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February 23, 2013

Lawrence North's defense stifles Terre Haute North

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute North’s first half held so much promise against a Lawrence North team that had size to spare, but couldn’t solve the Patriots’ tight 2-3 zone.

Unfortunately for Terre Haute North, once the Wildcats found the weakness in the Patriots’ armor – in Friday’s case, it was the Patriots’ turnovers – Lawrence North had the horses to run away.

Four Terre Haute North turnovers on its first four possessions of the second half fueled a 27-point third quarter for Lawrence North and it pulled away for a 67-51 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference victory.

Terre Haute North’s Calvin Blank led all scorers with 22 points. Nathan Jahn added 12 for the Patriots, all via 3-pointers.

 Daeshon Francis led Lawrence North with 14 points.

There was much to like from the Patriots (11-11, 1-6) – including 50 percent shooting – but its 14 turnovers proved costly.

“Our guys came out and competed. I was proud of their effort and we did what we needed to do in the first half to be in the basketball game against a bigger, athletic team,” Patriots coach Todd Woelfle said.

The Patriots’ tight 2-3 defense gave the Wildcats fits throughout the first half. Lawrence North’s guards weren’t successful shooting over it. The Lawrence North bigs didn’t have the gumption to attack or post inside the heart of the zone and also settled for three’s.

Making three’s wasn’t a problem for Jahn. He drained two in the first four minutes and Terre Haute North had an early 8-2 advantage. The Patriots held sway 14-12 by the end of the period.

Lawrence North (16-5, 4-3) began to attack the Patriots with more verve from the late first quarter onward and also gave Terre Haute North problems at times with its ball pressure. The Wildcats tied the game on four different occasions prior to halftime, and took the lead once, but in each case, the Patriots had an answer. Jahn’s 3-pointer with 2:47 left put the Patriots up 21-20.

Lawrence North scored the last five points of the half to build a slim 25-21 halftime lead. A key play came on Terre Haute North’s last first half possession which ended in a turnover. Lawrence North would put the extra possession to maximum use as Francis drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“We wanted to get the last possession of the first half. We didn’t and they hit the three at the buzzer. Then they scored off of the four turnovers at the beginning of the second half. It was the key to the ball game,” Woelfle said.

A renewed Lawrence North defensive attack had the Patriots reeling to start the third period. Francis had steals on the first two Terre Haute North possessions and both were converted into Sean Howard buckets. Francis then scored himself on a John McCloud steal.  By the time Francis scored at the 6:06 mark via another Lawrence North steal, the Wildcats had built a 35-21 advantage.

“I got mad [at halftime]. We weren’t loafing, but there wasn’t an edge to us. [Terre Haute North] has an edge to them. We came out with that edge [in the second half],” Lawrence North coach Jack Keefer said.

Terre Haute North wouldn’t threaten the Wildcats’ advantage for the remainder of the game, though Lawrence North didn’t pull away either. Part of what held the Wildcats back was a woeful 14 of 30 night at the free throw line.

The Patriots open Mooresville Sectional play on Tuesday against Plainfield.

 

LAWRENCE NORTH (67) – Howard 2-5 2-2 6, Smotherman 3-8 0-0 6, McCloud 2-3 0-2 4, Francis 6-9 1-5 14, Scofield 4-4 5-8 13, Lollis 1-3 1-5 3, Williams 2-3 4-5 9, Parker 3-6 1-2 9, T. Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Holmes 1-1 0-0 3, Avery 0-0 0-0 0, McKay 0-0 0-0 0, Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Bender 0-0 0-0 0, C. Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Readnour 0-0 0-0 0. 23-43 FG, 14-30 FT, 67 TP.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (51) – Jahn 4-5 0-0 12, S. Davis 1-3 0-0 2, Lewis 1-2 0-0 2, Grady 1-1 0-1 2, Blank 8-14 4-5 22, Hart 1-3 0-0 2, Almone 1-4 0-0 3, Dillahunt 0-0 0-0 0, Vickers 1-5 0-0 3, Low 0-0 0-0 0, Schenck 1-1 0-0 3, Dennany 0-0 0-1 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Barrett 0-0 0-0 0, Sandifer 0-0 0-0 0. 19-38 FG, 4-7 FT, 51 TP.

Lawrence North    12    13    27    15    —    67

Terre Haute North    14    7    15    15    —    51

3-point goals – LN 5-13 (Parker 2-4, Francis 1-2, Williams 1-1, Holmes 1-1, Howard 0-3, Smotherman 0-2), THN 9-21 (Jahn 4-5, Blank 2-3, Vickers 1-5, Almone 1-4, Schenck 1-1, S. Davis 0-2, Hart 0-1). Rebounds – LN 26 (Smotherman 5, Lollis 4, McCloud 3, Scofield 3, Parker 3, Howard 2, Francis 2, Team, T. Davis, Readnour), THN 21 (Blank 6, Lewis 3, S. Davis 2, Hart 2, Team 2, Jahn, Grady, Almone, Dillahunt, Dennany, Barrett), Steals – LN 12 (McCloud 3, Francis 3, Howard, Smotherman, Scofield, Williams, Parker, T. Davis), THN 1 (S. Davis), Blocks – LN 0, THN 1 (Hart), Turnovers – LN 3, THN 14, Total fouls – LN 11, THN 18.

JV – Lawrence North 33, TH North 31 (Kurashima 10)

Next – TH North (11-11, 1-6) plays Plainfield on Tuesday in the Mooresville Sectional. Lawrence North (16-5, 4-3) plays Indianapolis Cathedral in the Warren Central Sectional.

 

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