Login NowClose 
Sign In to newsexaminer.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account
Close

Charity Case

1 / 3
Connersville senior Elise Bottomley (15) battles Muncie Central’s Madissen Geeslin on the way to the basket, Tuesday night at Spartan Bowl. Bottomley and the Lady Spartans defeated the visiting Bearcats 46-40.
2 / 3
Connersville’s Lauren Thompson follows through on a 3-point attempt against Muncie Central at Spartan Bowl on Tuesday night. Thompson and the Lady Spartans ended a three-game losing streak with a 46-40 victory over the Lady Bearcats.
3 / 3

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

Find a basketball team that misses 15 free throws in a game, and you’ll find that that team suffered a loss in nearly every instance.

But, as the saying goes, there is always an exception that proves the rule.

The Connersville girls basketball team was guilty of leaving that many free throws on the table against visiting Muncie Central on Tuesday.

To overcome that, the Lady Spartans converted 18 of their charity tosses, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter.

The result was a 46-40 win over the Lady Bearcats.

“I thought we played a little uninspired,” Connersville coach Michael Thompson said. “We didn’t come out with the same intensity as we have in recent games. I hope this was not the case, but I think it could be that the girls were overlooking a team that was 1-8 coming in here.

“I tried to warn them against taking them lightly, that this team was able to put points on the board. I truly thought that this team was scary enough, that if we didn’t play well, they could come in here and beat us.”

Heading into the final frame, the visitors held the lead 33-32, and with little more than two minutes left to play, trailed by only two, 38-36.

Connersville then began its parade to the free throw line.

Paige Dunaway was first, knocking down two. She was followed by Jessica Beckman, who also converted both of her shots. Marley Smith then made the next two visits there, hitting three of four, and lifting CHS to its biggest lead of the night, 45-36 with 34 seconds left to play.

That was enough to propel the Spartan girls to the six-point win, ending a three-game skid and lifting the team to 4-6 on the season.

“In the fourth quarter, we did a good job of shooting our free throws, and that made the difference tonight,” Thompson said. “I would not say that this was the prettiest of wins, but I won’t say that we played badly either. 

“We just need to shoot the ball better.”

Indeed.

For the game, Connersville finished at 27 percent (12-of-44) from the field. Fortunately for them, the Spartan defense limited Muncie Central to a 26 percent night (13-of-50).

That included only four field goals in the second half.

“In the second half, we gave up 13 points, and four of those came in the final 25 seconds,” Thompson pointed out. “That’s a tremendous effort by our defense.”

In spite of the struggles on the offensive end, Connersville did manage to achieve a balanced effort in the scoring column.

Three players reached double figures, paced by the duo of Smith and Beckman, each of whom dropped in 15. Dunaway added 10 more to the winning effort.

Muncie Central got 14 points from both Dakoyta Sloss and Ayala Wilson in the varsity contest.

In the junior varsity game, Connersville was unable to overcome sluggish scoring in the first half, falling by a 46-26 margin.

The CHS reserves managed to score only four points in the first, and two in the second, falling into a 23-6 hole by halftime. The Spartans would scored 20 throughout the second half, but that effort failed to make up the difference.

Maranda Cranfill paced the junior varsity girls with 10 points. The Bearcats were led by Garryn Sims-Jones, who finished with 18.

“My goal right now is to win out through the month of December,” coach Thompson said, following the varsity win. “That means that we’d have to win six more in a row, but I think we can do that. They’re winnable games. But we will have to shoot the ball better.”

LADY SPARTANS 46, LADY BEARCATS 40

(at Spartan Bowl)

Muncie Central 13 27 33 — 40

Connersville 15 25 32— 46

Muncie Central (1-9) — Dakoyta Sloss 5 3-4 14, Ayala Wilson 5 0-0 14, Tonisha Lowe 1 3-4 5, Sayla McIntosh 1 0-0 2, Madissen Geeslin 0 3-4 3, Deshae Johnson 0 0-0 0, Riley Stafford 1 0-0 2, Layla Kennedy 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 9-12 40.

Connersville (4-6) — Gianna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Giovanna Struewing 0 1-2 1, Marley Smith 2 10-15 15, Lauren Thompson 1 0-0 3, Paige Dunaway 3 3-5 10, Elise Bottomley 1 0-2 2, Jessica Beckman 5 4-9 15, Sammi Potters 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 18-33 46.

3-pointers — Muncie Central 5 (Wilson 4, Sloss 1), Connersville 4 (Smith, Thompson, Dunaway, Beckman). Blocked shots — Connersville 3 (Bottomley 2, Beckman 1). Steals — Muncie Central 2 (Sloss, Lowe), Connersville 4 (Bottomley 2, Beckman, Smith). Rebounds — Muncie Central 31, Connersville 32. Turnovers — Muncie Central 12, Connersville 11. Fouled out — Muncie Central 1 (Lowe). Total fouls — Muncie Central 21 (Lowe 5, Wilson 4, Geeslin 4, Sloss 3, McIntosh 2, Johnson 2, Stafford 1), Connersville 9 (Beckman 3, Bottomley 2, Smith, Thompson, Dunaway, Potters).

JUNIOR VARSITY

Lady Bearcats 46, Lady Spartans 26

Muncie Central 13 23 33— 46

Connersville 4 6 15— 26

Muncie Central — Shekinah McNeil 0 0-0 0, Mariah Sims 1 0-0 2, Jii’Tyonne Thomas 0 0-0 0, Garynn Sims-Jones 8 0-0 18, Taydriana Robertson 3 1-2 7, Lexi Franks 1 0-0 2, Layla Kennedy, Makaiya Lowe 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Durbin 1 1-2 3, Emani Conyers 0 0-0 0, Cate Guarnery 3 0-0 6. TOTALS 20 4-6 46.

Connersville — Kara Schneider 0 0-0 0, Brianna Thomas 1 0-0 2, Ryonna Payton 0 0-0 0, Baylee Schneider 2 0-0 4, Tylissa Beckner 0 0-0 0, Grace Usher 0 0-0 0, Chyann Young 1 2-2 4, Abby Badore 1 0-0 2, Brittney Bottomley 0 0-4 0, Hannah Sizemore 2 0-0 4, Cheryl Garrison 0 0-0 0, Maranda Cranfill 4 2-4 10. TOTALS 11 4-10 26.

3-pointers — Muncie Central 2 (Jones 2). Total fouls — Muncie Central 11 (Robertson 3, McNeil 2, Jones 2, Durbin 2, Thomas, Kennedy), Connersville 9 (Beckner 3, Young 3, Cranfill 2, Schneider 1).