In Jan. 15 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Lady Lakers came back from an early deficit last Friday to win 67-61 over the hosting Cumberland County Lady Panthers in Burkesville and then defeated the Glasgow Lady Scotties Tuesday 44-38. The Lady Lakers improved to 11-2 on the season with the victories.
“This was a big win for us,” Coach Craig Pippen said of the Cumberland County game.
“Anytime you can win a district game on the road, it’s big for seeding purposes.”
Sophomore Lindsay Ramage scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the victory for Russell County and then scored 19 points and tallied 13 rebounds against Glasgow.
“We did a much better job establishing a strong post game,” Pippen said.
“Lindsay Ramage continues to improve and I credit that to our assistant coaches, Kelly Kelsey and Terran Duncan. They work with our post players each day in practice and it is paying off.”
Three other Lady Lakers scored in double figures against Cumberland County, Kim Pierce had 19, Rachael Miller tallied 12 and LeeAnn Grider scored 11 points in the victory. Blair Hoover also scored five points for Russell County. After being down early, Pippen’s team made a statement in the second half against the Lady Panthers.
Miller also had nine rebounds in the game while Grider had five assists.
“Our second half defense is what made the difference,” he said.
“Our coaching staff challenged the team at half time to play with more energy and pressuring the ball more. They came out an entirely different team.”
Pippen said he was extremely happy with the job Kim Pierce did defending Cumberland County’s top player.
The Russell County coach said he was also happy with his team’s guard play.
“Our guards are starting to look for opportunities to penetrate and attack the basket,” he said.
“That’s something we were not doing early in the season. We were 3-point happy and thats fine if you can shoot 40 percent or better from trey-land. Unfortunately, we haven’t.”
Russell County scored 28 points in the paint and also had 14 points off of Cumberland County turnovers.
The ladies shot right at 40 percent from the field for the game but managed to do a bit better from behind the 3-point line, shooting 54 percent for the game.
In the second half, the Lady Lakers hit five of their six three-point shots.
Against the Lady Scotties, Ramage was helped by eight points from LeeAnn Grider, seven points from Kim Pierce, six points for Rachael Miller and four points from Kyla Thomas. Miller also had seven rebounds against Glasgow.
Despite his team getting down early in the game, Pippen’s ladies rallied and had a lead at halftime and they never relinquished it. However both teams shot below 30 percent from the field.
Pippen did say his team was gradually getting better and that they are looking forward to the remainder of the season.