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Louisburg vs. Anderson County -Wildcat Bulldog Classic

BALDWIN CITY – The shooting percentage may not be where he wants it yet, the execution wasn’t always there either, but Louisburg girls head coach Shawn Lowry couldn’t help but smile.

His team showed him exactly what he wanted to see.

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The Lady Cats’ effort and aggressiveness was in midseason form Friday during the final game of the Wildcat-Bulldog Classic against Anderson County and it showed on the glass. Louisburg pulled down 42 rebounds, including 20 on the offensive end, that led to a 54-32 victory over the Bulldogs at Baldwin High School.

Louisburg finished the tournament with a 1-2 record after it opened with losses to a pair of state-ranked teams in Burlington and Baldwin.

“We knew those two games against Burlington and Baldwin would be challenging and tough games,” Lowry said. “We just wanted to come out against Anderson County and be physical and aggressive. We wanted to set the tone and the girls took that to heart. Our rebounding was really good, but we are still making a lot of mistakes as a young team. At the same time, that is great to do with a win.”

At the heart of those rebounding numbers was Carson Buffington. The Louisburg junior forward pulled down a game-high 20 rebounds to go along with her seven points and four steals.

Buffington was all over the floor for the Lady Cats as she created several second chance opportunities with her nine offensive rebounds.

“No one can coach that and no one can tell her to do that – it is just what she does,” Lowry said. “I have officials that are coming over and talking to me saying ‘That No. 4 (Buffington) is a beast and she is what – like 5-7?’ She plays like she is 6-2. That is someone who hasn’t seen her play before.

“It is crazy, but it is all about want-to. It is nothing other than she wants to rebound more than anyone else and wants to get to that ball more than anyone else. It is special.”

Freshman Alyse Moore battles for a loose ball on the floor Friday against Anderson County.

Buffington’s willingness to rebound has seemed to rub off on the rest of her teammate as the rest of the Lady Cats are constantly fighting for rebounds or loose balls.

Senior guard Bailey Belcher is a prime example as she was next on the team with six rebounds to go along with a team-high 14 points. Point guard Carlee Gassman and freshman forward Alyse Moore each had four rebounds, while Moore finished seven points off the bench and Gassman added four assists.

Isabelle Holtzen, who battled foul trouble in the first half, responded well in the second half as she finished with nine points to go along with a pair of assists and two steals. Sophomore Haley Cain added eight points and three rebounds in the win.

“I am seeing our guards crash the boards more and I thought Holtzen and Belcher really rebounded well,” Lowry said. “Haley is starting to get into her our own rebounding and Alyse Moore comes in off the bench as a freshman and she has some of the same characteristics that Carson had has a freshman about how she sees and reads the ball. It is neat that Alyse, and the rest of the younger girls, get to see Carson play and that will just help them later.”

Louisburg (2-2) struggled offensively early on as Anderson County took an 11-8 lead, but the Lady Cats closed out the first quarter on a 9-0 run to grab a 17-11 advantage.

It was all Louisburg in the second quarter as it outscored Anderson County 17-7. The Lady Cats’ defense also came up big as it held Anderson County to just 10 points in the second and third quarters combined.

“Defensively we did some things that helped us do some things offensively,” Lowry said. “It gave us that attacking mentality. Our shooting percentage is not where we want it to be yet, and we are not doing some things the way we need to, but our effort and toughness is really good. That is probably what I am most proud of right now.

“Our effort never changed and our toughness didn’t change no matter who we were playing in this tournament. The other stuff we can continue to work on, but those are things that I would be really concerned if we weren’t doing that.”

Louisburg will try and make it back-to-back wins Tuesday when it travels to Eudora for its Frontier League opener. Tipoff is set for approximately 6 p.m.

 

LOU               17           17           7             13 – 54

AC                  11           7             3             11 – 32

LOUISBURG (2-2): Bailey Belcher 14, Isabelle Holtzen 9, Haley Cain 8, Carson Buffington 7, Alyse Moore 7, Madilyn Melton 4, Mikayla Quinn 3, Carlee Gassman 2. Totals: 20 8-13 54. 3-point field goals: 2, (Holtzen, Quinn).