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December 29, 2013

H.S. GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Highlanders fall in FC Shootout title game to Ballard, 63-39

Hinton paces Floyd Central with game-high 16 points

FLOYDS KNOBS — Even though they won both of their pool-play games at the Floyd Central Shootout on Friday, the Floyd Central Highlanders could not prolong that momentum on Saturday afternoon at Highlander Gymnasium.

Louisville Ballard, ranked in the top 10 in Kentucky, rolled past Floyd Central in the tournament championship game, 63-39. The Highlanders’ point total was a season-low.

“For us to win a game like this against a really good top-10 team out of Kentucky, we’re going to have to do everything well and we didn’t,” Highlanders’ coach Kirk Hamsley said. “We knew this would be a tough team to beat. They’re pretty darn good.”

The Bruins (9-1) gained full control of the game in the second quarter. They outscored Floyd Central 27-9 in the stanza to take a 38-17 at halftime. Even though they were 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the period, the Highlanders (4-7) shot just 1-of-6 from the floor.

As for Ballard, it connected on 12 of its 17 field-goal attempts in the second.

Hamsley felt rebounding was a crucial factor in the first half as the Bruins outrebounded Floyd Central, 15-13. For the game, the battle of the boards ended up in a 32-32 tie.

“That’s a little thing we didn’t do today. We did not block and rebound in the first half,” Hamsley said. “We have to work on blocking out and our defensive rebounding. Everybody has got to do that.”

The closest the Highlanders got to the Bruins in the latter half was 42-25 midway through the third quarter when senior guard Brooke Hinton knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers.

Hinton wound up with a game-high 16 points, shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range. She also performed a stellar defensive job on Ballard senior Javonna Layfield in the second half. The Bruins’ 5-foot-10 forward scored all of her team-high 15 points in the first half. Hinton held Layfield scoreless in the second 16 minutes, as the Ballard standout attempted only four shots along with battling foul trouble.

“Brooke Hinton didn’t let her score in the second half, which was great,” Hamsley said. “The Layfield kid was a load for us to handle. She’s a load for anybody.”

Junior forward Madison Kaiser was the only other Floyd Central player to score in double figures with 11 points. She also shared game-high rebounding honors with Layfield with nine boards. Highlander senior Riley Kaiser had eight points.

Hamsley hopes the runner-up finish in the tournament can get his team’s season pointed in the right direction. The Highlanders entered the tourney with a 2-6 record. Their two pool victories on Friday were against Louisville Fern Creek (88-40) and the Indianapolis Trailblazers (71-56).

“There were a lot of positive from the weekend. We’re going to get better,” he said. “We saw some good things. The kids stepped up. They’re wanting to get better and they came in here and played hard. We saw a lot of positives.”

Three other Bruins scored in double digits. Guard Briana Mishler, who is an eighth-grader, had 12 points. Senior Aundrea Matchen tallied 11 and junior Alex Martin scored 10.

Floyd Central will host Meade County (Ky.) on Thursday, Jan. 9.

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