Forest Park hits threes, holds off Commodores

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Sports Editor

LEOPOLD—Forest Park hit 6 of 9 three-point shots in the second quarter and beat Perry Central 57-54 in girls basketball Thursday.
The Rangers hit 8 of 16 three-point shots for the game. They also got inside scoring from Lydia Lange and Amanda Jacob in the first seven minutes of the third quarter as they extended their lead to 50-37.
The Commodores scored the next 13 points, though, to tie the score. Hannah Edwards started that streak with a driving basket and free throw, but all the rest of their field goals in that streak came from three-point range or a step inside it.
Freshman Sarah Spires hit her third three-pointer of the half to put the Commodores ahead 53-52 with two minutes left in the game.
Despite its success from three-point range, Forest Park was 0 for 8 on free throws to that point. But Kylie Blessinger made two at the line with 1:44 left to give the Rangers the lead.
They hit 5 of 6 free throws in a 1:16 span to build their lead to 57-54 with 0:25 left.
Perry Central’s Brittany Parker then missed a three-point shot from the corner and Forest Park’s Ashley Reckelhoff grabbed the rebound.
She missed two free throws with 0:03 left, but Parker’s three-quarter court three-point attempt was off—though not by more than a foot—at the buzzer.
Perry Central hit 9 of 24 three-point shots for the game and actually shot better from three-point range (37.5 percent) than two-point range (33.3 percent).
“I don’t remember us shooting 24 three-pointers in a game before—we only made 11 all last year,” noted Perry Central Coach Bill Dickerson.
He said 6-foot-1 center Ashley Graves “helped create those shots” with the defensive attention she drew inside, being double- or triple-teamed every time she got the ball in the post.
She also went outside and made a three-pointer herself as she finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots.
Parker led the Commo-dores with 17 points and five assists. Dickerson said she was operating at about 80 percent of her normal athleticism after spraining an ankle Tuesday, but she was still fast enough to beat everyone downcourt for a fast-break layup off a steal in the first quarter.
Spires added 12 points and Edwards had five assists and three steals.
Kylie Blessinger led 1-0 Forest Park with 17 points.
The Rangers hit 39.3 percent from the field overall and outrebounded Perry Central 43-35.
Perry Central, 1-2, will visit Cannelton Monday at 7 p.m.
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Forest Park won the JV game 30-14.
Amber Lindauer had four points and six rebounds for 1-1 Perry Central.
Brynnan Underhill also scored four points and Emily Sprinkle also grabbed six rebounds.