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Lady Spartans adjust to earn win at Richmond

Connersville senior Elise Bottomley races to the basket against Richmond at the Tiernan Center on Tuesday evening. Bottomley finished with eight points and hauled down 11 rebounds, helping the Lady Spartans achieve a 58-35 victory.

By The News-Examiner

RICHMOND — One quarter into their game at Richmond on Tuesday night, Connersville High School girls basketball coach Michael Thompson knew that something was amiss.

Trailing 19-14 following the first eight minutes, the CHS coach and his charges took quick stock of things.

“I didn’t want to take anything away from Richmond, they were doing an outstanding job to start the game,” Thompson said. “But I also knew that we had strayed from our scouting report and we were not following what we planned to do.

“We didn’t want to allow the ball into the lane. We wanted to force (Richmond) to shoot from beyond the 3-point line as much as possible.”

That wasn’t the case in the first quarter, however, as the Lady Red Devils made several successful trips to the basket for the early lead.

But all that changed in the second and third quarter, and the results were just what Thompson and the coaching staff envisioned.

Connersville surrendered only 10 points through those two quarters, grabbing control of the game and coming away with a 58-35 victory.

The Lady Spartans made their biggest push, partcularly on the defensive end of the court, in the second quarter, limiting the Lady Red Devils to two points, on the way to a 28-21 halftime edge.

Offensively, Connersville got things going in the third quarter. After scoring 14 in each of the first two frames, the Spartans added 20 to its score through the eight minutes following the halftime break.

As a result, CHS took a 48-29 lead into the fourth quarter. A 10-6 edge in favor of the visitors prevented any thoughts of a comeback.

Paige Dunaway paced the Spartans with a 15-point night. She was followed by Marley Smith (13 points) and Lauren Thompson (11).

Just missing the double-digit mark was Jessica Beckman with nine and Elise Bottomley with eight.

“That is probably the best thing I take away from this game,” Thompson said. “We had three girls score in double figures and then backed that up with a nine-point and eight-point performance. If we come out and score like that, we’re going to be a very tough team to beat.”

Bottomley hauled down 11 rebounds in the game, leaving her just shy of a double-double.

“Elise played a really good game tonight,” coach Thompson said. “We need that kind of game from her.”

The victory erased a three-game losing streak by the Spartans, the team’s third such swoon of the season. In each of those instances, Connersville followed the slide with a winning streak.

CHS will look to put together another positive run when it hosts Franklin County for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference tilt on Friday, and with a road contest at Guerin Catholic on Saturday evening.

In the junior varsity contest, Connersville was also a winner, posting a 25-16 victory.

Defensively, the Spartans reserves limited the Red Devils to one basket in the first, second and fourth quarters, on the way to the victory.

Maranda Cranfill led the junior varsity girls, scoring nine points. 


(at The Tiernan Center, Richmond)

Connersville 14 28 48 58

Richmond 19 21 28 35

Connersville (9-9) — Marley Smith 4 4-4 13, Lauren Thompson 4 0-0 11, Paige Dunaway 5 1-1 15, Elise Bottomley 4 0-0 8, Jessica Beckman 2 5-6 9, Gianna Struewing 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 20 10-11 58.

Richmond (4-13) — Kierra Wright 3 1-2 9, Zoee Woolridge 2 0-0 4, Alayha Allen 4 4-4 12, Jayci Allen 0 2-2 2, Jakala Lotz 2 4-4 8, Nakala Bennett 0 0-2 0. TOTALS 11 11-14 35.