By RYAN INGRAM
The Stars of Southern Indiana battled back from a nine point fourth quarter deficit, but came up just short against their Kentucky counterparts in a 52-51 thriller at the 16th-annual Battle of the Bridges Saturday night at the MidAmerica Sports Center in Louisville.
Haley Vogen of Jeffersonville led all scorers with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
“I just wasn’t doing what I needed to do in the first half, so I had to come back and work extra hard in the second half,” Vogen said of her efforts.
On playing with the the areas best players Vogen added, “I love it. It’s girls from all over so you get a mix of girls you play against during the season. It’s a great time to all come together and work together.”
Corydon Central standout Marie Rothrock was the only other Indiana player to score in double-figures with 14.
The first quarter was a physical, low-scoring battle. Two free throws by North Hardin’s Morgan Barrick with seconds left in the quarter gave the Kentucky Stars a 5-4 lead after one.
Each team collected six fouls in the first. Vogen picked up her third with 2:34 remaining in the opening quarter and sat out the rest of the half.
Indiana outscored Kentucky 17-13 in the second quarter to take a 21-18 lead into the half. Rothrock had seven in the quarter to lead Indiana.
In the third, Indiana pushed it’s lead to five right away when Jeff’s Aurreeshae Hines hit a cutting Rothrock on the right baseline, making it 23-18. Kentucky’s Chris McCune layed in a basket from the paint to cut the lead to three, but Lauren Camm of New Albany answered with a drive and layup from the left side to push the lead back to five at 25-20.
McCune banked in a three from the top of the key to get Kentucky within two, and on its next possession Jade Spaulding of Eastern High School tied the game with a layup at 25.
Rothrock hit one of two free throws after being fouled under the basket to give Indiana the lead — its last of the game — at 26-25.
Vogen got three the old-fashioned way after banking in a basket from the left block to cut the lead to one at 30-29, but a quick three and layup on consecutive possessions by Shavil Thompson gave Kentucky a six point cushion, 35-29.
Vogen was able to get Indiana within four at 35-31, but Sacred Heart’s Ashley Johnson answered with a basket of her own. Vogen hit another layup as the third quarter came to a close with Kentucky still leading 37-33.
The two teams traded baskets early in the fourth, but three of Kentucky’s came from outside the arc and they stretched the lead to 51-44 halfway through the fourth.
Hines hit two free throws after being fouled on an inbounds pass to get Indiana back within two possessions at 51-46. Vogen hit Rothrock with a pass from the right block for an open three that she would hit to cut the lead to two at 51-49. A backcourt foul by Rothrock put Johnson at the line for one and a bonus. She hit the front end to make it 52-49 with under a minute to play.
Vogen grabbed an offensive board and was fouled on the putback, but she sank only one of two and Kentucky still lead by two, 52-50.
With 20.8 seconds left, Hines reached in on Spaulding beyond the arc to put her on the charity stripe for one-and-one. She missed the front end, and Reagan Mosley of Corydon Central pulled down the rebound and pushed it ahead to Rothrock, who drew a foul in the act of shooting. Rothrock sank the first shot but missed the second, and Indiana was still down one, 52-51.
The ball was batted out of bounds by a Kentucky player to give Indiana one more chance, but McCune stole the deflected inbounds pass for Kentucky and time expired, giving Kentucky the 52-51 win.
KENTUCKY 52, INDIANA 51
Kentucky 5 13 19 15—52
Indiana 4 17 12 18—51
Kentucky: Chris McCune 15, Jade Spaulding 10, Shavil Thompson 9, Ashley Johnson 6, Erica Hawkins 5, Tamish Stanford 3, Emily Bohannon 3, Morgan Barrick 1.
Indiana: Haley Vogel 17, Marie Rothrock 14, Aurreeshae Hines 6, Kendra Lambert 4, Lauren Camm 8.
3-point field goals: Kentucky 9 (McCune 3, Spaulding 3, Thompson 1, Johnson 1, Bohannon 1); Indiana 2 (Rothrock 2)