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There’s at least one good thing about the KHSAA’s new 35-point running clock mercy rule: It makes ugly games go by a lot faster.
The North Hardin Lady Trojans found this out at home Monday night in the final 11:50 of their 48-14 rout of 17th District rival Central Hardin.
“The only good thing about this is that we’re now 3-0 in the district. That’s it,” said second-year North Hardin coach Chris Corder. “That’s the only positive that I’m able to gleam from this debacle.”
Maybe not quite a debacle, but it was far from a pretty victory for the surging Lady Trojans (7-1, 3-0 district), who have won seven straight for the first time since winning 10 straight from Jan. 3-Feb. 9, 2009:
*** North Hardin averaged one turnover for every field goal it made – 16 – and failed to outrebound the smaller, younger Lady Bruins (1-8, 0-3).
*** The teams combined to go 0-for-10 on 3-pointers.
*** The Lady Trojans were held scoreless the final 11:50.
*** Leading scorer Chanel Roberts, a senior forward and the reigning News-Enterprise/Coaches’ Area Player of the Year, scored just two points in the first half after picking up two fouls in the first 3 minutes and sitting on the bench the final 13 minutes of the half.
Roberts was 1-of-6 players to pick up two fouls in the first 7:01 of the game, forcing both coaches to rely on their depth to get through the half. One player picked up four fouls in the first half alone.
“They were just dumb turnovers because we were doing things that we can’t do,” Corder said. “We got out of sync because we were having to play different lineups. … Like I said, it was just bad. It was a poor display of basketball. That’s exactly what it was.”
Meanwhile, Central Hardin struggled with turnovers as well. The Lady Bruins opened the game with five straight turnovers, had another span with five straight turnovers in the second half and averaged one turnover for every point they got beat by – 34.
“I’m going to have to do a lot more subbing,” said first-year Central Hardin coach Kristina Covington, a former North Hardin assistant. “When they get tired, they also get mentally tired and that’s when the turnovers start happening.”
Central Hardin, which failed to score more than five points in any quarter, shot just 21 percent from the floor and junior guard Aislynn Barnes (six points, five rebounds, two steals) was the only Lady Bruin to make more than one field goal.
Central Hardin’s point total was its worst in its last 36 meetings with the Lady Trojans, while the Lady Trojans’ point total was their fewest against Central Hardin since a 65-40 loss to the Lady Bruins on Jan. 3, 2006 – 19 meetings ago.
“Offensively, we just have to figure out a way to put the ball in the basket,” Covington said. “Defensively, we feel pretty accomplished about being able to hold them to 48 points.”
North Hardin scored the first seven points and led 12-1 before Central Hardin made its first field goal with 2:44 left in the first quarter as freshman guard Jasmine Zaehringer found senior center Decarai Anderson in the lane. Backup junior center Tashara Jackson and freshman guard Tamiah Stanford (game-high 14 points, five rebounds, game-high five assists, game-high four steals) combined for an 8-0 run to extend North Hardin’s lead to 20-3 with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter.
Up 24-7 in the second quarter, North Hardin converted on 7-of-8 trips down the court in 2:30 to push its lead to 38-8.
Roberts, who still finished with nine points and six rebounds, made a jumper with 3:51 left in the third quarter to invoke the mercy rule – and also coincidentally invoke North Hardin’s offensive silence the rest of the game. North Hardin was 0-for-12 from the field and committed six turnovers in its final 12 possessions.
“For whatever reason, we’re up 40-10 at the half and decided to quit playing in the second half,” Corder said. “We mailed it in.”
UP NEXT: North Hardin plays at Clay County at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Mustang Christmas Tournament at Muhlenberg County. Central Hardin plays in the first round of the Lady Colonel Holiday Classic at Bourbon County on Dec. 27.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Hardin 5 5 2 2—14
North Hardin 20 20 8 0—48
Team FG FT R TP
Central Hardin 6-28 2-5 26 14
North Hardin 16-43 16-22 26 48
Player FG FT R TP
Barnes 2-9 2-3 5 6
Humphrey 1-3 0-0 3 2
Zaehringer 1-3 0-0 1 2
Anderson 1-1 0-0 3 2
Helton 0-3 0-2 3 0
Worth 1-6 0-0 1 2
Cross 0-2 0-0 0 0
Jaggers 0-0 0-0 1 0
Krupinski 0-0 0-0 3 0
Maggard 0-0 0-0 1 0
Player FG FT R TP
Stanford 3-7 8-12 5 14
Roberts 4-10 1-1 6 9
Jones 0-7 2-2 0 2
Barrick 2-3 2-2 1 6
Taft 0-2 0-0 0 0
Pass 3-5 0-1 2 7
Jackson 2-5 0-0 1 6
Shelby 2-3 0-0 0 4
Edmunds 0-1 0-0 3 0
Wilson 0-1 0-0 1 0
3-POINTERS: CENTRAL HARDIN (0-3): Aislyn Barnes 0-2, Mikaela Worth 0-1. NORTH HARDIN (0-10): Kiera Jones 0-2, Chanel Roberts 0-2, Zakayshia Pass 0-1, Tamiah Stanford 0-1, Jasmine Wilson 0-1. ASSISTS: CENTRAL HARDIN (3): Jasmine Zaehringer 2, Mikaela Worth 1. NORTH HARDIN (11): Tamiah Stanford 5, Kiera Jones 3, Morgan Barrick 1, Domeneque Taft 1, Jasmine Wilson 1.