The South Decatur girls basketball team spread the ball among all eight varsity players Thursday night in a 70-30 victory over visiting Crothersville.
The Lady Cougars shared the ball as well as head coach Amy Macy had hoped they would. South compiled 20 assists and shot close to 50 percent from the field. Three players scored in double figures.
“We did the same thing tonight that we're able to do against any other team,” said Macy afterward. “We took care of the ball better. Everybody was ready to shoot.”
All eight players scored for South, including seven in the first half. A pass from senior Sam Miller to junior Courtney Billingsley opened the scoring. Baskets by sophomore Megan Niese and junior Ashley Johannigman, then a 3-point play by junior Julia Miller, gave South a 9-2 lead. The hosts led 15-6 after the first quarter.
Coming off a career-best 21-point game Tuesday against Eastern Hancock, Julia Miller went to work in the second quarter. She dropped in a rebound basket, and later fed Johannigman for a 21-8 lead. Johannigman then assisted Miller, fueling a 17-7 spurt. Scoring before the half were sophomores Sydney Callahan and Olivia Watkins, giving South a 32-13 halftime lead.
South (2-6) scored the next six points of the second half, by Niese and both Miller girls. The Cougars picked up the defensive pressure and crashed the boards. Johannigman hit a rebound basket, and Julia Miller scored off a steal to make it 42-17. Johannigman again dished to Julia Miller, who scored South's next six points. Freshman Jessica Hearld chipped in a rebound basket near the end of the third and South led 52-23 after three.
Hearld opened the final eight minutes with another score. Sam Miller hit two quick baskets, and a 14-4 run was highlighted by scores from Julia Miller and Johannigman off assists by Johannigman and Julia Miller.
Coach Macy went to the bench after Niese's assist to Julia Miller put South up by 40.
Macy saw her team grab 21 defensive rebounds and 11 offensive rebounds. Julia Miller had 10 defensive and five offensive rebounds. Johannigman added eight defensively and two offensively. Hearld grabbed two defensive rebounds.
The Lady Cougars grabbed 24 steals on the night. Sam Miller led South with six steals. Niese and Johannigman each tallied five, while Julia Miller added three. Billingsley chipped in two steals.
“The defensive intensity was there the entire game,” she said.
Niese led South with six assists, while Julia Miller and Johannigman each dished out five. Sam Miller tallied three, and Callahan chipped in one.
Julia Miller's 27 points, according to Macy, was a result of “nice passes from AJ and good penetration” to the basket. Miller scored 10 points in the third period and shot 3-for-3 from the foul line. Johannigman followed with 13 points, while Sam Miller scored 12. Niese scored eight, Hearld scored three, and Watkins and Callahan scored two points off the bench.
Crothersville falls to 1-5.
Macy, who credited her team for hustling all four quarters, acknowledged that South has played a tough schedule the first month of the season with the first seven games against tough teams.
“We are a better team than our record shows,” she said.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.