, scoring 58.42 points per game while giving up 44.9 on average.

In the second half of the season, the Cougars have established an identity.

Trinity started the season 1-7, but turned it around and has taken six of their last eight.

“It has really been the maturity of our girls,” Lang said. “We had to replace some scoring at the beginning of the season, and it has been a process to get to this point.

“All the girls believe in their game now. At the beginning of the year, we walked on to the court hoping to win. Now, they’re expecting to win. This has been a fun team because there haven’t been many days where they didn’t work hard and push each other at practice.”

TLHS junior Abby Hackman has become a force inside the paint, averaging double digits in both scoring and rebounds. She has 327 points to go along with 295 rebounds for 2016-17.

Crothersville has never won a sectional title — in any sport boys or girls.

“It would be unbelievable,” Hensley said of the possibility of winning it all. “It hasn’t happened in over 110 years. Not just for the girls’ basketball program, but it would break the ice for all of the Crothersville programs.

“They seem really relaxed. Sometimes, I think maybe too relaxed. I want them more intense all the time. The girls are ready to go. They’re excited about the tournament and know the prospects that they can do something great.”

Short-handed Hornets look to upset

Coach Brad McCammon said it will take the Hornets’ best performance of the season to advance to the finals no matter who they play Friday night.

Medora (2-16) drew one of the byes and will face the winner of tonight’s West Washington-Borden game. The Hornets lost at Borden 59-16 on Dec. 17, but did not play West Washington.

“Borden is a pretty good ball club, and obviously West Washington and Crothersville are the two favorites, the way I see it, in the sectional,” McCammon said. “Even though we got the bye, we didn’t get the blessing of who we get to play. You just go down, put your shoes on and see what happens.

McCammon said holding turnovers down is a key for his team.

“We can’t run with either one of those clubs,” he said. “They’ve just got too much depth, and we’re looking at six kids taking on 11 or 12. No matter how good your six kids are, fatigue sets in.”

Sophomore Kailen Flynn leads Medora in scoring with an average of 10.2 points per game with junior Lillie Hatfield next at 8.6. Hatfield raised her average late in the season with a 22-point game against Shoals, and she scored in double figures in both games last weekend.

McCammon said sophomore Taylor Hunter and freshman Kelsey Turner made a lot of progress throughout the season.

Medora will only dress six players for the sectional as Gwyneth Morris is sideline with an injury.

Probable starters

Probable starters

Name, grade, points per game

Brownstown Central (14-10)

Kristen Stuckwisch, Jr. (4.9)

Madison Klinge, Jr. (6.5)

Grace Jaynes. Jr. (5.5)

Tayler Garland, So. (4.3)

Ashley Schroer, Fr. (8.8)

Crothersville (16-8)

Katrina Christian, Sr. (21.5)

Kashmir Kelshaw, Sr. (7.4)

Madison Reynolds, Sr. (2.2)

Lacey Hall, Jr. (7.7)

Piper Hensley, So. (10.2)

Medora (2-16)

Lillie Hatfield, Jr. (8.6)

Elexus Morris, Jr. (2.7)

Kailen Flynn, So. (10.2)

Taylor Hunter, So. (1.1)

Kelsey Turner, Fr. (2.4)

Seymour (15-8)

Sarah Benefiel, Sr. (5.6)

Lauren James, Sr. (15.9)

Kayla Griffin, Sr. (10.8)

Ashton Chase, So. (6.1)

Makenna Fee, So. (9.3)

Trinity Lutheran (11-13)

Whitney Rogers, Sr. 6.0)

Jodi Goecker, Jr. (4.4)

Savannah Harweger, So. (7.5)

Piper Acton, Jr. (6.4)

Abby Hackman, Jr. (13.6)

Sectional schedule

Floyd Central Sectional

Tonight

Game 1: Jennings County (9-14) vs. Floyd Central (13-10), 6 p.m.

Game 2: Seymour (15-8) vs. Bedford North Lawrence (17-4), 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Game 3: New Albany (15-6) vs. Winner Game 1, 6 p.m.

Game 4: Jeffersonville (16-7) vs. Winner Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Corydon Central Sectional

Tonight

Game 1: North Harrison (21-2) vs. Silver Creek (9-13), 7 p.m.

Wednesday

Game 2: Brownstown Central (14-10) vs. Scottsburg (13-10), 6 p.m.

Game 3: Charlestown (13-10) vs. Salem (14-10), 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Game 4: 6 Corydon Central (11-12) vs. Winner Game 1, 6 p.m.

Game 5: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Orleans Sectional

Tonight

Game 1: Trinity Lutheran (11-13) vs. Crothersville (16-8), 6 p.m.

Game 2: West Washington (14-10) vs. Borden (9-13), 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Game 3: Orleans (6-14) vs. Winner Game 1, 6 p.m.

Game 4: Medora (2-16) vs. Winner Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.