Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Edmonson County Lady Cats advanced to the District 12 finals last night after defeating Butler County 51-34 in Leitchfield. The win also guarantees them a spot in the Region 3 Tournament in Owensboro next week.
The Lady Cats got off to a slow start, although they led 11-7 after the first. They took a 25-18 lead into the locker room at the half, but Coach Jackson was unhappy with what he called "sloppy play" at the break.
Jackson's game plan for a win was to out rebound the Lady Bears and utilize the Lady Cat full court trapping press for transition buckets off of turnovers. None of that went as well as Jackson had hoped in the first half, but fortunately for EC, Butler County struggled from the free-throw line and failed to capitalize on several easy opportunities.
"We just didn't play well in the first quarter," Jackson said. "We didn't execute, we had some nerves, and we knew it would be tough beating a team for the third time (this season), so we give Butler County a lot of credit."
Jackson went to a full court man-to-man defense in the second quarter that he said allowed his team to move better, and get more comfortable. The Lady Cats went on a 10-3 run during the quarter. "From that point on, our kids gutted it out."
Peyton Martin and Caitlin Simon each had 14 points. Martin added 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 6 steals, while Simon added 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Martin took a shot to the face where a broken nose was first suspected, but as of now, it appears as it's just bruised. She did have some swelling after the game, and she also experienced some nausea later.
Tori Browning became tangled up during a rebound attempt and came down hard on her right ankle. She had to be helped off the court and didn't return to the game. Tests showed that nothing was broken, but it appears to be severely sprained. It is unsure if she'll be able to play in the finals on Thursday night.
"It's swollen up, I'm not sure about Thursday," she said. "It's just day-to-day right now, but I'm hoping to play."
Jackson said Browning has been the spiritual leader of the team all season long. "Her ankle is not very good, and I hate it for her," he said. "We'll see what happens in a day or two, we're going to take the day off tomorrow, our kids are exhausted."
Madelyne Taylor finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, the first double-double of her career.
Jhonna Basil ended up with 6 points, Rachael Duncan had 3 points, and Katlin Collins finished with 2.
The girls will take on Grayson County in the championship game on Thursday, Feb 25 at 7pm. WildcatsLive will carry the broadcast on EdmonsonVoice.com beginning at 6:45pm.
The boys will take on Butler County in the first round of their tournament tonight at 6pm. Jamie and Scott will have all the live action on WildcatsLive beginning at 5:45.