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Pirate plunder

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Connersville’s Lauren Thompson lines up a 3-point shot Saturday at Greensburg. Thompson and the Lady Spartans opened play in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference at 0-1, following a loss to the Lady Pirates.
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Connersville senior Marley Smith leans into the lane,challenging pressure applied by Greensburg’s Micha Morrison (40) Saturday at Greensburg. Smith scored a team-high 18 points in a 64-34 loss to the Lady Pirates.
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Connersville senior Gianna Struewing dribbles around pressure applied by Greensburg’s Rose Morrison in the fourth quarter between the two Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference teams, Saturday at Greensburg. The Lady Pirates won the game 64-34.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

GREENSBURG — There weren’t a lot of surprises in store for the Connersville High School girls basketball team when it traveled to Greensburg for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game on Saturday.

Coach Michael Thompson and the Lady Spartans were aware of what awaited them.

“Leading up to the game, the biggest thing we talked about and tried to get ready for was transition defense and (Greensburg’s) quickness up the floor,” the Connersville head coach said.

In spite of that knowledge, however, the Lady Pirates were still able to sink any of CHS’ thoughts of opening 2018-19 conference play with a victory, as the Spartan girls headed home after being handed a 64-34 defeat.

“Today, we saw first hand just how quick Greensburg is,” Thompson said afterward.

Connersville (3-4) stayed with GHS through the first five minutes of the game, trailing by only one (7-6) with 2:54 left in the opening quarter.

A blanketing full-court defense applied by the Pirates changed all that, however, as numerous CHS turnovers allowed the home team to build a 20-point lead by the 2:27 mark in the second quarter. By halftime, Connersville was staring up at a 41-19 deficit.

“Our turnovers weren’t too bad today (CHS had 11), they just happened in stretches, particularly when they pressed us in the first half,” Thompson conceded. “We were down by six or eight points and then it goes to an 18-point deficit, just like that.”

The third quarter was not kind to the Spartans, either. Greensburg outscored their guest 12-4 to increase the advantage to 53-23 with 2:30 left in the third, preventing any chance of a comeback.

The speed and pressure applied by the Pirates through those three quarters made the difference, Thompson said.

“We keep charts on those four-minute stretches. We were minus-10 in the final four minutes in both the first and second quarter,” he said. “You take those two spurts out right there, and we’re down by only 10 with four minutes to go. That makes this a totally different ballgame. Things would have changed dramatically.”

In spite of the lopsided defeat, Thompson said he was over all pleased with the effort from the Spartans.

“I feel better about this loss than the one we had against Mt. Vernon. The scores are similar, but I felt like we competed much better in this one,” he said. “You need to five Greensburg credit, because I don’t think we played all that bad defensively today.

“They shot lights out and finished at 60 percent. When they shoot the ball that well, they also beat us on the boards, because there aren’t that many rebounds to get.”

Connersville was led by Marley Smith, who finished with 18 points. Jessica Beckman added seven.

Greensburg had three players in double figures, led by Melina Wilkison’s 19 tallies. She was followed by Aliyah Evans (18) and Micha Morrison (12).

The junior varsity game was a much closer contest, the hosts needing a fourth-quarter comeback to repel the Spartans by 29-25 score.

Connersville took a 21-15 lead into the final frame, but could manage only two baskets in the final eight minutes, one each from Tylissa Beckner and Maranda Cranfill.

Meanwhile, the Pirate reserve unit got baskets from Klaudia Sims (3-pointer), Annaliese Nobbe and Megan Kaiser. The rest of the scoring came at the free throw line, as GHS put 14 points on the board to slip away with the four-point win.

Brianna Thomas scored seven for the Spartans. Brittney Bottomley and Cranfill added four each.

Connersville plays host to New Castle tonight.

  

LADY PIRATES 64, LADY SPARTANS 34

(at Greensburg)

Connersville 10 19 23 34

Greensburg 19 41 53 64

Connersville (3-4) — Gianna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Giovanna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Marley Smith 6 3-4 18, Lauren Thompson 1 0-0 3, Paige Dunaway 1 1-2 3, Elise Bottomley 0 0-0 0, Jessica Beckman 3 0-1 7, Maranda Cranfill 0 0-0 0, Sammi Potters 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 5-10 34.

Greensburg (6-2) — Taylor Cooney 1 0-0 3, Aliyah Evans 8 2-2 18, Melina Wilkison 7 2-2 19, Micha Morrison 4 2-2 12, Anna West 1 3-6 5, Liz Pavy 0 0-0 0, Rose Morrison 1 0-0 3, Bailey Springmeyer 1 0-0 2, Klaudia Sims 0 0-0 0, Annaliese Nobbe 1 0-0 2, Megan Kaiser 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 24 9-13 64.

3-pointers — Connersville 5 (Smith 3, Thompson, Beckman), Greensburg 7 (Wilkison 3, M. Morrison 2, Cooney, R. Morrison). Rebounds — Connersville 10, Greensburg 24. Turnovers — Connersville 11, Greensburg 14. Fouled out — Connersville 1 (Beckman). Total fouls — Connersville 15 (Beckman 5, Dunaway 4, Bottomley 4, Smith, Thompson), Greensburg 15 (Wilkison 4, Nobbe 3, Evans 2, West 2, R. Morrison 2, M. Morrison, Springmeyer).

JUNIOR VARSITY

Lady Pirates 29, Lady Spartans 25

Connersville 10 19 21 25

Greensburg 9 9 15 29

Connersville — Brianna Thomas 3 1-1 7, Ryonna Payton 0 0-0 0, Baylee Schneider 1 0-0 2, Tylissa Beckner 1 0-0 2, Chyann Young 1 0-2 3, Brittney Bottomley 2 0-0 4, Hannah Sizemore 1 1-2 3, Cheryl Garrison 0 0-0 0, Maranda Cranfill 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 11 2-5 25.

Greensburg — Cadence Land 0 0-0 0, Hillary Ernstes 0 2-4 2, Ella Lowe 1 0-0 2, Klaudia Sims 2 6-6 12, Allison Ralston 2 0-0 4, Annaliese Nobbe 1 1-2 3, Megan Kaiser 3 0-0 6. TOTALS 9 9-14 29.

3-pointers — Connersville 1 (Young 1), Greensburg 2 (Sims 2). Total fouls — Connersville 14 (Thomas 4, Bottomley 4, Cranfill 3, Sizemore 2, Schneider 1), Greensburg 11 (Lowe 4, Sims 2, Nobbe 2, Kaiser 2, Ralston 1).