Highland Girls Press To Win At Knox Co.
By David Sharp
Knox County (2-3) jumped out to a 7-3 lead over Highland (3-3) during a December 17, 2007 non-conference varsity girls contest at Knox County Field House. The Lady Cougars pressured the home team into 25 turnovers and came away with a 48-29 victory.
Both sides missed numerous scoring opportunities during the first quarter. Myra Parish sank a three pointer with 1:13 showing on the first quarter clock for the 7-3 edge. Knox County led by as many as five points during the second quarter.
Highland disrupted the Lady Eagle offense with ball pressure. The Lady Cougars were able to keep the basketball out of the lane defensively. Highland converted Knox Count turnovers into points. The Lady Cougars surged to a 19-13 lead when Abbie Gaus stole the ball and scored with 45 seconds to play until halftime.
Highland wound up outscoring the Lady Eagles 16-6 during the second period. The Lady Cougar full court press helped extend their lead to 32-18 when Jessica Murfin took advantage of a turnover at the 3:20 mark of the third quarter.
Tessa Ramer answered the Highland onslaught with a three pointer at the three minute mark of period three. Knox County got the rock to Becca Mallett completing a quick 5-0 run to a 32-23 deficit with 2:40 showing on the third quarter clock.
Highland took a 34-23 lead into the final quarter. Tessa Ramer tossed a three pointer over the defense keeping Lady Eagle hopes alive at the 5:46 mark of the fourth quarter. Knox County clawed back within nine points at 35-26.
The Lady Cougars answered the KCHS challenge with enough points to put the game on ice. Abbie Gaus sank a Highland free throw with 3:24 to play in the game. Ashlan Knoche grabbed the rebound of the missed second try and put the ball back in the cylinder for a 42-26 Highland lead.
Jessica Murfin scored a game high 17 Highland points and three steals. Abbie Gaus connected for 13 Lady Cougar points along with four steals. Highland won despite sinking only five of 15 free throw attempts. Knox County was 8-12 from the charity stripe. Both teams sank three home run balls on the night.
Ashlan Knoche scored seven Highland points. Shawna Kriegshauser scored six points and led the Lady Cougars with seven rebounds. Samantha Murfin scored three HHS points. Chelsea Brennan scored two points and recorded four Highland steals.
“Our guards did a really good job of pressuring the ball in the back court,” said Highland coach Brad Dance. “The post people did their job in the front court making sure no long passes got through. Samantha Murfin had the idea of changing to a 1-2-2 zone from man to man in the second half. I thought we covered them better in the zone.”
“I was a little disappointed in the first quarter effort,” said Coach Dance. “We only scored three points after putting forth such a great effort against Bowling Green Friday night. We got it going midway through the second quarter. We had five people moving on defense when the ball went in the air. I felt like we played pretty well in the second quarter and the second half.”
“We need to get some games under our belt,” said Dance. “We have played some pretty good teams. We aren’t very deep right now, but the people we put out there are playing hard. That’s the key. We limited them to one shot most of the night. We started finishing our steals with baskets in the second and fourth quarters.”
Highland limited Knox County to six field goals on the night. The Lady Cougars converted 17 two point baskets. Highland held a 25-15 advantage in team turnovers. Knox County won the rebounding battle by a 32-25 unofficial margin. The Lady Cougars recorded 18 steals to 11 for Knox County.
Lorrie Peters and Tessa Ramer led Knox County with eight points each. Ramer stole the basketball four times. Stacey Leckbee scored four KCHS points. Myra Parrish, Katie Ausmus, and Becca Mallett scored three Knox County points each. Myra Parrish and Amanda Woods led the Lady Eagles with six rebounds each.
Knox County hosted Novinger the following evening. “When you give a good team as many chances as we did tonight, they are going to score,” said Knox County coach John Weaver.
“We played good defense at times tonight,” said Coach Weaver. “But when you can’t break the pressure and get past half court, your offense doesn’t flow very well. We couldn’t execute on either end. They are a good team and we just didn’t get it done.”
“Our girls made a lot of mental mistakes,” said Weaver. “You have to give credit to their defense. We made silly mistakes and beat ourselves at times.”