FORTVILLE — It may not have been a convincing or pretty win that Mt. Vernon High School girls coach Steve Doud has grown accustomed to the past two years, but the third-year head coach was all smiles Friday night following a 32-19 win against visiting Connersville.
The win improved the Marauders to 1-2 on the young season, and could not have come at a better time, according to Doud.
“It was much needed. We hadn’t won and were always looking for our first win. Every team in the state works hard and wants a win. Our team works hard and needed to be rewarded for their efforts. It was crucial we got a win, and we were fortunate enough to be on top,” said Doud.
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After opening the game combining for six turnovers in the first two minutes of action, Mt. Vernon settled in with a basket and free throw by senior guard Megan Gawrys.
Connersville would answer back with a 3-pointer from Mikalia Taylor, but Mt. Vernon would use back-to-back threes from Gawrys and Sydnee Perry to take a 9-3 lead after the first quarter.
The lead would swell to 15-3 early in the second quarter and a basket by Kaitlyn Nugent sent the Marauders into the locker room ahead 22-7.
Turnovers would doom both teams early in the second half, as both struggled to find any offensive flow.
“We have really been struggling with turnovers, and it hurt us at times. We will keep working hard on getting the sloppy play out of our offense. We’ve got some good teams coming up on the schedule and can’t afford to have sloppy play,” Doud said.
Mt. Vernon held a commanding lead in the fourth quarter, but Connersville refused to go away quietly, cutting the lead to 30-19 with just more than three minutes to play.
However, that would be as close as the visiting Spartans would get as Mt. Vernon iced the game at the free throw line.
Mt. Vernon was paced by Perry, who scored 11 points and recorded two rebounds, and Gawrys, who added 10 points and six rebounds.
Despite committing 24 turnovers and being outrebounded 27-22, Doud admits he saw improvement from his squad and plenty to build on heading into Tuesday’s home contest with Lawrence Central.
“We talked right after the game about wanting to see improvement. We have gotten better and we are improving, and we need to continue bringing our hard hat and working hard,” Doud said.
And as for Tuesday’s contest?
“We will go back to work and keep getting better,” Doud said.