Lady Spartans move on in sectional with seven-point win

The Connersville Lady Spartans and South Dearborn Lady Knights faced off on Tuesday evening in the first round of the girls basketball sectionals. Three quarters of basketball produced a low scoring affair but a high scoring final frame from both squads made for an exciting ballgame. Midway through the final quarter the game was separated by just one-point, but the Lady Spartans finished the game off from the free throw line and secured their first sectional victory since 2015. The 52-45 win will pit the Lady Spartans against Lawrenceburg (11-12) on Friday.
A slow start to the game had Connersville up by one-point after the first quarter. An Addison Jones three-point basket, and a pair of field goals from Hailey Sembach and Jacey Wilhelm put CHS up 7-6. Bernadette Wismann scored four-points for SD and Natalie Cantrell added two in the first quarter for the Lady Knights. Action picked up in the second period for Connersville, who went on a 6-0 run with Jones scoring five and Sembach added a freebie. Gracie Messmore hit from deep for the Lady Knights and Sembach went down the court for Connersville on the next possession and matched them with her own basket from deep. The Lady Spartans led 15-10. Natalie Rupp scored for SD, but Connersville added five unanswered points that was capped off with another deep ball from Jones putting Connersville up by eight with two minutes remaining in the half. The Lady Knights finished the half with free throws and CHS got a three-pointer from Wilhelm to take a 23-16 lead at the half.
The Lady Knights closed the gap to start the third period with a Messmore three-pointer, Kiersten Dixon scored, and Rupp put up two more points. A Jones three ball and a Sembach put back put CHS back up by seven. Dixon and Wissman closed the gap in the final minute of the quarter and the score was 31-27 in Connersville’s favor to start the fourth quarter.

Messmore made it a one-point game 10 seconds into the final period with a deep shot for SD. Abbie Schwartz scored for CHS, Then Wismann and Cantrell scored for the Lady Knights giving them their first lead of the contest with the score 34-33. Schwartz and Jones scored for the Lady Spartans to retake the lead, then Dixon tied it back up with a jumper. The Lady Spartans retook the lead with baskets from Jones and Ahniyah Bennett. Ruble added a three-pointer and Connersville was up 41-37 midway through the fourth quarter. Rupp hit from deep for SD and Ruble hit from the same spot on the opposite end of the floor 20 seconds later keeping the CHS lead at four. Both teams landed themselves in the double bonus and the only field goal for the rest of the contest came from Bennett for Connersville giving them a six-point cushion. The Lady Spartans went to the line five times over the final 1:30 and hit six of their 10 attempts. The Lady Knights went to the charity stripe four times and hit 50% of their shots going four of eight. Connersville rode the six-point lead to the final free throw trip by McKenna Lucas where she was one of two, but it was good enough to lock in the seven-point victory for CHS. The win puts the Lady Spartans at 9-14 on the season. South Dearborn will finish with a 5-19 mark on the season.
Unofficial Scoring-
Connersville- Jones 16, Wilhelm 11, Sembach 8, Ruble 6, Schwartz 5, Bennett 5, Lucas 1
South Dearborn- Wismann 13, Rupp 10, Messmore 9, Dixon 6, Cantrell 5, Lakota Vincent 1, Talbi Cornett 1.

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