In Dec. 18 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Lady Lakers gave perhaps their best performance of the young season, according to Coach Craig Pippen, in the Banker’s Hardwood Classic at Laker Gym on Saturday, defeating Washington County 58-27 to go 3-0 on the year.
“We managed to keep our turnovers below 12 and we did a much better job in our transition game,” Pippen said.
“We scored 18 points in transition offense alone. Our bench was a major contributor as well. Out of our 58 points, 22 of those were off the bench.”
Pippen said his team’s guard play continues to get better as well, a key to any team’s success.
“Kim Pierce played an outstanding game. What makes Kim special is the fact that she enjoys playing hard-nosed defense as much as she enjoys shooting the basketball.” Pierce was named the game’s most valuable player.
“Rachael Miller and LeeAnn Grider also have made major strides during the first 3 games,” he said.
Pippen said he believes one of the keys to his team’s success this year is going to come from their post players.
“If we can get them to do a solid job defending the post and learning some basic offensive moves that will increase their chances to score, it will make us a much better basketball team,” he said.
“Kyla Thomas and Lindsay Ramage are steadily getting better playing their positions,” Pippen said.
Sara McClure, Julie Wethington, Heather Burton, Tyla Bailey and Blair Hoover continue to come off the bench and give valuable minute, according to Pippen.
“Blair is a great shooter from behind the perimeter. When the opponent zones us, we really need her to step up and hit some big shots. Thus far, she has done that for us,” he said.
Pippen said his team is starting to value each possession on the defensive side of the ball.
“One of our goals is to only allow one shot per possession. We are doing a much better job blocking out and not giving up second chance buckets,” Pippen said.
Pippen said the thing he is most proud of thus far is the girl’s “team attitude.”
“Many teams go through internal growing pains during the early part of the season such as jealousy over playing time and program negativity,” he said.
“In our case, there is not any concern among the players as to who is starting or who plays in front of whom. The only thing that is on their minds is getting better as a team. If they continue this type of mind set, the sky is the limit.”
As for the classic itself, Pippen called it a huge success.
“The games went well and our players took full advantage of watching the other teams compete against one another.
We are looking forward to continuing this event and we want to thank all our sponsors again for supporting our basketball program.”
In the other games, DuPont Manual defeated Casey County, 62-58, Somerset defeated Glasgow 59-35 and Mercer County defeated Pulaski County, 77-44.
Sponsors for the classic included Bank of Jamestown, First National Bank, First Southern National Bank, Monticello Banking Co., United Citizens Bank,
Ralph Roy Realty, Duo County Telephone, Laker One Stop and Anthem.