Horn helps Mercer beat Garrard 75-49

January 30, 2004|JILL ERWIN

HARRODSBURG - When Jillian Horn picked up her first foul in the first quarter of Thursday's game against Garrard County, the Mercer County forward took a seat on the bench.

Scotties coach Chris Souder hoped that would help her break out of the foul trouble she'd been experiencing. The gamble paid off, as Horn returned and had a game-high 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists in Mercer's 75-49 win over Garrard.

"Jillian's capable of that every game," Souder said. "She's been in foul trouble and we haven't been able to let her play. So we took a little different approach with her tonight and when she got one foul, we pulled her out for a minute or two and said, 'Get yourself together and we'll put you back in whenever you're ready to go.'"

Horn scored 12 of her 20 points in the first half, but the Golden Lions (8-10, 4-2 46th District) also came out ready to go. Garrard took an early 7-4 lead on a 3-pointer from Abby Parsons, and Garrard coach Jenny Teater said that lead might have set Garrard back.


"I really think we were surprised we came out and we were up on them," Teater said.

It didn't last long. Mercer (14-5, 6-0) scored 17 of the next 21 points, including seven points from Courtney Watts and six from Horn. Garrard had one more run in it, scoring three consecutive baskets to cut a 12-point deficit to six at 25-19 with 5:34 to play in the second quarter. Once again, Mercer had the answer with a 10-point run to go up 35-19.

Mercer led by 13 at the half, and that point differential could be traced to the free-throw line. Mercer hit 13 of 19 first-half free throws, while Garrard missed its only attempt.

For the game, the Scotties hit 26 of 33 free throws as 17 of Garrard's 18 fouls led to Mercer shooting two free throws.

"We've been practicing free throws a lot lately," Horn said. "We were hoping they would foul, and a lot of them did."

"We didn't box out and we were fouling every time," Teater said. "We've got to box out and cut down our turnovers. We get so frustrated not blocking out that we're not going to be able to take care of the ball better."

Turnovers hurt Garrard

Garrard certainly had no luck with that, as the Lions turned the ball over 32 times. Guards Chrystal Claunch and Chelsea Goodman each had six steals for Mercer.

When Garrard wasn't turning the ball over, it was able to hit shots. The Lions finished the game 20 of 38 from the field (53 percent) and hit eight of their 13 free-throw attempts.

Mercer grabbed 17 rebounds in the second half, using its prowess on the offensive boards to either get second shots or get fouled and go to the free throw line.

"Once we block out, we're good," Horn said. "If we put our minds to it, we'll put our butts into somebody and knock them down. I thought everybody did a real good job of going to the glass."

Erica Lee finished with 11 rebounds to go with her 11 points.

Mercer finished 23-for-60 (38 percent) shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle 31-28. Goodman scored 18 points and Watts had 12, while Claunch added five assists.

"They're a good team and they do the little things," Teater said. "That's why they are where they're at. They do the little things, and we don't do those right now. Those are things we can fix."

"They've improved, they're no pushovers, and when it comes to district tournament time I'm sure we'll probably meet again and they'll be ready for us," Souder said.

GARRARD (8-10) - Kia Howard 13, Andrea Adams 4, Abby Parsons 14, Chelsea Denny 2, Ashley Meadows 6, Wendi Logan 2, Jessica Cole 4, Sydney Napier 4.

MERCER (14-5) - Courtney Watts 12, Chrystal Claunch 5, Chelsea Goodman 18, Erin Ashford 3, Jillian Horn 20, Erica Lee 11, Cala Alford 6.

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