In Jan. 28 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
Coach Craig Pippen's 12-7 Lady Lakers picked up a big district road win Monday night, defeating the Cumberland County Lady Panthers 45-29.
“We played somewhat lethargic defensively in the first half and then picked it up in the second half,” Pippen said.
“We only shot 27 percent in the first half and we went into halftime tied at 19.”
The Lady Laker coach said his team really needed to come out the second half and do a better job defending the paint and pressuring Cumberland County's guards.
“Our team made some adjustments on defense and we got a much needed boost offensively from Kim Pierce who knocked down four three-pointers and finished game with 16 points,” he said.
Freshman Julie Wethington also came up big for Russell County by scoring seven points late in the game.
Junior Lindsay Ramage grabbed 12 boards and scored six points and Blair Hoover added seven rebounds. Freshman LeeAnn Grider, who scored 10 points, did a better job pushing the ball up the floor in transition, Pippen added.
“Senior Rachael Miller played a little banged up and did some nice things for us,” he said.
Miller finished with seven points.
“Shooting has remained one of our concerns,” Pippen said.
“However, I continue to tell our players they cannot rely on their shooting as a true assessment of their play.
“There are all kind of areas you can play big in, outside of shooting, to show that you played a productive game,” Pippen said.
This includes block outs, rebounds, steals, deflections, assists, defensive stops and help defense.
“As a ball player you never want to become one-dimensional,” he said.
“We keep emphasizing to all our players that defense is what really matters. If they focus on defense, their offensive output will take care of itself.”