In Jan. 7 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
After falling behind by eight points early in the first quarter, the 9-4 Russell County Lady Lakers battled back to defeat the homestanding Metcalfe County Lady Hornets, 8-5 overall, by a score of 47-35.
“I was very pleased with our teams performance in thew Metcalfe County game,” said Lady Laker coach Craig Pippen.
“Anytime you can get a road win in district play, that speaks well for itself.”
The Lady Lakers shot 31 percent from the field but the Hornets were unable to put a scoring run together down the stretch and were outscored in the game's third quarter 11-2.
“The first half we played a gap-man defense and they scored some easy buckets,” Pippen said.
“We decided to put more pressure on them in the second half by extending our defense.”
The Lady Lakers forced the Lady Hornets into 18 turnovers and that was turned out to be the deciding factor of the game.
“Our girls did a great job playing good pressure defense without fouling,” he said.
“Metcalfe County only went to the line twice. We knew we couldn't afford to put them on the foul line multiple times and expect to win. That is something we have really worked on.”
Leading the way for Russell County was freshman LeeAnn Grider with 22 points. She was followed by Blair Hoover with nine points, six points for Rachael Miller and five apiece for both Lindsay Ramage and Julie Wethington.
Lady Hornet Kara Reece led Metcalfe County with 15 points in the game.
Pippen said junior Lindsay Ramage played solid defense for Russell County in the post and the guards stepped up and took better care of the ball and played good pressure defense on the perimeter.
“LeeAnn Grider played her best all-around game both offensively and defensively,” he said. “It's refreshing to see her play to her potential.”
He said seniors Rachael Miller and Kim Pierce have put more effort into their leadership roles and junior Blair Hoover is shooting the ball much better, knocking down three 3-pointers in the victory.
“I like where our team is at this point of the season,” Pippen said.
“Our bench came in and played quality minutes.”
Freshman Julie Wethington hit some big shots down the stretch for Russell County as well.
“We need that from our bench to be successful,” he said. “We will continue to work on our weaknesses.”
Over the holidays, the Lady Lakers participated in the Caverna Lady Colonel Christmas Classic, falling to Caverna 57-50 while defeating Washington County 51-40 and Apollo 46-43.
Russell County also participated in the First Southern National Bank/Roy’s BBQ Classic in Russellville, losing to Middlesboro 57-46 and defeating both the Australian Travel team 56-37 and John Hardin 56-52.