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By LARRY GOFFINET
FERDINAND—Emma Kohnert led a blazing start that propelled Tell City past South Spencer 45-23 in the Forest Park girls basketball sectional semifinals Friday.
Kohnert, a freshman forward, scored eight points on 4 for 4 field-goal shooting as the Marksmen jumped to a 19-4 lead in the first 7:36.
The Marksmen were 9 for 9 from the field and 1 for 1 at the free-throw line in that span.
Their first miss was a three-point attempt at the buzzer ending the quarter.
Kohnert scored on three drives in that quarter but also hit a 17-foot baseline shot.
“I started out more aggressive and wasn’t afraid to go to the basket more,” said Kohnert. “I was a little intimidated early in the season.”
Kohnert finished with a game-high 16 points on 7 of 11 field-goal shooting and 2 of 2 free throws.
“She drove in and she was a difference-maker tonight,” said South Spencer Coach Jason Mayes. “We kind of keyed on Logan (Flannagan) and Kassidie (Hayes) early in the game.”
“We really talked about when we dribble too much against pressure, we get in trouble,” said Tell City Coach John Hayes. “We moved the basketball and didn’t dribble as much tonight.
“I guarantee you that first quarter was the best quarter we’ve played all year.”
For a while the Marksmen seemed content to rest on their accomplishments that quarter, as they scored only seven points in the second quarter and six in the third.
Kassidie Hayes was hampered by foul trouble in that span, as she picked up her third foul in the second quarter and her fourth with 6:30 left in the third period.
But they continued to play strong defense and rebound well, taking a 32-18 lead into the final period.
Brenee Leibering scored their first four points of the fourth quarter on a drive and two free throws as they increased their lead to 36-20.
Hayes returned in the last four minutes to spark the offense.
She hit a 7-footer, a layup, and an 18-footer and had a nice assist to Taylor Gentry inside as the Marksmen stretched their lead to 45-20.
Hayes finished with 10 points on 5 of 5 field-goal shooting.
The Marksmen hit 50.0 percent (19 of 38) from the field and 77.8 percent of their free throws.
“We’ve worked really hard, especially the last week or so, on our shooting,” said John Hayes.
They dominated the rebounding 42-17.
Seven of the Rebels’ were team rebounds (when the ball is awarded to them after it goes out of bounds before anyone has control of it), meaning they actually grabbed only 10 rebounds.
Kohnert grabbed nine, Leibering eight, and Hayes and Flannagan six apiece for Tell City.
Celina Snyder had three assists for the Marksmen.
Justice Taylor came off the bench to lead South Spencer with nine points.
Tell City, 8-14, was scheduled to play North Posey in the championship game Saturday.
South Spencer finished the season 3-19.