BY CHRIS STONER
New Albany’s starting backcourt of Tanner Marcum and Temple Ricke combined for 38 points on Thursday night, as the Bulldogs got back in the win column with a 56-39 victory at North Harrison.
Marcum led all scorers with 23 points, while Ricke put in seven of her 15 points in a crucial third period in which the Bulldogs took control of the game.
“She’s phenomenal. She’s fun to watch, she’s fun to coach, and she’s fun to play with,” New Albany coach Tammy Geron said of Marcum. “I can go on and on about her. She does it from every aspect of the game. And Temple Ricke played great tonight. I can’t say enough about how she played. She scored well for us and gave us some great minutes in the second half.”
New Albany (3-1), which hadn’t played since a Nov. 17 home loss to Corydon Central, bolted out to a 16-7 lead at the end of the first period behind its stellar defense. The Lady Cats (2-5) shot just 2-of-11 from the field and Marcum tossed in eight points in the opening frame.
The hosts did not go quietly as they began the second quarter with a 12-0 run to claim a 19-16 advantage at the 4:52 mark of the second quarter. The Dogs didn’t score in the period until a Brianne Nixon bucket made it 19-18 with 3:53 left until halftime. New Albany had seven turnovers in the second stanza, yet managed a slim 26-25 lead going to the locker room.
“At halftime, we talked about doing things that we’re good at that is going to make us successful,” Geron said. “We have to get our hands up on defense and our hands in the passing lanes. On offense, we have to be a lot more patient in the half-court set. I thought we did that in the second half.”
The visitors grabbed control of the contest in the third. Marcum and Ricke accounted for 16 of their team’s 18 third-quarter points and the Dogs’ defense held North to 2-of-12 shooting. New Albany led by 11 points entering the final stanza and never looked back as its half-court zone defense dominated the second half.
The Lady Cats shot just 24 percent from the field and had 18 turnovers.
“I think this is our smartest defensive game so far,” Geron said. “I thought we defended really well versus Providence. But this was a test for us because we had to adjust and get our on their shooters because they can shoot.”
New Albany will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at Class 4A No. 4 Bedford North Lawrence. It will be the Bulldogs’ Hoosier Hills Conference opener.
NEW ALBANY 56, NORTH HARRISON 39
New Albany 16 10 18 8—56
North Harrison 7 18 12 6—39
New Albany (3-1): Tanner Marcum 23, Temple Ricke 15, Brianne Nixon 4, Lauren Camm 8, Jenna Shine 2, Claire Hirsch 4.
North Harrison (2-5): Jill Book 7, Kendra Lambert 11, Megan Naegele 4, Kasey Kelley 2, Kim Chiquito 3, Shaylah Neal 6, Brittany Knight 6.
Three-point field goals: New Albany 3 (Marcum 2, Ricke); North
Harrison 3 (Knight 2, Lambert).
Rebounds: New Albany 35, North Harrison 31.
Turnovers: New Albany 18, North Harrison 18.
Field-goal shooting: New Albany 21-43, North Harrison 11-45.
3-point shooting: New Albany 3-9, North Harrison 3-13.
Free-throw shooting: New Albany 11-17, North Harrison 14-26.
Junior varsity: North Harrison 37, New Albany 30, OT.