Franklin County traveled to Lawrenceburg on Thanksgiving Eve and were carved up.

The undefeated Lady Tigers are arguably one of the two best teams in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference with the second being Greensburg.
Lawrenceburg easily defeated Franklin County 57-18.

The host Tigers scored the game's first 10 points in less than four minutes, leading 10-0 with 4:11 left in the initial quarter. Two minutes later, the Lady Wildcats scored their first basket when sophomore Jenna Bruns hit a two-point field goal with 2:10 remaining in the first quarter.

“It seems to be a trend throughout this season,” FC coach Joe Adams said. “We always get off to a slow start and allow teams to jump on us early.”
Making six of her team's 15 points in the initial quarter was senior Juliana Kemper. For the game, she was not her team's leading scorer, but she was very effective in all phases of the game.

“Lawrenceburg may not be the best team from top to bottom in the conference, but they have one of the best three players in the EIAC,” Adams said.

“Kemper only scored eight points against us, but the other things she was able to do such as force turnovers and create open shots for her teammates are what makes them so tough to play against.”

Lawrenceburg put on a 1-2-1-1 full-court trap the Wildcats could not break. Kemper was the front person in the press. Her teammates swarmed the Wildcats forcing turnover after turnover.

“They have multiple big girls that are also athletes,” Adams said. “Their athleticism combined with their size at the front of their trap forced us into making bad passes.”

Everything was exacerbated by the Wildcats' poor shooting. It was endemic, and it lasted the entire game. FC shot 12 percent on two-point field goal attempts, 4-for-33 and 22 percent from three-point land, 2-for-9. But it also bled into the free-throw line where the Wildcats shot an anemic 30 percent, 4-for-13.

On the other side of the court, the Tigers shot a blistering 91 percent from the free throw line, 10-of-11 and 58 percent on two-point field goals, 22-of-38.

“Free throws have killed us in multiple games now,” Adams said. “They didn't decide the outcome of this one, but it's something we need to fix if we plan on winning close games in the future.”

Usually, with huge leads, the team in the lead will empty the bench, and the scoring onslaught will slow. Tiger coach Zane White emptied his bench, but the excellent defense and scoring continued unabated for the home team. Every Tiger on the roster scored during the game.

“I was surprised at how dominant Lawrenceburg was even when going to their bench,” Adams said. “I thought there might be somewhat of a let-up this year because of graduating multiple seniors, but some of their younger players have done a nice job of filling those voids for them.”

FC also went to its bench bringing in the five on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.

“I thought the second group of five competed all the way to the end,” Adams said.

Sophomore Chloe Meyer led all scorers with 11 points. Junior Kierah Lowe came off the bench and contributed 10 points.

Senior Kairee Hodapp led the Wildcats in scoring with five points. Bruns led the team in rebounds with five.Adams said the last three games should be the toughest stretch of the entire season. And playing the night before Thanksgiving is always tough.

“It's not only a tough night to play, but our last three games have been against really good opponents,” Adams said. “Looking at our schedule, it felt like that was going to be our toughest three-game stretch in the entire season. I'm hoping this tough stretch we just went through will help us in this next stretch of games in which I would consider us to be the more talented team.”

Lawrenceburg defeated another EIAC foe, South Dearborn, 62-31 Friday night, Nov. 29, to go 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in the EIAC. FC is 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

In the JV game, the Tigers won, 43-33. Freshman Kassidy Schell scored a game-high 20 points in the loss. Sophomores Saige Mergenthal and Anne Becker each had five rebounds to lead the team in that category.

FC's next game is Friday, Dec. 6, when the Wildcats host 1-4 Shelbyville. Varsity action begins at 7:30 p.m.