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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON—Perry Central outrebounded Cannelton 52-26, including grabbing 21 offensive rebounds, to beat the Bulldogs 73-41 in girls basketball Monday.
Ashley Graves, who at 6-foot-1 was six inches taller than any Cannelton starter, grabbed 12 rebounds—six at each end.
She hit 12 of 14 shots from the field and scored a game-high 26 points in less than 16 minutes of playing time.
She scored eight points, including two rebound baskets, as the Commodores jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes.
“Not too many people are going to match up with her,” said Cannelton Coach Mike Garrett. “She’s probably the best post player we’ll face all year.
“Then they’ve got good guards who see the floor well.”
Morgan Richardson’s return from injury gave the Commodores two quick point guards who see the floor well and pass well.
Brittany Parker had seven assists, including three for easy baskets in the lane on inbounds plays.
She also scored 12 points herself, using her quickness to get into the lane in the half-court game or transition and also hitting a couple of jump shots.
Richardson added four assists, including two nice ones to Graves in the low post. She also hit two 17-footers off the dribble.
“When she got hurt, she was in a groove—she was shooting the ball as well as anyone in practice,” said Perry Central Coach Bill Dickerson.
Perry Central outshot Cannelton from the field 47.7 percent to 26.2 percent despite hitting only 1 of 11 from three-point range.
Mikah Hemmings led Cannelton with 15 points. Melissa Clausen added 10 and Taylor Lawalin eight, with each of them hitting two three-pointers.
Perry Central’s rebounding advantage wasn’t just because of its height advantage. Sarah Spires, a 5-foot-4 reserve guard, grabbed seven and 5-4 forward-guard Hannah Edwards pulled down six.
For Cannelton, “Melissa’s the only one that goes after offensive rebounds, and we can’t block out defensively,” said Garrett.
Lawalin grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs and Hemmings added six.
Perry Central’s depth may have worn down the Bulldogs on the boards and elsewhere. The Commodores used 12 players while Cannelton had only six dressed for the game (three others have joined the team late but don’t have enough practices in to be eligible yet).
“Cannelton might be the best team in the state for having only six kids,” said Dickerson. “They’ve got some talent.
“We knew Hemmings and Lawalin could shoot but I didn’t realize the little Clausen girl was that good a shooter. I had her in kindergarten P.E. when she was at Perry Central.”
Perry Central, 2-2, will host Lanesville Monday at 7 p.m.
Cannelton, 1-3, will visit Whitesville Trinity Monday at 6 p.m.