Although it was a physically rough game, the Lady Lions pounced on the Connersville Lady Spartans Saturday afternoon at Spartan Bowl, winning 49-33.
Saturday was Coaches vs. Cancer day at Connersville. The Lady Spartans wore pink and white uniforms and coaches from both teams wore special pink t-shirts to support the cause. Cancer survivors were asked to stand and were applauded before the game. Money raised during the game was donated to the Fayette County Cancer Society. After the tribute to cancer survivors, the lights went down and both teams raced across the court and prepared for battle.
The Lady Lions fought hard through the entire time and stayed on top with the Lady Spartans trailing the entire game, not once taking the lead.
In the first quarter the Lady Lions led the way with 13 points while Lady Spartans trailed with a mere nine. Brooke Ash led the first quarter with five points, Campbell added four free-throws and Makayla Hebert with two points. In the second quarter, Campbell led with five points and Niehoff added four more to make the second quarter score 22-12. Campbell continued her trek to the free throw line throughout the game, connecting on 16 straight (evening the school record held by Amanda (Stull) Garza from 2004-05) and 23 total in the game (breaking Jennifer Marlow’s record of 19 from 1994-95).
“We need to take care of the ball and limit turnovers; we need to get the shooters open a little bit better,” Coach Melissa Marlow during halftime.
During the third quarter defense was tough and the game got physical. Campbell made all six of her free throws and Makayla Herbert hit a pair as all the Rushville scoring came from the charity stripe in the third frame. Rushville led 30-17 after three quarters.
Fourth quarter was an intense time for both teams.
With 1:14 remaining on the clock, Connersville head coach Thompson was forced to leave the sideline after receiving a second technical foul. Thompson claimed he was sticking up for his girls.
Howe was fouled twice and made three of four shots. Campbell hit another 10 free throws in the final eight minutes. Keragan Niehoff and Howe had three points each in the fourth quarter and McKenzie Woolston made her two free throws to help seal the Lady Lion victory.
“Our kids showed composure from the free throw line. I think our half-court trap kind of gave them a little bit of problems,” Coach Marlow stated. “We were fundamental in it enough that it gave them a little bit of trouble where they didn’t throw it over the top of us; we are not a very quick team. I am very proud of my kids. Once we spread out and went to the free throw line, we did a nice job. It was a rough game and we knew it would be.”
Leading scores for the game were Campbell with 26 points, Niehoff with nine points and Brooke Ash with five. Niehoff finished the game with 12 rebounds while both Kelsi Ash and Campbell chipped in with six.
The Lady Lions Junior Varsity team also scored a victory over the Lady Spartans with a score of 33-28.
Top scorers were Ellie Sammons with 15, Lilly Cramer with seven then Brooke Niehoff and Kayla Fogg both had five points.
Lady Lions fall at Heritage Christian
On the road at Class 2A No. 1 Heritage Christian, the Lady Lions rallied from an early deficit, but could not get over the hump and fell to the Lady Eagles 50-41.
Heritage Christian led early 7-0. Five points from Mackenzie Campbell and a rebound bucket by Kelsi Ash had the game even at 7-7. Rushville took its first lead on a 3-pointer by Makayla Herbert and following bucket by Keragan Niehoff. Trailing 14-12, Rushville regained the lead on a Kaitlyn Howe triple and after another Lady Eagle bucket, Howe hit from long range again. Heritage Christian scored the final points of the quarter as the teams were even 18-18.
The Lady Eagles scored to open the second quarter, but a 3-pointer by Campbell gave the lead back to the Lady Lions. After Campbell hit two free throws to put the Lady Lions up 23-22, the Lady Eagles scored the next eight points to lead 30-23.
Campbell’s 12 point and two free throws by Howe late in the half cut the deficit to 32-27 at the break.
The Lady Eagles put some distance between themselves and the Lady Lions with a 10-0 run to start the second half. Rushville responded with an11-2 run to close the third quarter. Niehoff’s bucket started the surge and Campbell’s bucket ended it as the Lady Lions trailed 44-38 heading to the final eight minutes.
Heritage Christian then took the air out of the ball – going to a deliberate offense and spreading the floor to use the clock. The first score of the quarter came at the 3:23 mark as Harris hit two free throws for the Lady Eagles. Seven points was as close as the Lady Lions could get the rest of the way as the Lady Eagles held on for the 50-41 victory.
Campbell had 19 points to lead the Lady Lions. Niehoff had nine followed by Howe with eight, Herbert three and
In the opening game of the night, the Lady Lions fell to Heritage Christian 30-25, suffering their first loss of the season. Rushville led 9-6 after one quarter, but a scoreless second quarter had the Lady Lions trailing 12-9 at the half. The Lady Lions led 19-18 after three quarters, but could not hold on for the win.
Alisha Markley led the Lady Lions with eight points. Ellie Sammons and Kayla Fogg both had six points. Brooke Niehoff and Brooklyn Herbert both had two points and Brooke Ash had one.