Outside there was ice forming on the roads. Inside there was ice flowing through Tanner Marcum’s veins.
Marcum made 8 of 13 shots, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and all eight free throws for 27 points to rally New Albany to a 55-49 girls’ basketball victory over visiting Charlestown. She also had four rebounds, four steals and four assists.
“I’ll do what I have to do for my team because I know we’re young,” said Marcum, the lone senior on a squad that also starts three sophomores and a freshman. “I just want to do what I need to do so we can win.”
But the first half was the Justice Burdin show. The 5-foot-11 Charlestown sophomore center/forward poured in 16 of her 18 points in the first 16 minutes, including 12 of her team’s first 17.
New Albany (8-8) led 16-10 after one period, capped by Lauren Camm’s buzzer-beating jumper, and built the lead to 23-15 on a 3-pointer by Marcum. The Lady Pirates (7-9) then went on a 9-0 run to take a 24-23 lead.
The lead changed hands nine times over the next 11 minutes, including twice more in the first half, which ended with a Burdin putback with three seconds left to give Charlestown a 26-25 edge at the break.
Enter Marcum, who had just nine points before intermission.
She had a steal and layup to start the second half. She drilled a 3-pointer to give her team the lead for good at 41-39 with 6:12 left in the game. She hit another three for some breathing room and drained four free throws and a jumper down the stretch — all under constant pressure from the Lady Pirates.
“Tanner’s a second-half kid,” New Albany coach Tammy Geron said. “She lets the game come to her and tries to get her teammates involved early. She wills us to win. She’s very difficult to defend. When you put a chaser on her, she still has the ability to get the ball in her hands.”
Still, the Lady Pirates hung tough. In the third period they got nine points from Kaitlynn Henning, who finished with a team-high 21, to take a 37-34 lead into the final eight minutes.
“We had some other kids really step up big tonight and score some key buckets and come off the bench to play some key minutes,” Geron said. “Lauren Camm gave us some key buckets (and nine points). Aaliyah Bell gave us some key minutes (and eight points, including 4-of-4 free-throw shooting) as Brianne Nixon was sick tonight.”
Claire Hirsch also scored eight for the Lady Bulldogs, all in the first half, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
New Albany outscored Charlestown 37-22 in the first and fourth periods but was outscored 27-18 in the middle periods.
Charlestown (7-9) – Henning 21, Burdin 18, Young 6, Harvey 2, Jones 2.
New Albany (8-8) – Marcum 27, Camm 9, Hirsch 8, Bell 8, Shine 3.
3-point goals – Marcum 3, Henning 1.