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By LARRY GOFFINET
LEOPOLD—Twelve third-quarter turnovers proved too much for Perry Central to overcome in a 56-52 PLAC girls basketball loss to Paoli Thursday.
Perry Central led 21-19 at halftime and scored the first basket of the third quarter on an 18-footer by Lynsay Goffinet.
Paoli then went on a 12-0 run, though, to build a 31-23 lead with 5:27 left in the period.
That streak included three baskets directly off Perry Central turnovers against Paoli’s full-court press.
“We got impatient,” said Perry Central Coach Bill Dickerson about the Commodores’ struggles against the press. “We kept it in the corner a little too much and the gap person wasn’t getting there in time.
“Later we went to a three-wide breaker with Ashley (Graves, the Commodores’ center) up there and they called the press off. That’s the way we should break the press all the time.
“I think they had two spurts that really hurt us. Despite that, I thought our kids showed a lot of resilience.”
Indeed the Commodores still had a chance to tie the score in the closing seconds.
Goffinet hit a three-pointer off the dribble from the top of the key with 0:11 left to narrow the gap to 55-52.
The Commodores made a steal a few seconds later and Hannah Edwards took a three-point shot from the corner but missed. Graves also missed on a rebound shot and the Commodores fouled Kennedy Nelson with 1.4 seconds left.
She hit 1 of 2 free throws to seal the outcome.
Perry Central had a hot spurt in the second quarter, scoring eight consecutive points to take an 18-15 lead with 2:39 left in the period.
Edwards scored inside, Goffinet hit a 15-footer, and Brittany Parker hit a 17-footer to start that streak.
Parker capped it with a transition layup off a steal but apparently sprained an ankle when she landed.
She sat out the rest of the first half. She started the second half but played only sparingly before Dickerson took her out for good because she was unable to move well on the ankle.
Her absence much of the third quarter undoubtedly contributed to the Commo-dores’ high turnover total that period after they committed only six the first half.
Graves, playing against a taller opponent for once (Paoli’s 6-foot-3 Kennedy Nelson), led the Commodores with 17 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Her only field goal was a three-pointer out front but she drew fouls well inside and hit 14 of 14 free throws.
That broke the school record of 12 made in a game shared by Nancy James, Michelle Walters, Kelly Lewis, Cindy Etienne, Brandi Deom and Lindsey Ransome.
Goffinet added a career-high 13 points on 6 of 11 field-goal shooting.
Morgan Richardson had 10 points and three assists and Parker had seven rebounds and three assists.
Seniors Sophie Sears and Stephanie Moore led Paoli with 18 points apiece.
Perry Central fell to 10-4 overall, 4-1 in the PLAC. Paoli, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 2A, improved to 8-0 overall, 2-0 in the conference.
The Commodores will visit Heritage Hills for a non-conference game Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
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Paoli won the JV game 45-13.
Dominique Harlen scored four points and Skyly Cumming grabbed four rebounds for 3-7 Perry Central.