Turnovers plague Crusader girls in opener

The Columbus Christian girls were cruising along with a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter of their season opener Saturday night when they ran into a little trouble.

Foul trouble, to be exact.

The Crusaders ended up seeing their entire starting frontline foul out. In the meantime, Medora rallied for a 43-34 win.

“We ran into a lot of foul trouble, so we were just trying to move girls around in different spots,” Columbus Christian coach Kay Jones said. “We’re going to have to keep working more on that so they can understand their spots.”

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The Crusaders led 23-18 at halftime and built on the lead when center Grace Lorimor scored the first five points of the third quarter. But then they began turning the ball over with greater frequency, and the Hornets scored the last 10 points of the period to tie the game at 28-28.

Lorimor scored to open the fourth quarter and give Columbus Christian its last lead. Medora scored seven in a row, with five coming from the free-throw line, to take a 35-32 lead.

The Crusaders were within 37-34 with 2½ minutes remaining, but Lillie Hatfield sank four straight free throws for the Hornets to put it away.

Medora, after committing 21 turnovers in the first half, turned the ball over only 10 times in the second half. Columbus Christian had 17 turnovers in the first two quarters and 26 in the final two.

Point guard Kayla Jones led the Crusaders with 16 points, eight rebounds and 11 steals. Kaitlyn Conrad also grabbed eight rebounds, and Lorimor added nine points and seven rebounds.

“I believe they played hard,” Jones said. “Because we played hard today, I know we can give everybody else a good fight and a good run for their money. It does give us confidence, and we’re ready for other people.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.