NICHOLASVILLE — The Boyle County girls did what they do best Friday night.
The Rebels used their press to jump on host West Jessamine early, racing to a 15-point lead after a quarter and coasting by the Colts 62-48 to snap a two-game losing streak.
“I thought early on we did a great job of getting in our press. We were active. They had six field goals in the first half,” Boyle coach Greg Edwards said. “It’s a good win to get back in the win column after you’ve dropped a couple there.”
Chelsea Gill had 14 points, seven steals, seven rebounds and three assists for the Rebels, who improved to 6-2 to equal last year’s win total. Hannah Harris had 17 points and four steals while Natalie Settle had 11 points, five steals and four assist. Dee Foster also had six steals as the Rebels forced 35 turnovers, 31 of those coming off steals.
Boyle’s press was effective early. Settle’s 3-pointer off a turnover put the Rebels up 9-2. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Harris, the last off a turnover, made it 21-2 Boyle. Boyle had 11 of its 21 points off turnovers in that first quarter.
Shelby Bishop’s layup made it 26-8, then Mary Fyfe drilled another 3-pointer to put the Rebels ahead 29-10 with 3 minutes, 55 seconds left in the half. But the Colts started coming back, getting the bulk of their points at the foul line.
Allison Mims converted a 3-point play, Emma Baxter hit two free throws and Shelby Hawkins knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 29-18. The Colts scored six of the final eight points of the quarter to trim Boyle’s lead to 33-24 at the half.
West Jessamine went 9 for 11 at the line in the first half and 17 for 19 for the game. Hawkins led the Colts with 17 points.
A lot of those trips to the line came when Boyle fouled in the press. While Edwards doesn’t want the Rebels to foul, he also doesn’t want to harp on it too much and take away some of the aggressiveness.
“We’re getting better, but we still have to do a better job of making sure we’re getting down in a good stance and not fouling as much. We want to be aggressive and not foul as much in the press,” he said. “When you’re a pressing team, you don’t want the clock to stop because you want to be able to get more possessions and get more traps.
“You want to be aggressive without fouling them 80 feet from the basket. We just play so hard and I’m not going to back off of the fact they’re paying extremely hard. So you have to be able to live with some of them (fouls).”
Boyle cut down on the fouls in the second half, not even getting into the bonus, and opened up another big lead midway through the third quarter.
Gill hit a jumper and had a steal and layup to make it 41-28. Fyfe then hit a jumper and Emmie Harris scored off another turnover to push the lead to 45-28. The Colts never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Thanks to all the turnovers, Boyle took 23 more shots than the Colts (1-5), going 25 of 67 from the floor, and making six of 17 3-pointers. West Jessamine was 14 of 34 from the field.
“Offensively, we struggled in our half-court offense. We’ve been working on that for a couple of days, and we made some progress. The type of offense we run, it’s a slow process because we run a lot of motion. We don’t run a lot of sets,” Edwards said. “Some of that will start coming the more we play.”
The bigger Colts did outrebound Boyle 35-26, but Boyle had an 11-6 edge in offensive boards. It was a marked improvement over Monday’s loss to Garrard County, where the Rebels were outrebounded by 27.
“Most teams are bigger than us. But we had a little more fight in us around the rim, got a little more active,” Edwards said.
Even Boyle’s 6-for-18 performance at the foul line wasn’t a concern to Boyle coach.
“We had two games in a row where we shot 71 percent. The more we talk about it, the more we don’t shoot them well,” he said. “I did mention at the end of the half we were five of 14 and needed to concentrate more. But for the most part, I’m pretty pleased with the way we played.”
Boyle County 21 33 45 62
West Jessamine 6 24 30 48
BOYLE (6-2) — Hannah Harris 17, Chelsea Gill 14, Dee Foster 2, Natalie Settle 11, Kalin Bottoms 2, Shelby Bishop 5, Mary Fyfe 5, Emmie Harris 2, Savannah Austin 2, Marlee Smith 2.
WEST JESSAMINE (1-5) — Shelby Hawkins 17, Emma Baxter 4, Ashlee Rose 7, Erin Conner 8, Allison Mims 2, Kendall Anderson 2, Hannah Parson 2, Katelyn Quillen 2.