Season ends in first round for Lady ‘Cats
By Tyler Whittamore, Sports Editor
AURORA – The Lady Wildcats gave it their best effort in a battle against Batesville on Wednesday, January 31, but it was not enough to earn FC the win. A poor second quarter was the difference in a 47-38 victory for Batesville in the first round of the Sectional 29 tournament at South Dearborn.
As it turned out, the third time was not the charm for FC. The Lady Wildcats lost both regular season meetings to Batesville, including a 60-40 drubbing in the regular season finale. Six days later, FC and Batesville faced off in Sectional 29. With their season on the line, the Lady Wildcat put up a tremendous fight in the state tourney, but the team had no answer for Batesville's height and athleticism.
Baylee Rohlfing (6'0) scored 26 points and set a Batesville record with 27 rebounds against FC to close out the regular season. On Wednesday night, the Lady Wildcats made it a point of emphasis to stop the Batesville senior. Franklin County did a great job, holding Rohlfing to just eight points. The senior did, however, pull down 17 rebounds.
The Lady Wildcats' pressure on Rohlfing opened up opportunities for Batesville's other giant, Hattie Westerfeld (6'3). The junior Lady Bulldog scored just six points, but she led all players with 18 rebounds. The combo of Rohlfing and Westerfeld were too much for FC.
“We couldn't let those two go off for 40 points and 40 rebounds like last time,” FC head coach Doug Robertson said. “Unfortunately, we paid for the shots we left open on the outside.”
While Batesville's twin towers held down the paint, the starting guards for the Lady Bulldogs got plenty of extra opportunities to hit shots from the outside. Gabi Garcia and Ellie Waechter both scored 11 points to lead Batesville.
Four made threes between the two teams led to a high-scoring first quarter. There were three lead changes in the opening period, but a steal and layup for Garcia gave Batesville a 17-15 advantage after the first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, the Lady Wildcats were just 1-for-12 from the field. A short jumper from Ashlan Hill was the only basket for FC. Two free throws at the end of the period did little to help the Lady 'Cats, who trailed by a 27-19 margin.
Batesville outscored FC, 9-6, in the third. Franklin County claimed a two-point advantage, 13-11, in the fourth, but the damage had been done. The deficit going into halftime proved to be too much for FC, as the Lady Bulldogs secured a nine-point win.
“We executed every way we wanted to,” Coach Robertson said. “We did a good job. We just missed a lot of open shots.”
While the loss ended the season for FC, it ended the career for three FC seniors. Fittingly, those senior led the Lady 'Cats in scoring. Kamryn McCool led all players with 12 points. Kendall McCool added eight points, while Gabby Mitchum scored six points.
“Those three have been instrumental in what we've done in the last four years,” Coach Robertson said. “They will be hard to replace, and they helped set the bar high.”
The Lady Bulldogs also upset Lawrenceburg in the semifinals of Sectional 29. Greensburg claimed the title on Saturday night, February 3, with a 49-43 win over Batesville.