In Dec. 10 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
Coach Craig Pippen's Russell County Lady Lakers opened the season up with a 53-48 win over the Glasgow Lady Scotties Friday night at Laker Gym.
“It's always good to win your first game to get a little momentum,” Pippen said. “Glasgow had a game under their belt as they beat Edmonson County by 15 points earlier in the week.”
The Lady Lakers were led in scoring by freshman point guard LeeAnn Grider with 14 points. Grider also had a team-high eight rebounds.
Senior guard Rachael Miller put up nine points for Russell County while junior forward Lindsay Ramage scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds.
Also scoring for the Lady Lakers was freshman Julie Wethington with seven points, junior Blair Hoover with six points, senior Kim Pierce with five points and freshman Amanda Cooper tallied four points.
“Film session is always easier for the girls after a win,” Pippen said.
“We came ready to play from an effort stand point. I liked our intensity even though we were out of position on defense quite a few times. We jumped out to an early lead, something we haven’t done in the past and ran the floor well for our first game but failed to take advantage of many opportunities in transition.”
The Lady Laker coach cited three improvements his team must make throughout the year, turnovers, blocking out on rebounds and pushing the tempo.
“We committed too many unforced turnovers,” Pippen said.
“We need to do a much better job taking care of the basketball.”
Russell County committed 24 turnovers in the game while Glasgow only turned the ball over 13 times.
“We also got hammered on the boards.” he said. “Our players have to realize we are small so we all have to crash the boards and do a much better job blocking out.”
Pippen also wanted his players to play faster this season.
“Our cuts were slow,” he said. “We didn’t sprint in our rotations in our press.”
Hopefully watching film will improve these areas,” Pippen said. “Our players need to see for themselves the things us coaches rant and rave about.”
Pippen said after the film session, many of his players realized just how slow they were moving and the need to take batter care of the ball.
“It was a sloppy game down the stretch, however, I am pleased with their attitude and their desire to learn and improve,” he said.
One aspect of the game that the Lakers had the clear advantage was shooting. For the game, the Lady Lakers shot 49 percent from the field while Glasgow only shot 29 percent.
The Lady Scotties were led by freshman point guard Kelsey Greer with 16 points.
“I really like our team,” Pippen said. “We will continue to get better as the year goes forward.”