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Shenandoah Ends Lady Panther Sectional Run, 64-50
February 14, 2007 - When Natosha Hiner went to the bench early in the second quarter of the Sectional 41 championship game, Knightstown’s hopes for a sectional title pretty much went with her.
Hiner left a tied game, but when the two teams entered the locker rooms at halftime, Shenandoah had gone on a 17-3 run and cruised in the second half for a 65-50 victory. The sectional title was the eighth consecutive for the Lady Raiders, and marked the first time Knightstown has advanced that far in tournament play under Coach Dawn Basicker.
The biggest problem for the Lady Panthers came when they were trying to pass the ball. Knightstown committed 23 turnovers in the contest, and 19 occurred on an errant pass.
Hiner and Sabrina Hatfield had kept the Lady Panthers in the contest early. Shenandoah led after one quarter 16-11, and Hatfield had scored all of Knightstown’s points. She had converted on five-of-six free throws, and scored three times on inside shots for the 11 first quarter points. Shenandoah hit on 8-of-13 field goals in the opening quarter.
Hiner, who scored 60 points in the three sectional games, lit up the scoreboard early in the second frame. She first stole the ball and scored on a lay-up, and then came back to nail a trey and quickly tie the game up.
But she also picked up her second foul at the 5:32 mark of the second quarter, and did not return for the rest of the half. During that 5 ½-minute stretch, Knightstown managed a field goal when Quila Beckenbaugh stole the ball and fed Kendra Kopp for two. Beckenbaugh later hit one of two free throws, but the Lady Panthers went the last 4:30 without hitting a shot. The Lady Panthers also committed eight turnovers in that pivotal second quarter, falling behind by a 33-19 count at the half.
Knightstown committed turnovers on four consecutive possessions in the third quarter, and Shenandoah made them pay dearly. An 8-2 run to start the third quarter opened the lead up to 41-21 at the 5:29 mark and it appeared that a blowout was in order.
But behind Hiner, Knightstown battled back. She rebounded a missed shot and dropped in two. Seconds later, Hiner ripped the nets on a three-pointer. Two free throws from Diana Trautmann cut the lead to 41-28, and the Raiders had gone more than four minutes without scoring.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Panthers had a chance to strike first, but turned the ball over on another bad pass. Then Shenandoah’s leading scorer, Courtney Shewmaker, made them pay when she drilled a three-pointer and was fouled. Her four-point play increased the lead to 45-28 and pretty much put the game out of reach.
The Lady Panthers did manage to get the game down to 11 points on two more occasions, when Hiner began connecting again from long range. She and the rest of the Lady Panthers didn’t give up. Hiner scored 12 of Knightstown’s 22 fourth quarter points, but it was too little, too late. Hiner missed just one of five treys she attempted.
Raider Morgan Bousman finished with a team-high 18 points and did damage all over the court, picking up the slack for Shewmaker when Knightstown focused defensive efforts on the senior standout.
Shenandoah also got a tremendous effort from spitfire Freshman Michelle Fites, who hit 6-of-7 field goal attempts and 3-of-4 free throws for 15 points.
Both sophomores, Hiner and Hatfield combined for 38 of Knightstown’s 50 points, or 76 percent of the scoring output. Hatfield finished with 16 points, while Beckenbaugh, Trautmann and Kopp had four points apiece. Beckenbaugh pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Shenandoah paraded to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, putting up 10 points from the charity stripe alone. In the second half, the Raiders were called for five personal fouls, while Knightstown was called for 13.
Knightstown finished the season with a 12-11 record, while Shenandoah (15-8) advanced to the regional to play Winchester.
Shewmaker 3 3 11, Bousman 6 6 18, Fites 6 3 15, Warner 2 4 8, Cole 1 0 3, Stoker 1 0 2, Rice 2 0 4, Dalton 1 1 3
Totals: 22-36, 17-25, 65
Hatfield 5 5 16, Beckenbaugh 1 2 4, Hiner 8 2 22, Trautmann 0 4 4, Kopp 1 2 4, Sturgill 0 0 0, Forshey 0 0 0, Eoff 0 0 0
Totals: 15-39, 15-22, 50
3-point field goals: K – Hiner 4, Hatfield 1. S – Shewmaker 2, Cole 1
Turnovers: K – 23, Shenandoah 15
Rebounds: K – 25 (Beckenbaugh 9, Hiner 7). S – 19 (Rice 6, Bousman 5)
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