BY MIKE RILEY
It was cold outside, and it was cold inside the Charlestown Sports Arena for the New Albany Bulldogs as they managed to hit only one of their first 10 field goal attempts against homestanding Charlestown on Monday.
One time out seemed to change everything.
Trailing 14-5 at that point, the Bulldogs pulled to within 17-14 after a quarter, led 32-23 at the half and were never seriously threatened in a 65-58 victory.
“We were just giving up too many easy baskets,” New Albany coach Tammy Geron said of the early going. “We were not showing any intensity on defense, and on offense, we were settling for jump shots. We also changed up our defense.”
New Albany took the lead at 20-18 on a basket by Brittany Knight and lost it only once as a 3-pointer by the Pirates’ Kaitlynn Henning — Charlestown’s only trey of the game — gave the Pirates a 23-22 advantage.
New Albany then finished the half on a 10-0 run behind the play of Lauren Camm with 10 points at the half and Brittany Knight with eight.
Charlestown made a couple of short runs in the second half, cutting the lead to 37-32 on a 3-point play by Justice Burdin, only to have Jessica Knight answer with a 3-pointer at the other end.
Moments after Henning cut the lead to 41-34, Brittany Knight again answered with a trey to put the lead back at double digits. New Albany led 51-40 entering the fourth quarter.
“We had talked about how we had lost a lead last Friday [against Jeffersonville] and to make good use of our possessions,” Geron said. “I’m proud of the kids tonight, not just how they got back into the game, but how they got the lead and maintained it.”
Brittany Knight led New Albany with 21 points. Camm had 15 points and Jessica Knight finished with 11.
“I thought a lot of our kids played well tonight,” Geron said. “Jenna Shine made the most of her minutes and I thought our two freshman — Jessica Knight and Marissa Jones — looked good, which was important because we were in foul trouble. Plus, Brianne Nixon wasn’t able to go tonight.”
Nixon started the game and played a few minutes, but never returned once she came out.
“She hurt her knee last Friday and I decided it just wasn’t worth the risk,” Geron said. “Ashley Lyninger gave us some good minutes in the post. Hopefully we’ll have Brianne back Thursday for Seymour.”
Henning led Charlestown with 19 points while Burdin had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“Our scouting report said that there were players on their team that you could not leave,” Charlestown coach Michael Prichard said. “We knew it, we talked about it, we just didn’t do it. And we never recovered. We got into some early foul trouble and then they switched to that 3-2 zone. That played a factor into how we executed. They did a nice job on Kaitlynn. They defended well.
“I thought Justice did a good job and Kaitlynn played well. I thought our defensive effort was discouraging. But it is what it is. New Albany deserved it. We have to refocus and look at the next opportunity.”
That will come Thursday as the Pirates host Henryville.
NEW ALBANY 65, CHARLESTOWN 58
New Albany 14 18 19 14—65
Charlestown 17 6 17 18—58
New Albany (7-10): Lauren Camm 15, Aaliyah Bell 4, Brittany Knight 21, Jessica Knight 11, Marissa Jones 7, Claire Hirsch 2, Jenna Shine 3, Ashley Lyninger 2.
Charlestown (10-6): Kaitlynn Henning 19, Shelby Goedeker 6, Jessica Farmer 4, Megan Brooks 3, Justice Burdin 11, Lexi Logsdon 4, Kim Knight 2, Lauren Crowe 4, Haley Layton 5.
3-point field goals: New Albany 5 (J. Knight 3, Shine, B. Knight); Charlestown 1 (Henning).
Rebounds: New Albany 28 (Camm 7); Charlestown 26 (Burdin 11).
Turnovers: New Albany 11, Charlestown 14
Fouled out: New Albany — Camm; Charlestown — Burdin.
Junior varsity: New Albany 30, Charlestown 17