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Shooting chill

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Connersville's Jessica Beckman (21) drives past the 3-point line, going around New Castle's Macayla McGowan, Tuesday night at Spartan Bowl. Beckman and the Lady Spartans slipped to 3-5 on the season, following a 43-31 loss to the Lady Trojans. Beckman led CHS with 13 points.
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Connersville freshman Paige Dunaway (13) drives to the basket for two of her eight points against visiting New Castle, Tuesday night at Spartan Bowl. New Castle’s Mackenzie Bridgeman looks on.
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Connersville senior Elise Bottomley (15) goes to the basket as New Castle's Cemeron Tabor trails her Tuesday night inside Spartan Bowl. Tabor and the visiting Lady Trojans wound up earning a 43-31 victory in the game.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

The Connersville girls basketball team scored eight points in the first quarter, and added only five more in the second against New Castle on Tuesday night.

But it wasn't until the third quarter that the game got away from the Spartans.

The Lady Trojans scored 18 points in the stanza following the halftime break, more than doubling their score, on the way to claiming a 43-31 victory over their hosts.

"(Cloie) York and (Alyssa) Semler scored three 3-pointers there in that quarter, and you could see the adjustment (New Castle) had made there. (Davidson University recruit) Cameron Tabor attacked more and was more aggressive driving the ball into the lane.

"That pulled our second guard to help out, and then Tabor would kick it out to the open player, and our forward was not quick enough to recover, and that allowed them to get those open 3-pointers.

"But what can you do, allow Tabor to go right to the basket, where she is going to hit the shot 90 percent of the time? No, you're going to take your chances with the 3-point shot. You must stop Tabor first."

Tabor, an Indiana All-Star candidate, was held to nine points, 16 points below her average, by Thompson's charges.

"I'm proud of how we played against Tabor today," the CHS mentor said. "We had a tremendous effort on defense tonight."

There was one exception to that, he added.

"In the pregame, we talked about how we could not allow anyone else to have a career game tonight, and then York finishes with 16," he said "She typically averages six points per night."

Ultimately, however, Thompson admitted that the game was decided on Connersville's end of the floor, not New Castle's.

"We just struggled to shoot the ball tonight," he said. "Part of it was that I think we could have gotten better looks, and part of it was that we got a little frustrated. We were throwing the ball up, rather than shooting it and trusting ourselves.

"You could see in our body language that we were frustrated."

In spite of the offense scoring only 13 points in the first half, the team looked up at a very manageable 16-13 deficit, heading into the halftime locker room.

"During the break, we talked about believing in ourselves, and moving the ball a little better," Thompson said. "We wanted to work the ball inside-out, get some easier looks, and maybe get to the free throw line."

Jessica Beckman got things rolling in CHS' favor, scoring in the first 10 seconds of the second half to cut the deficit to one, 16-15.

The Trojans would respond, however, doubling up the Spartans through the remainder of the frame (18-9), taking a 34-24 lead into the fourth quarter. NC would finish the third quarter, shooting 67 percent in the frame.

CHS didn't come close to that.

For the game, the Spartans were 11-of-50 from the field, finishing at 22 percent.

"Finishing at 22 percent is not going to beat a good team like New Castle," Thompson said.

Beckman led Connersville with 13 points.

York's 16 paced the Trojans.

In the junior varsity contest, Connersville overcame a double-digit deficit late in the game, but could not get the lead against New Castle's reserves, dropping a 34-31 decision.

CHS had its opportunities in the game, particularly at the free throw line, where the team earned 25 shots. Unfortunately, the team was able to convert only 11 of them (44 percent).

Eight different players showed up in the scoring column for the Spartans, led by Maranda Cranfill's 10 points. Tylissa Beckner added six.

For New Castle, Karsen Morgan scored 16 points.

Connersville hosts Lawrenceburg for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game on Saturday. The junior varsity game is set for a noon tip, followed by the varsity at approximately 1:30 p.m.



(at Spartan Bowl)

New Castle`10`16`34`43


New Castle (5-5) — Macayla McGowan 1 2-2 4, Cloie York 4 6-7 16, Alyssa Semler 3 0-0 8, Cameron Tabor 4 1-1 9, Molly Alspaugh 1 0-0 2, Karsen Morgan 1 0-0 2, Mackenzie Bridgeman 0 0-0 0, Laila Smith 0 2-2 2. TOTALS 14 11-12 43.

Connersville (3-5) — Gianna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Marley Smith 2 0-0 6, Lauren Thompson 1 0-0 2, Paige Dunaway 3 0-0 8, Elise Bottomley 1 0-0 2, Jessica Beckman 4 4-6 13, Sammi Potters 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 11 4-6 31.

3-pointers — New Castle 4 (York 2, Semler 2), Connersville 5 (Smith 2, Dunaway 2, Beckman 1). Rebounds — New Castle 25, Connersville 29. Steals — New Castle 2 (Tabor 2), Connersville 4 (Dunaway 3, Smith 1). Blocks — New Castle 3 (Tabor, Smith, Alspaugh), Connersville 1 (Bottomley). Assists — New Castle 2 (Tabor 2), Connersville 1 (Smith). Turnovers — New Castle 14, Connersville 14. Total fouls — New Castle 8 (McGowan 2, Semler 2, Tabor, Alspaugh, Bridgeman, Smith), Connersville 12 (Smith 4, Beckman 3, Thompson 2, Bottomley 2, Potters 1).


Lady Trojans 34, Lady Spartans 31

New Castle`8`19`22`34


New Castle — Ashlynn Clouse 1 1-2 3, Karsen Morgan 6 2-2 16, Mackenzie Bridgeman 0 1-2 1, Maddy Meek 3 0-1 8, Ali Reno 0 0-0 0, Sarah Gerth 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Stewart 0 0-1 0, Chloe Ayers 3 0-0 6, Lilian Guffey 0 0-0 0, Daliya Guffey 0 0-0 0, Anyssa Hall 0 0-4 0. TOTALS 13 4-13 34.

Connersville — Brianna Thomas 1 1-2 3, Ryonna Payton 0 0-0 0, Baylee Schneider 1 2-2 4, Tylissa Beckner 2 2-6 6, Chyann Young 0 2-3 2, Brittney Bottomley 0 1-4 1, Hannah Sizemore 1 1-3 3, Cheryl Garrison 1 0-0 2, Maranda Cranfill 4 2-5 10. TOTALS 10 11-25 31.

3-pointers — New Castle 4 (Morgan 2, Meek 2). Fouled out — New Castle 2 (Clouse, Ayers). Total fouls — New Castle 22 (Clouse 5, Ayers 5, Morgan 3, Hall 3, Meek 2, Gerth 2, Stewart, L. Guffey), Connersville 17 (Young 4, Thomas 3, Sizemore 3, Cranfill 3, Bottomley 2, Beckner, Garrison).