In Jan. 29 Issue
The Russell County Lady Lakers held on to a 45-39 win Tuesday night over the Lady Maroons of Pulaski County at Laker Gym, upping their season record to 14-5 overall. The loss dropped Pulaski County to 10-10 on the season.
"This a great win for our program," said Lady Laker coach Craig Pippen. "Pulaski County is much improved and is hard to defend. They have five to six girls that can shoot the three and I felt like we did a good job contesting shots and we limited their second chance opportunities."
The Lady Lakers held Pulaski to just 28 percent shooting and forced 12 Lady Maroon turnovers.
"Our energy level was much better and I felt like our kids came ready to play," Pippen said. "Blair Hoover played a good game for us. She continues to play stronger and she is really doing a much better job rebounding the basketball and improving her defense."
The Lady Lakers shot 33 percent from the field and outrebounded Pulaski County 39-29 in the victory.
The Lady Maroons led by two at the end of the first quarter, 18-16, but the Lady Lakers battled back and outscored them 10-5 in the second quarter. Russell County then went on an 11-5 run in the final quarter to close out the game.
Leading the way for the Lady Lakers was sophomore LeeAnn Grider with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Lindsay Ramage tallied 11 points and nine rebounds while senior Blair Hoover finished with seven points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Regan Helm scored six points and had seven rebounds while sophomore Julie Wethington finished with five points.
"Lindsay Ramage played solid in the post down the stretch and our guards did a good job taking care of the basketball when the game was on the line," he said. "Our bench provided quality minutes. We are narrowing our rotation to eight to nine players now that we are getting closer to tournament play. We need all our players to be ready when called upon. Some nights we will play seven girls while other nights we may end up playing 10."
Pippen said his rotation depends on who they play and "situational needs."
"I love the fact that we don't have any players sulking when it comes to playing time or carrying an 'I' on their heads," he said. "Our players understand their roles and they all carry a team attitude. I think that is what will separate us from other teams as we enter post-season play.
Pulaski County was led in scoring by Brittany Warren with 17 points. Haley Warren added nine points for the .500 Lady Maroons.
"We will continue to focus on defensive execution and transition offense," he said. "For us to be at our best, we have to run the floor and score in transition. This is something our team will continue to work on."
Coach Willie Feldahus' team traveled to Pulaski County Tuesday where they were defeated by the Maroons, 67-57. The 10-point setback moved the Laker boys to 12-6 on the season. The Lakers hosted Madison Central on Friday. The results from that game and the basketball queen results will be in next week's issue of the Times Journal.