Even Picasso struggled with some paintings
It wasn't the prettiest of pictures, but the Harrisburg High School girls' basketball team used a third quarter surge to pull past Cairo 70-55 Wednesday night at Davenport Gymnasium.
Aside from shooting 39 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc, the Bulldogs ratcheted up the defense in the third period, forcing the Co-Pilots into 10 turnovers, outscoring them 21-10 to take a 47-38 lead going into the game's final eight minutes.
Harrisburg head coach Jake Stewart said his team made the necessary adjustment at halftime, despite trailing by two 28-26.
"We defended well, we rebounded well and we got back well. Cairo had 16 transition points in the first half. That killed us, not getting back against Cairo. That's a No-No. "We shot 5-of-23 for 3-pointers in the first half and every single one of them were wide open shots. All of my kids can shoot the ball, but that's a little hard to swallow. Every shooter who can shoot, believes that's a good shot. And sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. We talked about it at halftime. It wasn't so much missing the shots, it wasn't getting back on defense and that's something we're going to have to work on."
Ashley Ferrell, who was also critical in that third quarter push, led the Bulldogs in scoring with 29 points.
Ferrell banked home a 3-pointer with 3:35 to play in the third to tie the game at 34-all. Seconds later, the senior guard drained a pair of free throws to give Harrisburg a 36-34 lead and that was immediately followed with her getting a bucket off a steal as the Bulldogs built a 38-34 lead and never looked back.
Earlier in the game, Ferrell's second 3-pointer of the game, gave her the most career 3-pointers by any Harrisburg girl basketball player with 137. Ferrell finished the game with 139 as she shot 4-of-14 from beyond the arc and 9-of-21 from the field. She also handed out four assist, two rebounds, and one steal.
Stewart wasn't surprised how well Ferrell played, saying she showed why she is a senior and proved that with her leadership.
"She played really well," Stewart said. "She passed well and defended well, which is what we need her to do. Her and Lindsey (Murray), they are two guards that played really well tonight and we need that game in and game out."
Murray also finished in double figures, scoring 15 points as she knocked down 5-of-13 from the field and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc for 37 percent.
Harrisburg (1-0) struggled out of the gate, where five first quarter turnovers turned into six transition points for Cairo (0-1). The Bulldogs quickly rebounded to take a 15-13 lead after one quarter, but more problems, primarily Co-Pilot junior guard Koree Simelton, who had eight points in the second quarter to help Cairo take a 28-26 lead into the locker room.
Page 2 of 2 - Simelton finished with 26 points to lead Cairo as she grabbed five rebounds and shot 9-for-15 from the field and 4-of-4 from long range.
"We did some things tonight that we have to get better at," Stewart said. "At the same time, we also did some pretty good things. Playing Cairo, it's just different, they do some things that make it so hard to guard them."
Kelsey Hobbs scored seven points for Harrisburg and the sophomore also handed out four assists, grabbed five rebounds and came up with four steals.
Hanna Jones grabbed a team-high six rebounds and scored six points, as did, Alexa Burtis.
Whitey Younger finished with four points and Devan Jones tacked on three points.
Harrisburg returns to action Monday when they host Carmi-White County at 7:30 p.m. in the first game of the Harrisburg Invite at Davenport Gymnasium.
The Harrisburg junior varsity team was victorious over Cairo, winning 41-11.
Alysia McGuire put in a team-high 21 points, while Hannah Bartok also finished in double figures with 10 points. Lilee Robinson had six points, while Toni Crisp and Miranda Foster had two points.
Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.
Cairo 13 15 10 17 - 55
Harrisburg 15 11 21 23 - 70
CAIRO (0-1): Simelton 9-15 4-4 26, Taylor 5-18 4-6 15, Nelson 3-7 1-2 7, Sang 3-6 1-3 7, Posey 0-2 0-0 0, Holder 0-1 0-0 0, Woods 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-49 10-15 55.
HARRISBURG (1-0): Ferrell 9-21 7-8 29, Murray 5-13 3-6 15, Hobbs 3-7 1-2 7, H. Jones 3-7 0-0 6, Burtis 2-7 0-1 6, Younger 2-3 0-0 4, D. Jones 0-2 3-4 3. Totals: 24-61 14-21 70.
3-pointers: Cairo 5-8 (Simelton 4-4, Taylor 1-3), Harrisburg 8-31 (Ferrell 4-14, Burtis 2-7, Douglas 0-1, H. Jones 0-1, Murray 2-5, Hobbs 0-3). Rebounds: Cairo 30 (Nelson 9, Taylor 8, Simelton 5, Posey 4, Sang 3, Holder), Harrisburg 25 (H. Jones 6, Hobbs 5, Burtis 4, Murray 3, Ferrell 2, Younger 2, D. Jones 2, Douglas).