By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Forget about great defense.
In all honesty, Casey County and Somerset’s offensive execution for most of the Girl’s 47th District championship game last night at The Briar Patch was woefully ineffective.
Simply put, neither team could have hit the ocean seemingly if they had fallen off the side of a cruise ship.
However, when the Lady Rebels needed a shot to go down at the most critical juncture of the contest, Randy Salyers’ club found a way.
Christin Terry’s three-point basket deep out of the corner with just under thirty seconds remaining in regulation broke a 36-36 tie, and propelled the Lady Rebels to another district title, holding back a pesky Somerset squad by a 43-38 margin.
For the game, the Lady Jumpers only had three players to hit the scoring column, shot just over 50 percent from the free throw line making 15-28 charity tosses, and made but one three-point basket on the night.
That was the kind of night it was for Erin Walker’s club at the offensive end of the floor — woeful or abysmal — take your pick.
“I don’t know if we exerted too much energy in the win over Rock (Rockcastle County) and just didn’t have our legs tonight, but the shots just were not falling for us,” pointed out the Lady Jumper coach after the game.
“We’re a pretty decent free throw shooting team every time out, and I’m not sure we even got up to 50 percent tonight,” Walker lamented. “I know a lot of it was nerves, because they had never been on this stage before — this was bigger than being in the Class A Region final. We just kept telling them at every time out to just settle down and relax, but I’m not sure they were ever able to do that.”
Just how bad were both teams at the offensive end of the court in the first half?
The two clubs combined made just nine field goals over the first half, with Somerset hitting four baskets while Casey County had five buckets.
At the free throw line, the two teams were a combined 8-18 in the first half, which was the major reason the score at the end of the first half was a very low-scoring affair indeed, with Somerset leading the Lady Rebels by a slim margin of 15-14.
In the third period, both teams picked things up offensively, as the game finally began to get in somewhat of an offensive flow.
Casey County’s Jasmine Johnson — who led all scorers with a game-high 21 points in the victory — hit a pair of three-pointers in the third frame, while her teammate Sarah Beard added a trey of her own.
There were five lead changes in the third stanza, but Casey County held the lead over Somerset at 27-25 headed into the fourth quarter of play.
“They (Casey County) did a very good job of taking our drive away to the basket tonight, because that’s how we get a lot of our points,” stated Walker.
“They took that away and you’ve got to give them credit for that,” added the Somerset coach. “We were not able to knock down some outside shots tonight, because I think we hit only one three for the game. Our team was nervous — they were stiff in the first half — and it seemed like they were just scared to death to be playing in this game.”
Still, as much of a struggle as it was for the Lady Jumpers to put the ball in the basket in Saturday night’s district final, Walker’s club had more than enough chances to get a win over Casey County.
The Lady Rebels led the entire fourth quarter, until a pair of Maranda Mills’ free throws knotted things up at 36-36 with :41 remaining in the game.
That’s when Terry delivered the dagger for Casey County.
The sophomore guard hit a trey from deep out of the corner — her only field goal and points of the night — with just under thirty seconds to play, giving the Lady Rebels a 39-36 lead.
On the next possession downcourt, Somerset threw the ball away, and Beard came up with the loose ball and was immediately fouled on the play.
The Casey County junior guard made both ends of the one and one, extending the Casey County lead out to its biggest of the night — 41-36 — with just :22 left on the clock.
From there, the Lady Rebels iced this one away from the free throw line, improving their record to 13-15 on the year, while dropping Somerset to 13-17 on the season.
Despite the loss last night to Casey County, the Lady Jumpers will live to play another day, as the Girl’s 12th Regional Basketball Tournament will tip off later this week from Pulaski County High School, beginning on Wednesday night.
Complete details of the tournament, including the tourney bracket as well as game times and matchups will be in Tuesday’s edition of The Commonwealth Journal.
Members of the 47th District’s All-District Regular Season Team were announced at the conclusion of last night’s game.
Members of the squad were Brittany and Haley Warren of Pulaski County, Bethany Edwards and Virginia Scott of Somerset, Micheala Hunter and Sara Adams from Rockcastle County, while rounding out the team were Jasmine Johnson, Katie Douglas, and Lakken Miller from Casey County.
CC — 10 4 13 16 — 43
SHS — 6 9 10 13 — 38
CASEY CO. — Johnson 21, Miller 8, Douglas 5, Beard 5, Terry 3, Cochran 1.
SOMERSET — Mills 15, Brooks 12, Edwards 11.