FLOYDS KNOBS —
The Jeffersonville Red Devils played one of their best halves in the opening 16 minutes of their game on Thursday night at Highlander Gymnasium.
As for the second half, they struggled after one of their best players fouled out. But still, Jeff found a way to collect its fifth victory of the season by defeating host Floyd Central, 64-59.
Red Devil senior Aurreeshae Hines was on fire in the first half.
The 5-foot-4 point guard scored all of her game-high 24 points in the opening half, including 19 in the first quarter to help Jeff (5-1, 2-1 Hoosier Hills Conference) build a 24-10 lead.
In the first 16 minutes, Hines shot 9-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 from 3-point range.
“She’s been shooting the ball really, really well,” Red Devils’ head coach Mike Warren said. “But she had a game or two where she didn’t, and she was kind of down on herself this week. We talked and she came out with something in her eye. You can just tell.”
Hines nailed five 3-pointers in the opening stanza, which came as a surprise to Floyd Central head coach Kirk Hamsley.
“I’ve seen eight games of them on tape or in person and the most I’ve seen her hit was about two,” Hamsley said. “But she did a great job — kudos to her.”
But the Highlanders (1-4, 0-3) did not have to guard Hines for the final 11 minutes and 51 seconds of the contest. Hines fouled out with 4:09 remaining in the third period with the Red Devils leading 46-28.
Warren took responsibility for Hines leaving the contest as he did not know how many fouls Hines had before she committed her fifth foul.
“I made a coaching blunder by getting her fouled out, which totally changed the whole game,” Warren said. “It was a miscommunication. It was my responsibility and I screwed up. If we would’ve lost that game, they should’ve fired me. It was my fault.”
Trailing 52-37 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Highlanders took advantage of Hines’ absence by going to a full-court press.
The defensive adjustment worked as Floyd Central forced Jeff to make some turnovers. As a result, the Highlanders trimmed their deficit to 63-59 with 8.3 seconds left in regulation when senior guard Riley Kaiser made two free throws.
But the Red Devils sealed the victory with 6.7 seconds left as Nycia Ford made the second free throw of a two-shot situation.
“They turned their pressure up. We had some people in positions that they weren’t used to doing. We just got a little bit tight,” Warren said. “The girls got a little nervous. In the long run, it might be the best thing for us. It’s a learning experience. The next time it happens, we’ll be prepared for it.”
Despite the setback, Hamsley was happy with the way his team fought back into the contest.
“We stepped up our pressure a little bit. I think the kids weathered the storm,” Hamsley said. “We got a little anxious at the beginning, but I thought we weathered the storm. We worked our way back into the game. That was a positive.”
Jeff senior center Haley Vogen had 12 points, while Ford poured in 10. Red Devil forward Emily Gray grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Jeff guard Chelsea Lewis made a game-high six assists, while teammate Taylor Sykes had four assists and a game-high four steals.
Kaiser paced the Highlanders with 23 points, scoring 13 in the final quarter. Floyd Central junior Madison Kaiser had a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Highlanders’ Brianna Roth had nine points and six boards.
Jeff will travel to Class 3A No. 8 Madison tonight. Floyd Central will visit South Oldham (Ky.) on Wednesday.
JEFFERSONVILLE 64, FLOYD CENTRAL 59
Jeff 24 17 11 12—64
Floyd Central 10 12 15 22—59
Jeff (5-1, 2-1 HHC): Aurreeshae Hines 24, Haley Vogen 12, Nycia Ford 10, Emily Gray 6, Taylor Sykes 5, Catera Stevenson 5, Hailey Lacy 2, Chelsea Lewis 0.
Floyd Central (1-4, 0-3): Riley Kaiser 23, Madison Kaiser 20, Brianna Roth 9, Brooke Hinton 3, Abbie Engle 2, Kailey Price 1, Shelby Rost 1, Taylor Andrew 0, Maddie Probus 0.
3-point field goals: Jeff 7 (Hines 6, Sykes); Floyd Central 2 (Hinton, R. Kaiser).
Rebounds: Jeff 28 (Gray 7); Floyd Central 31 (M. Kaiser 11).
Turnovers: Jeff 20, Floyd Central 19.
Free throws: Jeff 5-13, Floyd Central 17-27.
JV: Jeff 32-21.