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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Conference title slips away from EGHS

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brittany Martin of Eastern Greene looks for an opening Thursday night in a high school girls basketball game against North Daviess. (By Shad Cox).
LITTLE CINCINNATI -- A share of the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference girls basketball title slipped away from the Eastern Greene Lady Thunderbirds here Thursday night.

Thanks to a dozen points from North Daviess junior Sabra Smith, a 10-2 Lady Cougar run in the second half and a lack of confidence in the end all turned into a North Daviess 31-29 decision.

The winners claimed a share of the league crown with White River Valley as both teams finish with identical 7-1 records.

Eastern Greene ends the league year in third place with a 6-2 mark. They finish the regular season with a 9-10 record while the Lady Cougars head into next week's postseason with a 16-4 record.

"Our defense was atrocious in the second half," Eastern Greene coach Zack Stevens said. "We played good defense for a half and then we don't play it in the second half."

Things began on a high note for the Lady Thunderbirds in a low-scoring first half. The Lady Cougars entered the game sporting the third best defensive average in the state (29.4) but it was the EGHS defense that stole the show in the first half.

They allowed the Lady Cougars just one field goal in the first quarter and only three more in the second. Their efforts left in front 4-2 after one quarter and 15-8 at the intermission.

My how things changed in the final two frames however. After the two teams were even in the third (10-10) and Eastern sitting on the verge of their first conference title since 2005, their offense completely disappeared.

"We had too many mental breakdowns tonight, too many mental breakdowns," Stevens said. "We're a very good team in my mind, but we had too many mental mistakes.

"We've got to improve, forget about it and move on."

North Daviess stepped on the gas and used a 10-2 burst over the last minute and 15 seconds of the third quarter and the first four-plus minutes of the fourth to erase what appeared to be a solid nine point EGHS lead.

The run reversed what was a 25-16 Lady Thunderbird lead and ended with the Lady Cougars ahead 28-27.

Eastern Greene's only field goal during the outburst came at the 5:06 mark of the fourth when Amy Todd found success.

The Lady Thunderbirds were shutout from the field the rest of the game and managed only a pair of free throws from Alex Dubois with 1:42 to play.

The senior's final two points of her career on home floor gave the lead back to the hosts at 29-28.

They proved to ultimately be futile mostly due to a missed field goal attempt and a pair of turnovers in their final two possessions.

"It's confidence, we missed a lot of easy shots then our confidence went," Stevens said. "We've got to have that mental mindset where we move on and play the next possession -- offense or defense we've got to move on."

North Daviess got the winning points from Brooke Moore's layup and the front end of a one and one from Larynda Keith.

"We turned down four shots in our last possession then we turned it over because we don't have confidence -- and I don't know why," Stevens said. "We proved how good we can be. But when we have four girls turn down shots that could win the game, that's disappointing."

Next up for the Lady Thunderbirds is a date with Class 2A No. 3 Lady Arrows in the first round of the Sullivan Sectional on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

North Daviess also won the junior varsity game despite eight points from Lauren Miller, six from Amanda Butler, four from Miranda Blocher and two each from Lenzy Hutchinson and Lexy Burleson.

NORTH DAVIESS (31) -- Sabra Smith 6-9 0-2 12, Brooke Moore 2-4 2-3 6, Taylor Mallett 2-3 2-2 6, Meghan Knepp 2-11 0-0 4, Larynda Keith 1-1 1-2 3, Maggie Swartzentruber 0-1 0-0 0, Sarah Fitzgerald 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-29 5-9 31.

EASTERN GREENE (29) -- Brittany Martin 4-7 1-2 9, Amy Todd 3-8 0-0 7, Alex Dubois 1-3 5-6 7, Brooke Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Sierra New 3-4 0-0 6, Hannah Resler 0-1 0-0 0, Kym Arthur 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 11-27 6-8 29.

North Daviess 2 6 10 13 -- 31

Eastern Greene 4 11 10 4 -- 29

3-point shooting -- North Daviess 0-5 (Knepp 0-5), Eastern Greene 1-6 (Todd 1-2, Resler 0-1, New 0-1, Arthur 0-2). Rebounds -- North Daviess 24 (Smith 7), Eastern Greene 15 (Todd 4). Steals -- North Daviess 15 (Smith 6), Eastern Greene 14 (Martin 4). Blocks -- North Daviess 3 (Mallett 3), Eastern Greene none. Turnovers -- North Daviess 22, Eastern Greene 18. Total fouls -- North Daviess 11, Eastern Greene 9. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.

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