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 Girls Overcome 28 Turnovers to Sting Yellow Jackets 53-48

January 23, 2008 - There are pretty wins, there are ugly wins, and there are pretty ugly wins. Monday night’s varsity girls basketball game went into the category of “pretty ugly”, but it was a win nonetheless.

Coach Dawn Basicker’s Lady Panthers did enough right to walk off the floor with a 53-48 victory over Morristown, picking up their eighth victory of the season in the process. But it was without a doubt a game that shouldn’t have been nearly that close.

The Lady Panthers committed 28 turnovers and hit just 20-of-57 shots in the game, numerous times throwing the ball away on several consecutive possessions. After building a double-digit lead just two minutes into the second quarter, the Lady Panthers failed to capitalize on more than 20 Yellow Jacket turnovers and let the visitors stay in the game.

Morristown, now 4-12 on the season, had won four of its last six games after opening the season with nine straight losses. But those wins came against teams with a combined record of 17-48.

The Yellow Jackets took a 2-0 lead on a fielder by Mikala Gentory, but that would be the only time they would lead in the contest. Despite hitting just six-of-19 from the field and turning the ball over six times in the first quarter, Knightstown somehow managed to take a 14-8 lead. Three-pointers by lone senior Diane Trautmann and freshman Megan Hiner just before the buzzer gave the Lady Panthers some breathing room.

Things didn’t get any better in the second quarter. Knightstown turned the ball over five more times and hit just four-of-17 shots. Danielle Altman got a couple of inside buckets, and Sabrina Hatfield hit six first half points as the girls forged ahead by 10 points. But the turnover bug attacked and the game changed.

A free throw from Brittany Brown was followed by Hatfield scoring on a nice pass from Megan Hiner, upping the Lady Panther lead to 10 again at 23-13.

A disastrous third quarter once again kept the game close. The Lady Panthers shot a respectable four-for-nine, but had more turnovers than shots attempted. Ten Knightstown turnovers enabled the Yellow Jackets to keep it close entering the fourth quarter, and the lead was just 32-24.

A fast-break bucket by Trautmann and four points from Hatfield were erased by eight points from the Yellow Jackets. Six of those were set up by four consecutive turnovers the Knightstown girls committed in the first three minutes of the final frame.

Morristown got closer than it had been since the game’s early minutes when Stephanie DeJong hit to cut the lead to 38-36 with 5:02 to play.

Despite committing 26 turnovers in the game’s first 27 minutes, the Lady Panthers would make just two more mistakes over those crucial last five minutes.

After a time out, the Lady Panthers received a huge boost when Megan Hiner swished the nets on a long three-pointer that pushed the lead back up to five points. Trautmann then stole the ball and fed Jocelyn Sturgill for an inside two that upped the margin to 43-36 with 4:24 on the clock. Those five points came in just 28 seconds and gave the team some breathing room.

Megan hit Natosha Hiner for another bucket that maintain the seven point margin, and seconds later Megan hit two free throws that made it 47-40 with 3:12 to play. But Morristown rallied again, aided by the last two Knightstown turnovers, to cut the deficit to 47-45 with 2:18 to play.

A clutch rebound basket by Altman with 43 seconds to play upped the lead to 49-45. The Lady Panthers got three more free throws down the stretch from Trautmann and another from Hatfield to close out the game.

Hatfield finished the game with a team-high 13 points, getting five of those in the fourth quarter. Trautmann also hit double digits with 12 points and five of those came in the final frame. The Lady Panthers needed that scoring over the final eight minutes because Morristown, which had been held to 24 points through the first three quarters, scored that many in the final period.

Megan Hiner had eight points and six steals, while Brown Altman scored six apiece. Sturgill added four, Natosha Hiner three and Haley Cruse scored one.


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