ELNORA — The stage was set for a celebration at the Cougar Den, but nobody told Wood Memorial.
The Trojans (9-8) forced 26 turnovers and upset Class A No. 9 North Daviess (15-3) 43-32 Thursday night to spoil the Cougars' Senior Night. The ceremony honoring the Cougars' four seniors — Meghan Knepp, Sabra Smith, Abby Hollis and Maggie Swartzentruber was an emotional prelude a difficult night for the Cougars and their fans.
"When you let emotions carry into a game, you lose focus," said North Daviess coach Ron Knepp. "I thought our focus on the game was not to the level it has to be when you play a team that good. You have to be able to focus and part of focus is being in the right spots, not leaving your teammate under pressure and always being ready for the reversal pass. That's prat of being focused and knowing where you need to be at what time you need to be there."
The Cougars were put to the test from the opening tip against a intense pressure defense from Wood Memorial. North Daviess jumped out to a 10-5 lead with 2:05 to play in the quarter after back-to-back layups from Brooke Moore and Abby Cecil. The Trojans didn't blink. Wood Memorial scored seven of the final nine points of the quarter to tie the Cougars at 12.
In the second quarter, Wood Memorial turned up the heat defensively by forcing 10 of the Cougars' 15 first half turnovers and doubled up North Daviess on the scoreboard — 12-6 — to take a 24-18 lead into halftime. Bailey Perkins and Breanna Maikranz each netted a 3-pointer and Carsen Robinson added four points. The Cougars got two points each from Cecil, Taylor Mallett and Moore. The 24 points given up by North Daviess in the first half was five less than the per game average of 29 the Cougars own for the season.