Sheldon, NEVC girls advance in districts

Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Sheldon sophomore Ashley Danner applies pressure to Hume senior Cindy Murdock during their Class 1, District 12 tournament quarterfinal game Monday in Hume. Sheldon won 38-31.

By Joe Warren

Nevada Daily Mail

The Sheldon Lady Panthers and Northeast Vernon County Lady Knights both moved into the Class 1, District 12 semifinal round with wins Monday at Hume.

The sixth-seeded Lady Panthers beat the hosting and third-seeded Lady Hornets 38-31, using a pressing defense and a great offensive effort from sophomore Ashley Danner.

Danner scored a game-high 19 points, 11 of those in the second quarter as the Lady Panthers opened up a 10-point halftime lead.

The game was tied at eight after the first period as the two teams exchanged baskets mixed in with numerous turnovers.

In the second period Sheldon made a run as Danner scored 11 of the team's 15 points and the Lady Panthers went into the break with a 23-13 lead.

The Lady Panthers pressed the whole game, and it frustrated Hume as they committed turnover after turnover with many of Sheldon's points coming after a steal or during transition following a Hume mistake.

"That was our game plan coming in, the full-court press," Sheldon coach Jason Irwin said. "We thought we were in better shape than they were. It was fun."

In the second half Hume was able to keep Sheldon from pulling away with a tough defense of their own.

The Lady Hornets held Sheldon to only two points in the third quarter, those coming on a basket by Danner with 56 seconds left in the period.

Hume was unable to make up much ground though, since they only scored four in the period.

Hume coach Larry Berry said he thought the Lady Hornet defense in the third quarter should have allowed his team to make a move.

"It should have except we expended a lot of energy (playing defense) and we still only scored four," Berry said.

In the fourth quarter Hume got the game as close as 33-29 after a 3-pointer by Kayla Orear with 3:34 left. Orear scored 10 of her 12 points in the final period but Sheldon was able to keep Hume from getting any closer than four points.

Irwin, who played in high school under Berry, was coaching his first game against his former mentor.

"That was fun, beating my old coach," Irwin said.

Hume ended their season while Sheldon plays Montrose in Wednesday's semifinal. Montrose defeated Bronaugh 32-29 Monday.

NEVC dominated Miami in their quarterfinal matchup, scoring the first nine points of the game and never trailing en route to a 68-37 win.

Lady Knight seniors Becca Price and Katie Foreman went off from behind the 3-point line, combining for 12 3s, and scored 52 of the team's points.

Price was especially sharp from outside, connecting on eight 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 32 points.

Price scored 18 in the first half as NEVC cruised to a 37-18 halftime lead.

Miami never closed the gap in the second half and their season came to an end.

"We had a pretty good shooting night," NEVC coach Chuck Wolfe said.

The Lady Knights also harassed the Miami offense with full-court pressure, helping NEVC to open up the big cushion.

"Our press worked very well," Wolfe said. "Most of our offense came from our steals."

NEVC will take on Drexel in the district semifinals Wednesday. Drexel, the top seed in the tournament, defeated Ballard 78-22 Monday.

The Lady Knights, the fourth seed, improved to 19-8 with the win.

The boys' tournament begins today at Hume.

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