Stone girls fall No. 1 White County

Feb. 2—The Stone Memorial Lady Panthers faced the White County Lady Warriors in their final regular season matchup on Tuesday night. Stone Memorial looked to sweep the season series but struggled with rebounding and fouls most of the night as White County won handily, 73-56.

"It was more what we saw from White County, their mindset and aggressiveness [was] more than we were ready to face in the beginning. We started the game out trying to execute a play, and they were trying to go ram the ball down our throat and go score. It was just a different mindset tonight from them," Lady Panthers head coach Mike Buck said.

"We didn't quit, though. I felt like our kids kept battling. It was a 12-point game with a couple minutes to go, which is doable."

Stone Memorial opened their scoring with an inside basket from Kortney Headrick, but White County returned with an 8-2 run over the first three and a half minutes to force a Lady Panthers' timeout. The run was spurred on by excellent offensive rebounding as Stone Memorial was unable to keep White County off the glass.

Two 3-pointers from Headrick and Rachel Houston late in the period brought Stone Memorial back into the game. The Lady Warriors held an 18-12 advantage after a Houston miss at the horn.

After a cold first period shooting the ball, White County opened the second with their first 3-point shot. A 9-2 run from the Lady Warriors over the first four minutes was slowed by a Houston three and free throws from Kailee Waldo.

White County forced several turnovers in the period and consistently found open cutters to maintain a 35-21 lead at the break, however.

"We were pretty undisciplined in the second quarter. I think that described us defensively and on the glass too," Buck said.

Stone Memorial came out of halftime converting on its first two opening possessions, but White County consistently answered with easy inside looks.

Three early Lady Panthers turnovers helped the Lady Warriors jump out to a 20-point lead.

Headrick and Lily Hinch hit three 3-point shots to keep the deficit at 14 heading into the fourth period, 54-40.

The Lady Panthers brought the game within 11 early in the fourth, but fouls killed any chance of making a comeback. The score at the final buzzer was 73-56.

"Kortney played good. She put the ball in the basket for us. Lily Hinch played better than she has been in awhile. Her energy level was pretty high. We've just got to stop fouling so much. With the new rules they give you four fouls — kind of freebies — but in the fourth quarter [White County] ended up shooting on three out of four of those. We've got to do better," said Buck.

Headrick finished the game with 23 points, going 7-8 at the free-throw line. Waldo added 13 points — seven coming from the line — and Hinch hit two 3-pointers off the bench. White County's Gracie Clark and Lakelyn Grotsy combined for 32 points.

With the loss Stone Memorial falls to 9-13 on the season and 2-5 in the district with three district games remaining. Up next is Livingston Academy on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.

"It's got to matter to us still. It's important that we focus and fight possession after possession. I think we keep the game more simple for them moving forward and be able to execute some little things that we've seen work throughout the first run through the league as we move through again the second time and head into the postseason," Buck said.