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home : sports : sports June 28, 2016

12/11/2012 1:58:00 PM
Lady Pioneers rally past Lady Panthers
Palestine-Hutsonville girls won their sixth straight Shrine Game with a 49-40 win over rival Oblong. (Josh Brown photo)
Palestine-Hutsonville girls won their sixth straight Shrine Game with a 49-40 win over rival Oblong. (Josh Brown photo)
Sports Editor

When a team has your number, it doesn't matter what you do, the outcome is still going to be the same.

That is the situation two Crawford County girls' basketball teams found themselves in Friday night during the annual Crawford County Shrine Game at Lincoln Trail College.

It was a tale of two halves Friday night, with Oblong dominating most of the action in the first half, but Palestine-Hutsonville turned the tables after halftime and pulled out a 49-40 victory.

The win was the sixth straight Shrine Game victory for the Lady Pioneers and their 12th win in the last 13 meetings between the two teams.

"Our girls grinded it out," PHS-HHS head coach Travis Blank said. "We had a slow start, were very cold shooting and Oblong was hitting their shots. I told the girls they had to pick it up on defense and they did."

"It was ours to win and we let it go," OHS head coach Tim Johnson said. "It's disappointing for the girls, because they fought hard and wanted to win it so bad. Give credit to Palestine-Hutsonville, they hit shots when they needed to, but our kids never quit."

Oblong was in control early and led for almost the entire first half. After a steal and a layup by Palestine-Hutsonville's Emily Nehls 20 seconds into the game, Oblong scored the next five points to start a 10-1 run - with eight of those points scored by Kailyn Pinkston - to take a 10-3 lead with 5:09 remaining in the opening period. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the period and Oblong held a 15-8 advantage after the first eight minutes.

The Lady Panthers continued to build their lead in the second quarter, with Kelsie Harper scoring the first five points of the period to make the score 20-8 with 5:30 to play. However, consecutive three-point plays by Palestine-Hutsonville's Taci Newlin and Nicole Kiger closed the gap to 20-14 with 4:07 left. After a series of free throws, Harper scored again to push the OHS lead to 24-15 with 2:42 left, but Palestine-Hutsonville scored the final six points of the half, including a putback of her own miss by McKenna Elder with three seconds left to pull the Lady Pioneers to within three, 24-21, at halftime.

Palestine-Hutsonville cut the deficit to one, 24-23, on a jumper from Leslie Churchwell to start the third quarter, then after a free throw by Harper gave Oblong a two-point lead, Kiger drained a three-pointer to put the Lady Pioneers on top, 26-25, at the 5:58 mark, giving them their first lead since they were up 2-0 to start the game.

The lead see-sawed back and forth for the next few minutes as the teams traded baskets, but two straight hoops by Kiger gave Palestine-Hutsonville a 32-29 lead with 2:20 remaining and they would never trail again. Calee Fulling added two free throws to give the Lady Pioneers a 34-29 lead heading into the fourth quarter, then Churchwell buried a three-pointer early in the fourth to extend the lead to 37-29 with 6:48 left in the game.

After a basket by Oblong's Emily Lockhart, Kiger sank a jump shot from the elbow to start a 6-1 spurt to give Palestine-Hutsonville their biggest lead of the game, 43-32, with 3:54 to play. The game became a free throw shooting contest after that and the Lady Pioneers were able to hit enough down the stretch to preserve the win.

Oblong did close the gap to six after a basket by Ryann Chiddix with 35.5 seconds left, but Palestine-Hutsonville hit three free throws in the last 30 seconds to finish off the victory.

"This was a great team win," Blank said. "Everybody stepped up with either a big free throw, rebound, steal or shot."

"We did everything that we wanted to do," Johnson said. "We hit our shots early and we got to the free throw line. But, we didn't hit our free throws and we didn't handle their press. They slowly came back and we kept turning the ball over. If you keep doing that, it is eventually going to bite you and it did."

Turnovers were a big factor in the game, with Oblong committing 27 to just 14 for Palestine-Hutsonville. Each team made nine two-point field goals, but Palestine-Hutsonville held advantages on the other spots of the floor. The Lady Pioneers made 5-7 from three-point range (71 percent), while Oblong was 3-8 (38 percent) and they went 16-23 at the free throw line (70 percent), while Oblong made just 13-27 foul shots (48 percent).

Kiger paced Palestine-Hutsonville with a girls' Shrine Game record 22 points, which included a 3-3 effort from three-point range and a 7-9 performance at the free throw line. She broke the previous mark of 20 points, which was shared by Oblong's Jenilee Ackman (2007) and Palestine-Hutsonville's Katie Anderson (2009). Kiger also had one steal in the game.

"Nicole played like a senior again tonight," Blank said. "She hit a big shot in the fourth and hit her free throws down the stretch. I am so proud of the way she played."

Fulling posted seven points, 10 rebounds, three steals and three assists for the Lady Pioneers, Churchwell totaled seven points, three assists, two rebounds and one steal, Elder netted five points and one rebound, Newlin chipped in with three points, two rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot, Kiley Rariden collected two points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots, Nehls added two points, five steals, three rebounds and two assists and Katie Williams had one point, four rebounds and two blocked shots.

Pinkston topped Oblong with 12 points, four rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals and one assist, while Chiddix totaled 10 points, 16 rebounds, five blocked shots, one steal and one assist. Harper posted 10 points, five rebounds, two steals, two assists and one blocked shot, Lockhart netted five points, 11 rebounds and one blocked shot, Kira Meese added two points, two rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot and Cara Mayhew had one point, three rebounds and one steal.

"Pinkston had a gutsy performance," Johnson said. "She probably shouldn't have even been out there, but she hit some big shots to get us going early. We shot the ball well, but we have to get more points out of our posts. We should always be looking to score down there and take advantage of our size. We have shown we can compete and play with teams, now it's a matter of finding a way to win."

Palestine-Hutsonville (6-5) will play at Marshall tonight for a Little Illini Conference contest at 6:15, then will play at Dugger, Ind., Tuesday for a varsity-only contest at 5:30 p.m. Oblong (3-5) will play at Cumberland for a LIC contest tonight at 6:15.

10th Annual Crawford County

Girls' Shrine Game

At Lincoln Trail College, Robinson

Oblong 15 9 5 11 - 40

Palestine-Hutsonville 8 13 13 15 - 49


Taylor Smith 0-2 0-2 0-0 0, Cheyenne Wells 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Kelsie Harper 2-7 1-2 3-6 10, Taylor Harris 0-2 0-0 0-0 0, Kailyn Pinkston 2-4 2-4 2-3 12, Emily Lockhart 2-2 0-0 1-5 5, Kira Meese 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Cara Mayhew 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Ryann Chiddix 2-7 0-0 6-11 10, TOTALS 9-26 2FG, 3-8 3FG, 13-27 FT, 40 TP.


Nicole Kiger 3-10 3-3 7-9 22, Calee Fulling 0-11 0-0 7-10 7, Leslie Churchwell 2-7 1-1 0-0 7, Emily Nehls 1-6 0-0 0-1 2, McKenna Elder 1-2 1-2 0-0 5, Kiley Rariden 1-5 0-0 0-0 2, Taci Newlin 1-3 0-1 1-1 3, Katie Williams 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, TOTALS 9-44 2FG, 5-7 3FG, 16-23 FT, 49 TP.

Turnovers - OHS 27, PHHS 14. Team fouls - OHS 21, PHHS 21. Fouled out - Rariden. Rebounds - (OHS 42) Chiddix 16, Lockhart 11, Harper 5, Pinkston 4, Mayhew 3, Meese 2, Harris. (PHHS 33) Rariden 11, Fulling 10, Williams 4, Nehls 3, Churchwell 2, Newlin 2, Elder. Steals - (OHS 9) Harper 2, Pinkston 2, Meese 2, Harris, Mayhew, Chiddix. (PHHS 13) Nehls 5, Fulling 3, Rariden 3, Churchwell, Kiger. Assists - (OHS 9) Harris 4, Harper 2, Wells, Pinkston, Chiddix. (PHHS 9) Fulling 3, Churchwell 3, Nehls 2, Newlin. Blocked shots - (OHS 11) Chiddix 5, Pinkston 3, Harper, Lockhart, Meese. (PHHS 8) Rariden 3, Williams 2, Fulling 2, Newlin.

Next game - Palestine-Hutsonville (6-5) will play at Marshall tonight at 6:15; Oblong (3-5) will play at Cumberland tonight at 6:15.

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