In Dec. 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Lady Lakers wrapped up the Bankers' Hardwood Classic with a 37-26 win over the Whitley County Lady Colonels Saturday night at Laker Gym.
In a low scoring affair, the Lady Lakers, shooting just 27 percent from the field, saw eight players get into the scoring column led by freshman guard LeeAnn Grider with 10 points. Junior forward Lindsay Ramage grabbed 14 rebounds and poured in nine points for Craig Pippen's Russell County team.
“Whitley County played pressure man to man defense the entire game,” Pippen said. “I was impressed with how well they played our passing lanes and they switched on every screen imaginable.”
Pippen said the Lady Colonels' full court defense gave his team fits in the second half.
“We will need to work on our press offenses a bit,” he said. “Many times we just didn’t cut hard to the ball or make the adjustments. They played by far the best defense we have gone up against so far this year.”
The Lady Lakers extended their defense out in the first half and tried to force the Lady Colonels into turning the ball over.
“We did manage to turn them over some but we also played out of position at times especially in our transition defense,” Pippen said.
“We need to do a much better job getting back and finding our man. They pushed the ball up the court and made us pay with a couple of 3 pointers from the corner in transition.”
The Lady Lakers only managed to give up 10 points in the second half of the game.
“We packed it in and made them shoot from the outside,” he said.
“We didn’t want to give up any penetration and this seemed to really bother them.”
This was Whitley County's lowest point total this season, through five games.
“From a defensive stand point, I thought we did well the second half,” Pippen said.
Russell County held Whitley County to just 24 percent field goal shooting in the game.
Rounding out the scoring for Russell County was five points each for Kim Pierce and Blair Hoover, three points for Rachael Miller, two points each for Julie Wethington and Amanda Cooper and one point for Heather Burton.
Hoover led the Lady Lakers with four steals.
Megan Blakely led Whitley County with seven points.
“Lindsay Ramage played an outstanding game grabbing 14 rebounds,” he said.
“I am really proud of the job she is doing defensively for us. She has learned to beat and bang and her post defense has really improved this year. She really makes us better when she brings it defensively.”
Pippen said his guards need a lot of work when it comes to offensive execution and pressure defense.
“This is something we will continue to work on in practice and try to implement in our games,” he said.
The Lady Laker basketball program would like to thank the following sponsors for this season's Russell County Bankers’ Hardwood Classic: Anthem - Health Join In, Monticello Banking Company, Bank of Jamestown United Citizens Bank, Stephens' Pipe and Steel, Duo County Telephone, Ralph Creech - Candidate RC Judge Executive, Wilson Funeral Home, Brooke Bunch - Russell County PVA,
Lisha Popplewell - Russell County Court Clerk, Franklin Motors, Lake Cumberland Feed and Farm Supply
Lawless and Smith True Value, State Farm, Jay Garmon, Branscum Construction Company, Mickey Garner - Russell County Judge Executive, Premier Integrity Solutions, Jax’s Cool Convenience,
Larry Bennett - Russell County Sheriff, Ralph Roy Realty - United Country, Donna J. Martin and the Russell County Stockyard.