Bulldogs hold off Rebs by hitting free throws

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Sports Editor

CANNELTON—Mikah Hemmings hit 10 of 12 free throws in the last 4:43 as Cannelton held off a late South Spencer rally to beat the Rebels 58-52 in girls basketball Tuesday.
Mollie Ingle scored two consecutive inside baskets, off a rebound and a loose ball, to put the Bulldogs up by 16, 34-18, midway through the third quarter.
They still led by 13 after Hemmings scored on a drive with six minutes left in the game and by 11 after Hemmings hit two free throws with 3:38 left.
Cannelton had rebounded well with the taller Rebels to that point and finished with a 37-36 rebounding edge for the game.
But perhaps the Bulldogs, who had four players each play at least 30 minutes, tired down the stretch, as they gave up three rebound baskets—one on a missed free throw—to allow the Rebels to pull within three points with 1:53 left.
A driving layup by Sarah Lindsey off a Cannelton turnover then cut the gap to one, 52-51, with 1 1/2 minutes left.
Taylor Lawalin hit two free throws with 1:25 left to build Cannelton’s lead back to three. South Spencer center Caitlynn Phillips fouled out 32 seconds later, depriving the Rebels of their main offensive threat.
Phillips, who was five inches taller than any Cannelton starter, finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds. The Rebels repeatedly fed the ball to her in the low post because she could shoot over whoever was guarding her.
But Cannelton began putting two defenders on her—front and back—and the Rebels could not hit from outside to foil that strategy. They were 0 for 14 from three-point range.
Hemmings led Cannelton with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. She hit 16 of 20 free throws.
Lawalin scored 13 points and Allicyn Garrett added nine.
Lawalin and Ingle each added eight rebounds. Freshman reserve Paige Reynolds grabbed four rebounds in just 5:22 of playing time.
South Spencer, 0-6, outshot Cannelton from the field 38.9 percent to 26.5 percent. But the Bulldogs hit 30 of 41 free throws for 73.2 percent.
Cannelton Coach Mike Garrett wasn’t always pleased with his team’s shot selection.
“We tried to shoot ourselves out of it,” he said. “We were up 14 and we took some pretty silly shots.”
He was pleased with the Bulldogs’ defensive pressure, though, noting that the Rebels “had a little trouble handling the ball.”
Cannelton, 3-4, will host Christian Academy of Indiana Saturday at 2 p.m.