In Feb. 18 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
At halftime Friday night, the Russell County Lady Lakers led the visiting Lady Indians of Adair County by 13 points.
After a 19-3 third quarter Adair County run, it took a running jumper in the lane with no time remaining by Russell County senior Kim Pierce to defeat the the Lady Indians 58-56 on senior night in Laker Gym.
Senior Rachael Miller also hit two key free throws with less than a minute to go to keep Russell County, which is now 15-7 on the season, in the ballgame.
Russell County junior Lindsay Ramage had a huge game, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
“This was a great win for our program,” said Lady Laker coach Craig Pippen. “Adair County came in 16-6 and has beaten some really good teams. We knew coming into this game we were going to have to do a good job with defending the post.”
Pippen said his team, which shot 37 percent from the field, also had to attack the basket and try to get the Lady Indians' post players in foul trouble.
“We managed to feed the post most of the evening,” Pippen said. “Lindsay Ramage played an outstanding game. She did a nice job catching the ball and then attacking the rim.”
Pippen said Ramage has really stepped her game up as of late and that makes Russell County a much better team.
“It was nice to see Rachael Miller and Kim Pierce go out with a win in thier last home game as seniors,” Pippen said. “They have meant the world to this program. I couldn't ask for two more dedicated and character-rich young ladies to coach. They both are oustanding leaders on and off the floor.”
The Lady Laker coach said he truly believes character always wins at the end and good things happen to quality people.
“This is certainly true for Rachael and Kim,” he said. “Kim has been through so much this past year rehabbing her knee and has handled it like a champion. Win she hit the game winner, I can't explain the feeling our team felt in the locker room.”
He said Kim is a winner in every aspect of life and her making the winning shot was “simply fate.”
Pippen also said that fellow senior Rachael Miller has responded to every challenge he has thrown at her since arriving here to coach three years ago.
“She has played three different positions and has always done whatever I needed her to do,” he said. “She is a team first player that makes us better as a team.”
Scoring for Russell County was Ramage with 25, Pierce with 12, LeeAnn Grider with eight, Miller with six, Julie Wethington with three and both Blair Hoover and Amanda Cooper with three points each. Hoover also had seven rebounds and five assists
Pippen said he is proud of his teams' performance up to this point in the season.
“We will continue to work hard to get better and prepare for district tournament play,” he said.