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Putting up big numbers is nothing new to Erin Boley. But the Elizabethtown sophomore forward still found out something new could happen to her Wednesday night as the Lady Panthers hosted 17th District rival Central Hardin.
Despite being face guarded before the opening tip, Boley scored four points in the game’s first 44 seconds and nine of her team’s first 11 points en route to a game-high 27 points as the second-ranked Lady Panthers rolled past the Lady Bruins, 79-23.
“I think I got face guarded in the huddle, which was actually a first,” said Boley, who also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals. “But we prepare for stuff like that. I was ready to play and the team was ready to play. We came out and played well.”
Powered by Boley and some precision passing from their starters, the Lady Panthers opened with an 11-0 run and led 23-2 with 3:23 left in the first quarter on a drive through the middle by junior guard Livie Bowling. Elizabethtown (10-3, 2-0 district) scored as many points in the first 4:37 as Central Hardin (3-11, 0-3) did all game.
If the Lady Panthers were nervous about finally playing at home, they certainly didn’t show it. They scored on 12 of their first 15 trips down the floor as Bowling (eight points, five assists, four steals) quickly dished out three assists and sophomore guard Rachel Warden (six points, three assists) passed out three more.
It was Elizabethtown’s first game inside the friendly confines of Charlie Rawlings Memorial Gymnasium since Feb. 12 of last season. Since that game, Elizabethtown had played 17 games in eight counties and two states.
“Tonight was awesome. Oh my gosh, it felt so good,” said Bowling, whose team has won 12-of-13 at home. “I was so hyped to finally play at home because we’ve been on the road so much.”
Elizabethtown junior post Reauna Cleaver added a double-double (11 points, game-high 13 rebounds) and junior guard Darien Huff had 14 points, five assists and was 1-of-3 Lady Panthers with four steals as Elizabethtown came up with 20 steals on the Lady Bruins’ 33 turnovers.
Central Hardin, which has lost to Elizabethtown 16 straight times, had four turnovers in its first four possessions and didn’t attempt a field goal until Elizabethtown was already up double digits.
“You’ve got to give credit where credit is due because E’town is a good team,” said Central Hardin coach Kristina Covington.
While Covington had three players take turns face guarding Boley in the first quarter, she said it wasn’t her intention simply to make Boley miserable.
“She’s a good player because she can hurt you inside and out,” Covington said of Boley, who was 10-of-14 from the field, 5-of-5 from the foul line and 2-of-3 from the 3-point arc. “But our game plan wasn’t to stop Boley – it was to stop E’town. And if that meant stopping Boley, then that’s what we needed to do. If that meant stopping someone else, that’s what we have to do.”
Central Hardin briefly stopped Elizabethtown in the second quarter, but the Lady Panthers looked at it more as stopping themselves. Elizabethtown shot better than 55 percent from the field (31-of-56) despite a 6-minute stretch overlapping the first and second quarter in which it went 0-for-8 from the field with seven turnovers.
The Lady Bruins couldn’t take advantage, though, allowing Elizabethtown to still lead 32-15 before the Lady Panthers closed the first half with a 15-4 run.
“It was mostly our defense and our rebounding,” Boley said. “I think we kind of got complacent, so he (Coach Tim Mudd) had some choice words for us.”
Elizabethtown found its groove again coming out of the break, scoring on seven straight trips to extend its lead to 63-21 with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Panthers didn’t commit a turnover while outscoring the Lady Bruins 18-4 in the third quarter. Elizabethtown finished with 16 turnovers, meaning it turned it over 25 percent of the time it had the ball.
“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Bowling said. “We should not have even been close to that number. That was ridiculous. That was us being stupid and making stupid passes.”
UP NEXT: Elizabethtown hosts Adair County at 8 tonight. Central Hardin plays at John Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at 270-505-2758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Hardin 11 8 4 0—23
Elizabethtown 30 1718 14—79
Team FG FT R TP
Central Hardin 10-35 3-8 25 23
Elizabethtown 31-56 13-17 35 79
Player FG FT R TP
Helton 0-3 0-0 2 0
Powell 1-3 1-3 1 3
Humphrey 3-8 2-2 5 8
Jaggers 1-8 0-0 4 2
Zaehringer 2-3 0-0 1 4
Kerr 0-1 0-0 2 0
Cross 0-2 0-0 2 0
Langford 0-0 0-2 0 0
Krupinski 3-6 0-1 4 6
Kollee 0-1 0-0 0 0
Player FG FT R TP
Huff 6-12 0-0 3 14
Bowling 3-4 2-2 0 8
Warden 2-4 2-2 1 6
Boley 10-14 5-5 6 27
Cleaver 4-9 3-5 13 11
Mudd 0-4 0-0 1 0
Stinson 2-3 0-1 0 4
Pfeiffer 0-1 1-2 3 1
Thomas 3-4 0-0 4 6
Deaton 1-1 0-0 1 2
3-POINTERS: CENTRAL HARDIN (0-2): Mariah Helton 0-1, Emily Kerr 0-1. ELIZABETHTOWN (4-11): Darien Huff 2-4, Erin Boley 2-3, Kinsey Mudd 0-3, Toni Pfeiffer 0-1. ASSISTS: CENTRAL HARDIN (5): Quortesha Cross 1, Mariah Helton 1, Ellen Nichols 1, Caynan Powell 1, Jasmine Zaehringer 1. ELIZABETHTOWN (22): Livie Bowling 5, Darien Huff 5, Erin Boley 3, Rachel Warden 3, Jana Stinson 2, Karson Knight 1, Kinsey Mudd 1, Toni Pfeiffer 1, Taylor Thomas 1.