CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — North Harrison, the top-ranked team in Class 3-A, took control early and powered its way past No. 7 Rushville 58-44 in the semifinals of the Charlestown Regional Saturday afternoon.
“We expected a much tighter game,” North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said. “I think we flustered them early and got their big girls in foul trouble.”
North Harrison (25-2) advances to the final Saturday night against Vincennes (21-6) – its second straight appearance. The winner will advance to the semi-state, to be determined by the IHSAA Sunday afternoon.
The Cats trailed briefly at 3-2 but quickly took charge. When Cali Nolot drilled a 3-pointer with 2:26 left in the first quarter, North Harrison led 18-9. Rushville (22-4), though, trimmed the deficit to four, both at the end of the first quarter and minutes into the second.
North Harrison finished the first half on a 12-2 run, stretching its lead to 36-22 by intermission.
“We were doing a good job of getting the ball inside,” Voyles said. “I thought we were doing a good job finishing.”
In the second half, the Lions clawed to within 49-39 early in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get closer.
“We started playing a little tight, not so much defensively,” Voyles said. “At the other end, we weren’t so sure what we should be shooting. They weren’t sure what was supposed to be good offense at that point.”
After Rushville closed to within 10, North Harrison’s Lilly Hatton went to the high post and fed Emma Nokes, who completed an old-fashioned 3-point play.
“Lilly draws attention and sometimes the best thing we can do is put the ball in her hands and she can find other people,” Voyles said. “We’ve kind of figured that out in the last two or three weeks.”
Hatton, who hit 6 of 10 shots, led North Harrison with 20 points. She added seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Nolot, who missed the postseason run a year ago with an injury, added 14 points, including a couple of 3-pointers.
“It just felt good to be out there,” Nolot said. “It’s really fun for me.”
BNL stifles Martinsville
Class 4-A No. 9 Bedford North Lawrence routed Martinsville 53-36 in its regional opener. The Stars (21-4), regional hosts, advance to Saturday night’s final versus Columbus North (20-7).
After leading 33-28 after three quarters, BNL ran away with a sizeable win late. Martinsville entered Saturday’s regional semifinal averaging more than 60 points per game. Sophomore Jorie Allen led the way with 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Stars.
Eastern punches ticket to final
Eastern clinched its first regional win in coach Mike McBride’s 10 years with the Musketeers Saturday afternoon by way of a 55-42 win over South Knox at Paoli.
Fresh off the program’s second sectional title in four years, Eastern (20-7) moves on to Saturday night’s regional final against South Ripley (23-4).
Early regional results from Saturday
Class 3-A at Charlestown:
NORTH HARRISON 58, RUSHVILLE 44
North Harrison (25-2): Taylor Rennirt 9p; Lilly Hatton 20p, 7r, 5bs; Hallie Hinton 3p; Cali Nolot 14p; Emma Nokes 5p; Jessicka Chiquito 4p; Stevie Burns 3p
Rushville (22-4): Kaitlyn Howe 15p; Brandi Adkins 6p; Allie Smith 2p; Alisha Marley 13p; Taylor Browning 2p; Viktoria Campbell 2p; Kayla Fogg 4p
VINCENNES 52, EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL 50
Vincennes (21-6): Darrian Carmean 4p; Abi Haynes 18p, 5a; Chasity Trueblood 8p Haleigh Hipsher 2p; Lauren Hipsher 2p; Alison Hein 8p; Lindsey Sparks 10p.
Evansville Memorial (17-8): Caroline Newland 17p; Allie Murphy 17p; Soffia Rieckers 13p; Olivia Phipps 3p
Class 4-A at BNL: Columbus North 66, Evansville Central 50; BNL 53, Martinsville 36
Class 2-A at Paoli: South Ripley 51, Forest Park 41; Eastern 55, South Knox 42
Class 1-A at Springs Valley: Vincennes Rivet 51, South Central 45; Wood Memorial 73, Crothersville 57
Southern Indiana preps reporter Kyle Williams contributed to this report.