Mercer girls score 3 in first, rebound to defeat LCA

KSD, Casey fall

February 11, 2004

Mercer County's girls came out slow after an eight-day layoff, hitting just one of their first 18 shots, before regrouping to defeat host Lexington Christian 54-45 Tuesday.

Mercer (16-7) trailed 18-3 after one quarter, with only three free throws to show for the effort. Coach Chris Souder said he would take some of the blame for the slow start.

"We hadn't played in eight days, and we took a couple of days off, which we don't normally do," Souder said. "We came out a little flat. That may help us down the stretch, because we'll be fresh, but the slow start may be as much me as them."

Mercer trailed 34-20 to LCA (10-10) at the half, and Souder said they were "lucky" to be within 14 points.

The second half, however, everything changed. Mercer outscored LCA 34-11 after the break, relying on its defense to get into its offense.


"They turned the defense up and took it to a different level," Souder said. "Any time you hold a team to 11 points in a half, you're doing pretty good. It seemed to open things up and that was the difference in the game."

Chelsea Goodman led Mercer with 14 points, while Chrystal Claunch added 10.

Mercer was 16-for-45 from the field (36 percent) but hit just 11 of 21 free throws for 52 percent. The Scotties had 26 rebounds, led by Jillian Horn's eight and Erica Lee's seven. They also had 19 steals (five each from Claunch and Horn) and 13 assists, including five from Courtney Watts.

"I heard some of them saying, 'This is embarassing,'" Souder said. "These girls take it personal. I told them, 'You get into the regional tournament or the district tournament and play a half like that, and you could be going home.' Hopefully that was our lesson learned."

MERCER (16-7) - Courtney Watts 6, Chrystal Claunch 10, Chelsea Goodman 14, Erin Ashford 8, Jillian Horn 7, Erica Lee 9.

LCA (10-10) - Yates 4, Anderson 10, K. Johnson 10, C. Johnson 4, London 7, Barnhart 8, Lynch 2.

Model 65, KSD 27 - At Richmond, KSD led by one after the first quarter, but couldn't hang with Model after that.

KSD led 10-9 after one quarter, but Model outscored the Colonels 56-17 the rest of the way.

"Model is too good for us, but I am proud of my girls," KSD coach Kevin Hamilton said. "They never give up."

Mickie Brunton scored 14 to lead KSD, and Maribel Rodriquez had six points, six rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

KSD - Mickie Brunton 14, Maribel Rodriquez 6, Jennifer Harris 2, Sonnie Smallwood 2, Virginia Thompson 3.

MODEL - Jones 11, Irwin 2, Engle 5, Proudfoot 2, Powers 8, Thompson 2, Heath 8, Roberts 4, Ritter 7, Ritter 4, Miller 2, Holt 10.


Russell County 67, Casey County 60 - At Liberty, Casey rebounded from a slow start, but the Rebels couldn't make it over the hump against Russell.

Casey (6-15) trailed Russell 31-14 at the half after scoring just seven points in each of the first two quarters. The Rebels had 13 turnovers in the first half.

However, Casey scored 46 points in the second half, and coach Shawn Conley said those came from the Rebels' determination.

"We hit some shots and we just got real active defensively," Conley said.

Casey outscored Russell 21-11 in the third quarter to draw within seven points at the start of the fourth. Casey was down four and had the ball with two minutes to play, but turned the ball over and Russell held on for the win.

Derek Vest led Casey with 18 points, all in the second half, in his second game back from a knee injury.

"He struggled in the first half just moving, because he was playing tentatively," Conley said. "He really stepped up his game in the second half, and when he did, the whole team did. That's the kind of leadership we're looking for from him."

Dustin Johnson had 14 points and Charlie Fox and Keith Price each added 10 for Casey. Price also had seven rebounds. The Rebels were 20-of-45 from the field, but just 4-of-19 on 3-pointers.

Nick Bertram led Russell (11-10) with 21 points.

Casey honored the 12 players in its 1,000-point club at halftime of the game.

RUSSELL (11-10) - Nick Bertram 21, Beach 6, Emerson 2, McClure 8, Bennett 9, Cunningham 7, Blakely 14.

CASEY (6-15) - Dustin Johnson 14, Fox 10, Derek Vest 18, Keith Price 10, Sanders 8.

Model 79, KSD 49 - At Richmond, KSD fell behind 23-5 after one quarter and couldn't make a move.

KSD got back to within 39-18 at halftime, but could get no closer in the second half.

"We tried our best to handle their man-to-man defense, but we couldn't rebound," assistant coach Mike Yance said.

The Colonels had just 17 rebounds, and they turned the ball over 42 times.

Kerry Helton scored 15 points and had five steals, Michael Hayes had 14 points and Amos Reid had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.

KSD - Helton 15, Reid 12, Hayes 14, Spainhoward 2, Murrell 4, Meade 2.

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