VINCENNES — The Gibson Southern girls’ basketball team has been tested early and often this season.
The Lady Titans opened the season with a win against Castle, went on the road against a pesky Princeton Community team and traveled three hours in the wee morning hours to defeat another Top 10 team in Danville.
Tuesday night, Gibson Southern passed another test.
Playing their first game as the newly appointed No. 1 team in the state for Class 3A, the Lady Titans knocked off Vincennes Lincoln on the road, 63-53.
The two teams split a pair of games last season with the Titans winning in the regional.
The Lady Alices entered Tuesday night’s matchup ranked No. 21 in 3A with a 4-1 mark.
“Vincennes is state ranked, a top team in the Big Eight and a top team in Southwestern Indiana, so it was a great test for us tonight,” Lady Titans coach Kyle Brasher said. “They threw a lot of different things at us tonight, we had to make some adjustments and will go back and look at the game film to make more adjustments, but these are fun games to play. We enjoy playing against good competitive basketball teams.”
Kamryn Miller led the way for Gibson Southern as the junior poured in a career-high 24 points which led all scorers.
Miller’s previous career high was 22 points, which she achieved twice last season.
The Lady Titans’ guard scored 11 of her 24 points in the third frame, which helped Gibson Southern to a 47-42 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The Lady Titans led 32-31 at halftime.
Miller did most of her damage by penetrating through the Alices’ defense and getting to the basket.
“They were not coming up on me as close as most teams have so I wanted to be aggressive and drive to the basket,” Miller said. “It gave me a lot more confidence which also helped a lot.”
Gracie Kramer knocked down a 3-pointer in the corner on Lincoln’s first possession of the fourth, cutting the deficit to two points.
The two teams traded points — just as they did throughout most of the first three quarters — through the next four minutes.
Meredith Raley, who went to the Titan’s bench early in the third period after picking up her fourth foul, scored off a pass from Shay Whitten with 3 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game for a 55-51 lead. Raley then knocked down a pair of free throws on the Titans next possession before Maci Foster split a pair of free throws for a 58-51 lead with just over two minutes left in the game.
The short 5-0 spurt was aided by the Titans’ defense recording four straight stops.
“We keep track of what we like to call ‘tapouts’ which is when we come up with three straight defensive stops,” Brasher explained. “That tapout there was big as it stopped their momentum and allowed us to get out in transition some.”
For the game, the Titans’ defense forced Lincoln into 24 turnovers and held the hosts to 17-for-54 (31 percent) shooting in the game.
“We did not come out the best, but we really buckled down on defense in the second half,” Miller said. “This win feels good because we know they are a really good team.”
Gibson Southern also shut down the Alices’ two main scoring threats for the game.
Speedy guard Darrian Carmean finished just 2-for-13 shooting from the field while post player Maycee Lange was 4 of 10 from the field.
Carmean did finish with a team-high 18 points as she was a perfect 13-for-13 shooting from the free-throw line.
“They are two really good players,” Brasher said of Carmean and Lange. “A lot of times those two are going to score 22 points in a half just by themselves, but we held them as a team to just 22 points in the second half. When our defense is locked in and focused is when we are playing our best.”
Raley added 13 points for the Titans with nine coming in the first half, while Shay Whitten (11) and Claire Jones (10) combined for 21 points.
“Meredith got going early but then foul trouble kind of took her out of the flow of things,” Brasher said. “But it’s nice to once again see other players step up big for us.”
Taylor Singer pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds in the win in addition to swatting away three shots.
Gibson Southern connected on 18-of-24 shots from the free-throw line.
The Lady Titans (6-0) travel to Webster County (Ky) on Thursday.
LADY TITANS 63, LADY ALICES 53
Gibson Southern 14 18 15 16 — 63
Vincennes Lincoln 15 16 11 11 — 53
GIBSON SOUTHERN (6-0) — Maci Foster 0-5 1-2 1, Kamryn Miller 9-17 5-8 24, Shay Whitten 4-8 2-2 11, Brooke Goedde 0-3 0-0 0, Taylor Singer 0-3 1-2 1, Claire Jones 2-7 4-4 10, Carson Kruse 1-2 1-2 3, Meredith Raley 4-7 4-4 13. Totals 20-52 18-24 63.
VINCENNES LINCOLN (4-2) — Darrian Carmean 2-13 13-13 18, Chloe Cardinal 3-11 0-0 6, Dani Kroeger 5-9 0-0 12, Victoria Jackson 1-6 0-0 2, Maycee Lange 4-10 2-5 10, Gracie Kramer 2-5 0-0 5, Morgan Leehy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 15-18 53.
3-point shooting — Gibson Southern 5-15 (Jones 2, Miller, Whitten, Raley); Vincennes Lincoln 4-16 (Kroeger 2, Carmean, Kramer). Rebounds — Gibson Southern 35 (Singer 10); Vincennes Lincoln 36 (Jackson 9). Turnovers — Gibson Southern 21; Vincennes Lincoln 24. Fouls — Gibson Southern 18; Vincennes Lincoln 20. Fouled out —Carmean, Lange.