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Lady Wolverines come up short against ND

Monday, January 21, 2013

The White River Valley Lady Wolverines dropped their first SWIAC game of the year against North Daviess on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Cougars claimed a 35-23 win. Above, Megan Lemmons (left) applies pressure to North Daviess' Brooke Moore in the corner. (By Rick Curl/Greene County Daily World). [Order this photo]
SWITZ CITY -- One of the best defensive efforts of the year by the White River Valley Lady Wolverines was overshadowed by poor shooting in the second half against North Daviess.

With the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference lead on the line, the Lady Cougars exploited WRV's inability to score in the second half on their way to a 35-23 victory.

The loss knocked the Lady Wolverines to 6-1 in the league and 10-7 overall. It also relegated them, at least for now, to second place in the conference behind North Daviess who now stands at 6-0 and 14-3.

But that's not really at the forefront for either the Lady Wolverines or their coach A.J. Graves. Instead it's the thought that his team has shown a marked improvement over their last two campaigns and Saturday's loss -- no matter how disappointing it may be -- is just a stepping stone to bigger and hopefully better things in the future.

"There's still a lot of season left," Graves said. "We've got our sights set on sectionals, we've got our sights set on getting better.

"That's the road we're going to have to take."

After standing toe-to-toe with the new conference bully, the Lady Wolverines appeared ready to re-take the place at the top of the standings they once held.

It showed especially in the determination and defensive efforts they gave as a team.

"I am really pleased with our defense," Graves said. "We've been on this journey to become a better team defensively.

"Not just in a zone, not just in man, not just in a trap, we're trying to round out our entire team.

"Depending on the situation we can jump into something and cause team fits, I am really pleased with our level of concentration on the defensive end, but you've still got to score points."

WRV limited the Lady Cougars to just 43 percent shooting from the field (12 for 28) and managed to stay close to the bigger NDHS team on the boards (the final tally on the glass went in favor of the visitors 27-23).

After trailing only 13-11 after one quarter and 20-19 at the break, things fell apart offensively for the Lady Wolverines.

While they were applying even more stalwart defense in the third quarter, on the other end of the floor they were struggling just to get the ball to do anything resembling a field goal.

Their offensive struggles began at the 36 second mark of the second quarter. That's when a Maddy Dyer basket set the halftime tally.

WRV wouldn't score another point until midway through the fourth quarter when Allison Wininger's follow-up basket snapped the drought.

In between, it was anything but pretty for the Lady Wolverines. They misfired on 16 straight shots, turned the ball over four times and missed one free throw.

"The ball wouldn't fall," Graves said. "We turned it over too many times then we missed certain girls who were open that we should have passed to and tried to force some things.

"We did get some shots, we just didn't get enough of them and the ones that we got didn't fall."

All the while defensively they were keeping themselves in the contest. They limited North Daviess to just 1 for 6 shooting in the third quarter. Their only points came from a trey by Meghan Knepp on the first possession of the half.

From there, WRV shutout the Lady Cougars.

Unfortunately they couldn't do the same to start the final stanza while they working out their own offensive woes.

North Daviess opened the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run that all but secured the win. Meanwhile the Lady Wolverines continued to struggle for points.

After Wininger's basket they were held in check for another dry spell. This one lasted until the 48 second mark of the game when Lexi Graves turned an offensive rebound into the final marker of the game for WRV.

While North Daviess now controls their own fate, the Lady Wolverines can secure at least a second place league finish if the win their last SWIAC game at Linton-Stockton on Thursday.

The Lady Cougars must still travel to Bloomfield (Tuesday) and Eastern Greene (Monday, Jan. 28) for conference contests.

"That's the way it goes sometimes, that's basketball," Graves said. "I told the girls there's nothing to be ashamed of, you went out there and you played hard.

"North Daviess just did a very good job and they're a very good team. They've played a lot of games and their record is what it is because they're a good team."

White River Valley claimed the junior varsity contest by a 26-18 tally. Brittani George-Fisher led the Lady Wolverines with 12 points while Ashley Hooks added five, Shannon Pittman four, Lexi Graves three and Rachel Woods two.

NORTH DAVIESS (35) -- Sabra Smith 3-9 4-4 11, Brooke Moore 2-2 0-2 4, Taylor Mallett 2-6 0-3 4, Meghan Knepp 3-9 4-4 12, Larynda Keith 1-1 0-0 2, Sarah Fitzgerald 1-1 0-0 2, Abby Hollis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-28 8-13 35.

WHITE RIVER VALLEY (23) -- Allison Wininger 4-12 0-1 8, Megan Lemmons 1-2 0-0 2, Madison Hockman 0-4 0-0 0, Lexi Graves 2-10 0-0 5, Maddy Dyer 1-5 2-3 4, Amy Ragle 0-4 0-0 0, Shannon Pittman 2-4 0-0 4, Jasmine Padgett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-41 2-4 23.

North Daviess 13 7 7 12 -- 35

White River Valley 11 8 0 4 -- 23

3-point shooting -- North Daviess 3-6 (Knepp 2-4, Smith 1-2), White River Valley 1-12 (Graves 1-5, Dyer 0-2, Wininger 0-3, Hockman 0-1, Ragle 0-1). Rebounds -- North Daviess 27 (Moore 6), White River Valley 23 (Graves 6). Steals -- North Daviess 9 (Knepp 4), White River Valley 10 (Dyer 4). Blocks -- North Daviess 4 (Smith 3), White River Valley 3 (Wininger, Graves, Dyer). Turnovers -- North Daviess 16, White River Valley 12. Total fouls -- North Daviess 12, White River Valley 12. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none. Junior Varsity -- WRV 26, North Daviess 18.

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