In March 4 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
In a valiant comeback, the Russell County Lady Lakers fought from a 14-point deficit late in the game before eventually falling by one point, 55-54, to Logan County Tuesday night in the 4th region basketball tournament at Western Kentucky University’s Diddle Arena.
“It was a tough loss,” said Russell County coach Craig Pippen. “I feel like we hung in there and the girls showed a lot of heart. To come back from a 14 point deficit and have a chance to win shows just how much grit our team has.
He said Logan County shot lights out in the first half and did a nice job defending the perimeter.
“Our girls made the adjustments needed both offensively and defensively to close the gap.,” he said. “I am so proud of the way they clawed and fought their way back into the game. We put ourselves in a position to win and that’s all you can ask. We simply left it all on the floor.”
Pippen said looking back, his team had an outstanding year.
“We accomplished our goal to win the district tournament and we did it the right way,” he said. “That’s what makes me most proud as a coach.
“Our seniors went out in style,” he said. “Rachael and Kim’s hard work these past four years has paid off. They are part of a team that accomplished something that hasn’t been accomplished in a long time.
“You never want it to be over, but now that I have time to reflect back on the season, I couldn’t be more proud of our basketball program and how our girls fought to the end.”
The Lady Lakers were unable to convert on their final possession and ended the season 18-9, and champions of the 16th district, the school’s first girls basketball district title in 17 seasons.
The Lady Lakers shot the ball well from the field at a 46 percent clip and also outscored the Lady Cougars in the fourth quarter, 17-9.
Leading the Lady Laker charge was senior Rachael Miller with 19 points on 6-9 shooting in 30 minutes of play.
Junior Lindsay Ramage scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Russell County, making all eight of her free throw attempts.
Also scoring for Russell County was freshman LeeAnn Grider with nine points, freshman Julie Wethington with eight points, junior Blair Hoover with three points and eight rebounds and senior Kim Pierce with one point.