In Jan. 10-16, 2008 issue
The Lady Lakers (5-9) and Coach Craig Pippen visited Metcalfe County (7-7) and Cumberland County (13-1) last week, coming home with two losses but gaining some very valuable experience.
Metcalfe County beat the Lady Lakers by five points, 40-35, last Thursday in a game that could have gone either way down the stretch.
“I was disappointed with our energy level in the Metcalfe game,” Pippen said. “It seemed to me like we were in slow motion.”
He said the offensive cuts were slow and the defensive pressure was lacking in the game.
“We seemed a step behind on most everything we did. The game could have gone either way but Metcalfe did a good job making some late-game adjustments against our man defense,” he said.
He said his team had some crucial breakdowns late in the game by giving up two lay-ups off their press. “It only takes one player to be out of position to get burned on the defensive side of the ball,” he said.
Ashly Franklin scored 14 for the Lakers while Kim Pierce and Lindsay Ramage both had seven points. Kyla Thomas scored three points while LeeAnn Grider and Michelle Copley had two points each.
Against Cumberland County, a team that had only been beaten once this season, the Lakers seemed to come out sharper than against Cumberland, and Pippen could tell.
“We played with much more energy in the Cumberland County game,” he said. “We handled their press early but had a lapse in the second quarter that allowed them to build a 16 point lead.”
Other than the spurt in the second quarter, Pippen said he felt that the ladies played theirs pretty even.
“Even though we have made a lot of improvements taking care of the ball, we have a long way to go,” he said. “I was pleased with our ability to score against what I think is a top-three team in our region. Not many teams have scored more than 50 points against Cumberland County. In-fact I think we have one of the highest totals against them.”
Pippen said his team needed to continue to work on defensive adjustments and limiting their turnovers against full-court pressure.
“Our confidence level has drastically improved from the start of the season,” he said. “We are a young team that has made a lot of improvements. We are competing with the teams on our schedule and that was one of my goals for this year, to limit blow-outs.”
Against Cumberland County, the Lady Lakers were led in scoring by Franklin with 18 points, followed by Rachael Miller with eight points. Grider had six points while Blair Hoover had five points. Kim Pierce and Lindsay Ramage each had four points while Kyla Thomas and Sara McClure had three points each. Tyla Bailey had two points. Heather Burton and Michelle Copley had one point each.
Pippen said he expects his team to continue growing and improving.
“We are actually further along than I originally expected at this point,” he said. “With five wins under our belt and an opportunity to compete with a lot of the teams remaining on our schedule, things look pretty bright for the future.
With only two seniors and the rest sophomores, freshman and middle school players on the roster it will take some time for Pippen to get where we want to go. “I think we are right on track.”