|Lady Cats nab first sectional crown since ‘09|
By Dennis Dunn
On Saturday night, Feb. 6, McAfee and Burson can add their names to that list of sectional winners as they defeated Silver Creek 65-46 in the championship game of the Class 3A Sectional 29.
“It feels amazing to win a sectional,” McAfee said. “It’s been a really long time and we came close last year, but we got it this year.”
McAfee didn’t start, but played big minutes in the sectional. Also, being a senior they had a goal to win conference and sectional.
“That’s a good feeling to win both my senior year,” McAfee said. “To accomplish all of this my last year is awesome. We came in taking one step at a time and every thing just fell into place. Even though we had a lead we wanted to continue to put pressure on them.”
McAfee knows the team is not done yet as they look forward to regional where they will play at Charlestown and will play Greensburg in the first game on Saturday, Feb. 13.
“We are going to keep our game plan in the regional,” McAfee said. “Just try and keep going as a team and just go from there.”
Burson had another big game for North Harrison in the finals as she scored 16 points with six apiece coming in the first and fourth quarters.
Like McAfee, Burson is also excited to capture a sectional and conference crown her senior year. “It feels amazing and I was hoping to do it last year, but didn’t pull it out,” Burson said. “It definitely feels good to win both this year.”
This was the second time this year that Burson saw Silver Creek and they came out in the first quarter with a good game plan and was they took the lead they never looked back.
“I wasn’t thinking anything, but I just wanted to come out and play hard and come away with the win,” Burson said. “When Charlestown was ahead I wasn’t concerned because I knew we would come back and handle the pressure.”
The one good thing about sectional for North Harrison is the fact they see all of the teams at least once a year, but as they move along in the tourney it gets harder because they play teams they have never seen.
“Our main focus in regional will be to play like we have the last two games,” Burson said. “With Princeton losing that was a real big shock. I have no preference who we play, just happy to continue to play.”
The first quarter was close throughout as North Harrison held a 21-15 lead, but at the start of the second quarter they used an 8-0 run to take a 29-15 lead. A 9-0 midway through the second quarter pushed their lead to 22.
“Coming into the game we talked more about their tendencies and what we wanted to do as a team,” Lady Cats Coach Missy Voyles said. “We wanted to maintain our game plan and tried to put kids in position to score. We done a good job of finding those spots today.
“Carlie (Burson) had a great game. We have to have that when people on concentrating on Lilly (Hatton). That has been the focus all week where everyone double teamed her. They learned a lot this week on how to be those players.”
Hatton was able to break through a few times in this game as she led the team with 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
“I thought we took good shots and I didn’t see many that made me say ‘Oh no’. “At halftime we talked about how we lost Lauren (Polston) a few times and she didn’t have that good of a game against us last time.”
Polston led Silver Creek (10-14) with 16 points, including four 3-pointers.
After claiming a sectional crown, North Harrison (25-2) can now turn their focus to the Charlestown Regional where the will play Greensburg (22-3) in the first game at 10 a.m. Vincennes Lincoln (21-5) will meet Evansville Memorial (17-7) in the second game. The winners of each game will meet at 8 p.m. that evening to battle for a championship.
Greensburg is under the direction of Jason Simpson, who owns a 36-11 record in only his second year. As for North Harrison, Voyles is in her 13th year with the team and owns a 202-100 record.
The only common opponent each team played this year was Columbus East and both were defeated in the Orange Pit. Greensburg defeated Madison (47-30), Lawrenceburg (52-30) and Franklin County (67-46) during sectional play, while North Harrison beat Scottsburg (47-46) for their third season win over them, Charlestown (64-39) and Silver Creek (65-46).
The Pirates score an average of 53.4 points a game and give up 38.1 points a game, while the Lady Cats are averaging 59.3 points a game, but are giving up 38.7 points a game.
The Pirates season-high for points in a game was 75 at South Dearborn, but their fewest was 36 points in a win over Connersville. As for the Lady Cats they scored 76 points twice in wins over Lanesville and Corydon Central, but tallied only 37 in a win over Brownstown Central.
North Harrison had a 9-game winning streak to begin the season and have had two 8-game winning streaks as they are in the midst of their second 8-game win streak with their win over Silver Creek.
Greensburg had a 10-game win streak early in the season and are on a 7-game win streak heading into the regional. From Dec. 26 to Jan. 8 they won five straight.
Saturday, Feb. 6, at Ramsey
SC 15 5 17 9 – 46
NH 21 17 15 12 – 65
Silver Creek (10-14): Lauren Polston 16, Whitney Booher 9, Hailey Ramey 9, Haley Baxter 9, Abby May 3
North Harrison (25-2): Lilly Hatton 17, Carlie Burson 16, Taylor Rennirt 12, Jourdan McAfee 8, Hallie Hinton 5, Stevi Burns 5, Jessika Chiquito 1
3-point goals: Silver Creek 4 (Polston 4), North Harrison 1 (Hinton)