by KELLIE GIBSON
Austin Sports Correspondent
Before the 2010-11 Lady Eagles took to the floor at their first home game of the new basketball season, they and Lady Eagle fans paid homage on Friday night, November 12, to the Class AA 2010 State Championship Team.
This historic team received their long-awaited state rings in the newly-adorned Lady Eagles Gym, where they played many of the games that led to the school first state championship under coach Jared Petersen.
Among the new décor were the freshly-hung State Championship banner and team photo. Additionally, the photo of Katy McIntosh, a member of the 2010 Indiana All Stars, has taken its place beside girls’ basketball greats Tina Reece (now Bennett), Lisa Goodin and Jodie Whitaker.
Having graduated their four amazing starting seniors (McIntosh, Michelle Goodin, Chelsea Jones and Ashley Dowling) this past spring, the Lady Eagles are looking to rebuild and reshape their game this season.
Senior Shantel Gray returns as a starter and has been joined by a new lineup of Jessie Davidson, Brenna Oeffinger, Samantha “Sam” Wooten and Kelly Hollan. Hollan was forced to take the entire year off last year to rehabilitate a torn ACL.
Austin struggled at times to find their groove during this ballgame against the Lady Pioneers of Providence, but they ultimately pulled out a 46-40 win for Coach Petersen.
Shots weren’t falling for either squad at the opening of the first quarter; the teams remained frozen at zero-zip for nearly two minutes. It was Wooten who finally placed numbers on the board with a steal and a fast break basket.
When Gray and Oeffinger were benched with two fouls each, the Eagles had to readjust to play without their two inside ladies. Providence also had the quakes, committing 6 turnovers in the first four minutes along. Those allowed Austin to control the pace on the court.
Davidson took advantage of this confusion and did an excellent job of drawing fouls in the paint.
She was sent to the line for a good, old-fashioned three-point play to give the Eagles an 11-5 lead.
The Eagles then hit a dry spell, and the Lady Pioneers finished up the low-scoring half on a 14-4 run to go into the locker room with a 19-14 lead over their hosts.
Providence was able to widen the scoring margin to 22-17, but Davidson was able to get it back to a 4-point spread, scoring her 11th point of the night to set the score at 25-21 Providence.
Gray gave Austin the boost it needed by busting a trey that finally put them on top again 29-28. For most of the fourth period, it was neck-and-neck. With 59 seconds left, it was down to a one-possession game with the Eagles up just by 3. although Austin was cold from the stripe throughout the game, going 15 of 44, Davidson and Hollan came through in the final seconds when they were needed.
With that 46-40 score, the Lady Eagles thus opened their season with a win.
Scoring for Austin included Davidson 18, Brooke Stollings 10, Wooten 8, Kamry Howard 3, Oeffinger 3 and Hollan 2.