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Harrison girls top Lafayette Jeff in J&C Hoops tourney
November 18, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
Alex Spitznagle watched her 3-pointer go through the net, turned to go back on defense and cracked a little smile.
Last year she decided to give up basketball and Monday night made her decision to return for her senior year completely worth it.
Spitznagle’s 3-pointer with 2:13 to go in the third quarter pushed Harrison ahead of Lafayette Jeff 26-22 and the Raiders went on to win 38-28 in the opening round of the J&C Hoops Classic at Resler Gymnasium.
“I missed it so much and at first, I kind of hit a wall and was dead at practices and stuff, but you get conditioned and you start hitting shots and you get more comfortable with the team,” said Spitznagle, who scored six points.
The Raiders, who advance to Friday night’s semifinals to play Twin Lakes, snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Bronchos. Harrison’s last victory in the series came on Jan. 15, 2004.
“It feels so good, especially against Jeff and I am just so happy to be playing again,” Spitznagle said. “I don’t know why I didn’t play last year.”
Harrison will play Twin Lakes in Friday’s semifinals and the Bronchos face Frankfort in the consolation round.
Lafayette Jeff led 19-14 at halftime, but did not make a field goal in the game’s final 16:24. Aliyia Kind’s steal and layup with 24 seconds left in the first half accounted for the last Bronchos’ basket.
Kind finished with 16 points, leading all scorers. Kara Homeier, Erin West and Carlie Hinkel were the only other Bronchos with a field goal. Jeff turned the ball over 29 times while shooting 24.3 percent. Jeff was held to 27 points in its season opener at Western Boone.
“You’re not shooting the ball well and when you’re not getting 29 more attempts up there, it just kills you and we’ve proven it the last two games,” Bronchos coach Geoff Salmon said. “We’re not going to win games scoring in the 20s. We certainly don’t teach the sloppiness, that’s for sure.”
Harrison took its first lead of the night on Calire Muller’s score on a feed from Spitznagle with 4:34 to go in the third quarter, putting the Raiders ahead 21-20.
Autumn Ringen led Harrison (1-1) with 10 points and six rebounds and Muller contributed nine points while playing with foul trouble all night. Ringen was 0-for-6 from the field, but made 10 of 14 free throws to lead the Raiders in scoring.
Last year’s J&C Hoops Classic was the first time Harrison won a first-round game. The Raiders lost to West Lafayette in double overtime in the semifinals after a desperation heave went in for the Red Devils at the end of the first overtime. Harrison felt it should have been playing in the championship game a year ago and now wants to prove it belongs in that Saturday night contest.
“This is huge for confidence,” Ringen said. “It’s going to be great when we come in Friday night against Twin Lakes.”