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By LARRY GOFFINET
TELL CITY—Logan Flannagan’s clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch helped Tell City hold off Pike Central 44-34 in PAC girls basketball Saturday.
Tell City led by just one point, 32-31, when Pike Central’s Olivia Leighty went to the line for two free throws with 3:21 left.
She missed both shots and Flannagan was fouled on a driving shot nine seconds later.
Flannagan hit both her free throws to increase the Marksmen’s lead to three.
She hit 3 of 4 at the line in the next 32 seconds to up the Marksmen’s lead to 37-31.
Pike Central’s Emily Howes hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:25 left and the Chargers regained possession seconds later.
Tell City’s McKenzie Hayes made a steal, though, and passed to Hannah Schaefer for a transition layup that pretty much sealed the outcome.
Another key fourth-quarter play for the Marksmen was Lacey Briggs’ hitting a three-point shot from the wing with 6:50 left after Pike Central had cut Tell City’s lead to 29-27.
“That was a huge three,” said Tell City Coach John Lyons. “We always like to kick it inside first and then come right back out to it.”
Tell City seemed to be in control after building a 22-15 halftime lead despite McKenzie Hayes’ setting out the last nine minutes of the first half with two fouls.
Kassidie Hayes scored six of the Marksmen’s 12 second-quarter points, including two rebound baskets.
Pike Central got back in the game in the third quarter, though, as the Marksmen looked lethargic that period. They were outrebounded 7-2 that quarter and went 51⁄2 minutes without a field goal until McKenzie Hayes scored in the low post.
About the lack of rebounding, Lyons said, “I think we got timid because they started calling (rebounding) fouls. And (the Chargers) did a good job positioning themselves.”
Tell City also had trouble penetrating Pike Central’s 2-3 zone defense that quarter. “We really didn’t look to penetrate a whole lot—we were kind of passive,” said Lyons.
On the positive side, though, “what I was most proud of was we came through at crunch time,” said Lyons. “It was good that we finished strong.”
The Marksmen improved to 3-0 for the first time in nine years, since the 2003-04 team started 5-0. They are 1-0 in the PAC.
McKenzie Hayes had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead the Marksmen.
Flannagan added 10 points and five rebounds, Kassidie Hayes eight points and five rebounds, and Briggs eight points.
Senior forward-center Jordan Like led 1-3 Pike Central with 18 points.
Tell City edged Pike Central in field-goal shooting 39.4 percent to 34.5 percent and in rebounds 25-20.
Each team shot 22 free throws, with Tell City hitting four more than the Chargers.
Tell City will host Reitz Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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Tell City won the JV game 26-24 as Brenee Leibering scored 13 points and Taylor Gentry added eight.
The 2-0 Marksmen won despite hitting only 8 of 25 free throws.