In Feb. 19 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The 14-10 Lady Lakers pulled off a much needed win on Monday night, 63-42, over the Lady Maroons of Pulaski County at Laker Gym.
“This was a needed win for us entering post season play,” Coach Craig Pippen said. “Our players played extremely hard. I loved our effort for the most part.”
Russell County found their niche early and outscored Pulaski in the first three quarters, 17-11, 19-11 and 18-8, respectively.
“We extended the floor in our defensive scheme and I thought our full court pressure was the key to this victory,” he said. “Our guards are playing with more intensity and they are gaining confidence.”
The Lady Lakers had three players in double figures, led by LeeAnn Grider’s 18 points followed closely by Lindsay Ramage’s 17 points. Both players also grabbed nine rebounds each. Julie Wethington scored 11 points for Russell County, hitting two key three-point baskets.
Sara McClure scored five points for the Lady Lakers while Rachael Miller and Kyla Thomas both had four points each. Regan Helm and Blair Hoover each had two points for Russell County.
“We have to get better at taking care of the ball if we expect to win in the post season,” Pippen said. The two things we need to improve on the most are free throw shooting and ball management.
He said his team is still making too many unforced turnovers.
“We have young guards who are still having confidence issues when handling the ball,” he said. “Hopefully, they will continue to gain confidence and learn to make better decisions.”
“I thought Lindsay Ramage played big for us down the stretch,” he said. “She rebounded well and continues to improve with her post defense and offense.”
“Sara McClure came off the bench and had a nice game as well,” Pippen said. “She is capable of doing a lot of nice things for us, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
He also said Julie Wethington played with much more confidence and intensity than she has thus far in the season.
“Rachael Miller was solid at running the point and LeeAnn Grider continues to step up and make big plays,” he said. “Blair Hoover was unable to play much do to a fever, however, she stepped up and hit a big shot when we needed it.”
Russell County shot 45 percent from the field for the game and held Pulaski County to just 33 percent on the night.
“We tell our players to focus on the 3 C’s; be a competitor, play with confidence and keep your composure,” Pippen said. “I think these are the three ‘gamemakers’ our players need to focus on.”
“We are looking forward to our game Friday night against a very talented Allen County-Scottsville team,” he said. “It will be a good challenge for us.”