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Erin Boley turned to an old standby to help her turn around from a rough first meeting this season with the John Hardin Lady Bulldogs.
After struggling to get in a rhythm in her team’s comeback win last month, the 6-foot-2 Elizabethtown junior forward repetitively pummeled the smaller Lady Bulldogs on Saturday night with her turnaround jumper. Of her career-high 35 points, 14 points came via the move as the second-ranked Lady Panthers pulled away from the undermanned Lady Bulldogs, 73-46 at the Dawg Pound in Radcliff.
“I’ve used that move for a long time,” said Boley, who also had eight rebounds, two assists and matched junior teammate Darien Huff with a game-high four steals. “It’s something that my dad (Scott) passed down to me, so yeah, I’d say I like it a lot.”
After the game, Scott, who set several offensive records at LaRue County, called the move his “bread and butter.”
Boley, who was limited to 15 points and took just 10 shots in Elizabethtown’s 53-41 home win over John Hardin on Jan. 24, kept going back for seconds and thirds with the move.
“That’s one of her favorite moves because she can elevate and shoot over people,” said Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd, whose team locked up 17th District regular-season title with the win. “Offensively Erin played very well tonight and she was looking for her shot.”
Last time, Boley admitted she was too complacent on offense. With the Lady Bulldogs keeping a keen eye on her, she took very few attempts before halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs (11-8, 3-3 district) weren’t so fortunate this time. Boley took the game’s opening shot and attempted five others in the opening 6 minutes, which left her 1-for-6 from the floor with two points.
“I felt I was more aggressive this time,” said Boley, who went on to make seven straight shots and made 13 of her final 15 attempts to finish 14-of-21 from the floor. “Last game I was waiting for the open shot to come to me. This time, I was more under control while still being aggressive. My goal tonight was to be more under control.”
Behind Boley’s hot shooting, the Lady Panthers controlled the game.
Elizabethtown opened up a 14-point lead as Boley outscored John Hardin by herself in the first half, 23-22. The Lady Panthers took a 58-30 lead into the fourth quarter and Elizabethtown led 69-38 with 5:18 left in the game as Boley buried yet another jumper off a feed from sophomore guard Rachel Warden. Mudd promptly called a timeout and gave Boley the rest of the night off.
“When she’s on fire like that, we’re going to keep giving her the ball and when she cools off, we’ll give it to somebody else,” said Huff, who had 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals. “But I don’t think she ever really cooled off.”
Elizabethtown opened with an 8-2 run before John Hardin counted with an 11-2 run to take its largest lead at 13-10. Having scored just once in its previous six possessions, the Lady Panthers began rolling again after Boley made a jumper off a feed from senior guard Kinsey Mudd. The basket ignited a 16-0 run spanning two quarters with Boley providing 12 of the 16 points.
“She got the ball in the middle of the paint and made shots and when you’re a player good enough to be recruited by UConn, that’s what’s going to happen,” said John Hardin coach Bryan Todd, whose short-handed team was without injured starters Tyra Jackson and Nawdya Fletcher (knee) and reserves Jayla Freeman (season-ending ACL surgery in the last two weeks) and Khelsie Young (recovering from ACL surgery). “We didn’t do a good job of keeping it out of her hands.”
Two other Lady Bulldog starters, senior guard Tajah Haley and senior forward Zacchea Small, were also banged up. Small had six rebounds and eight points after recently hurting her left shoulder, while Haley had a team-high 15 points and a game-best six assists while battling a bruised left knee.
Todd said sophomore guard Emily Bohannon had to give an ironman-like effort because they didn’t have a guard who could give her a breather.
“It’s hard to win a game when they have depth and you don’t have anybody to put in,” Todd said. “But tonight we just got beat by a good team.”
UP NEXT: Elizabethtown hosts North Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. John Hardin hosts Caverna at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at 270-505-1758 or email@example.com
JOHN HARDIN 46
Elizabethtown 16 20 22 15—73
John Hardin 13 9 8 16—46
Team FG FT R TP
Elizabethtown 28-63 10-15 38 73
John Hardin 18-44 4-9 27 46
Player FG FT R TP
Huff 5-10 2-4 7 14
Bowling 2-9 0-0 9 4
Warden 1-4 0-0 2 2
Boley 14-21 5-5 8 35
Cleaver 3-8 1-1 4 7
Mudd 2-4 0-0 0 6
Stinson 1-5 1-2 2 4
Knight 0-0 0-0 1 0
Pfeiffer 0-0 0-0 1 0
Thomas 0-2 0-0 2 0
Deaton 0-0 1-3 1 1
Player FG FT R TP
Bohannon 3-12 0-0 2 8
Haley 5-10 3-4 3 15
Sanders 2-4 1-2 3 5
Small 3-7 0-3 8 6
White 3-5 0-0 5 8
Priddy 2-3 0-0 3 4
Taylor 0-3 0-0 2 0
3-POINTERS: ELIZABETHTOWN (7-16): Darien Huff 2-4, Jada Stinson 1-4, Erin Boley 2-3, Kinsey Mudd 2-3, Reauna Cleaver 0-1, Rachel Warden 0-1. JOHN HARDIN (6-16): Emily Bohannon 2-8, Da’Inara White 2-4, Tajah Haley 2-3, Tamera Taylor 0-1. ASSISTS: ELIZABETHTOWN (15): Rachel Warden 4, Livie Bowling 3, Kinsey Mudd 3, Erin Boley 2, Darien Huff 1, Jada Stinson 1, Taylor Thomas 1. JOHN HARDIN (13): Tajah Haley 6, Da’Inara White 3, Emily Bohannon 2, Katria Sanders 1, Tamera Taylor 1.