By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Lady Indians cranked up their defensive pressure and got their running game going in the second half to pull away for a 56-44 win over Clark County Tuesday in Richmond.
The strong inside play of Sandra Skinner and Maddie Hamlin helped keep the Lady Cardinals close in the first half and got a couple of Central starters in foul trouble.
Central held a 15-14 lead after one quarter.
But the Lady Cardinals took their first lead of the game 16-15 on the first possession of the half on a basket by Sydney Anderson. Baskets by Heather Hinkle and Larryn Brooks put Central up 19-16, but GRC answered with a three pointer by Paige Taylor and a basket by Sandra Skinner to regain the lead at 21-19.
The lead changed hands two more times before Central forged ahead 25-21 on a three pointer by Brooks.
One again GRC answered with back-to-back baskets by Taylor and Skinner to tie it at 25-25.
Brooks then took over the game, scoring the final six points of the quarter, to give the Lady Indians a 31-25 lead at the half.
A switch to a zone defense to begin the second half slowed Skinner down on the inside and allowed the Lady Indians to get out on the break for some easy baskets to allow them to take control of the game.
“I thought our defense in the second half was much better. They shot 43 percent in the first half and only shot 24 percent in the second,” Central coach Robbie Cooksey said. “Skinner really hurt us, she had 13 points in the first half, so we basically just stuck someone in her lap right in front of her. Heather Hinkle did a phenomenal job on her and held her to three in the second half.”
Bailey O’Bryan scored the first six points of the second half on assists from Brooks as the Lady Indians extended their lead to 10 at 37-27 three minutes into the fourth quarter.
After a basket by Hamlin with 4:25 to go, Brooks had back-to-back baskets and O’Bryan had another layup to give the Lady Indians a 43-29 lead and put the game away.
The Lady Indians got some strong play from their bench in the first half after the starters got in foul trouble, especially from Ravin Cain.
“It was a physical game and we got in a little foul trouble and we had to rotate some kids in, but it worked out well for us because the kids who came in played well for us,” Cooksey said. “Ravin brings a lot of energy for us and she did well. She hit two free throws, got an offensive rebound, got fouled and did a lot of good stuff.”
Brooks led the way for the Lady Indians with a game-high 24 points. She also pulled down four rebounds, dished out six assists and had four steals and a blocked shot.
O’Bryan was the only other player in double figures with 14 points, while Ashton Feldhaus had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds, Hinkle had five points, Shadae Bosley had three points and eight rebounds and Cain added two points.
The Lady Indians will be back in action Thursday at home against Woodford County at 7:30 p.m.