Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
Edmonson County Lady Cats traveled to Whitesville Friday, February 2nd to play host and district rival Trinity High School.
It was their third game without multi-tool junior guard Kennadi Swihart. It was their first win without her.
Swihart’s numbers may not reflect the leadership, but there is with simply her presence on the floor. Now, with Swihart on the bench cheering, her team is learning to do it without her.
They will have to. Swihart’s MRI confirmed an ACL tear on the patella, and she will undergo surgery.
She expects to return to being able to play in six months but in the meantime, she will try to take it easy, she said.
Without her infectious confidence and hustle on the court it is a loss, but against the Lady Raiders the rest of the Lady Cats started their steps up.
“That’s the main thing is we finally got the job done,” Edmonson County Lady Cats head coach Jody Booth said on the Edmonson Voice Live broadcast after the game.
A key to winning any game is taking care of the basketball and with 18 turnovers in the first half Booth told his players in the locker room at half, the ball handle drills they did all the time in practice had to mean something, because he was tired of pushing it, he said.
The girls came out in the third quarter and showed they agreed and started to take better care of the ball, Booth said.
The Lady Cats outscored Lady Raiders 25-8 in the third quarter with their better ball control.
“That’s the ball game,” Booth said.
Sometimes you have to tell the girls, you fix it, and they did, he said.
“I’m tired and it is up to y’all if you want to do this or not,” Booth told his team at the half.
He is proud of them for how they stepped up, he said.
Signs the Lady Cats had figured out how to move on without Swihart on the court showed with three Lady Cats being in double digits scoring, and it didn’t all have to rest on the shoulders of sophomore center Cariann Williams.
On Monday's loss, Williams had a triple-double. Against the Lady Raiders, she had 18 points and 7 rebounds with a few blocked shots.
Also, in double digits, scoring 11 points were junior guard Jenna Cook and freshman Shelby Sowders. They each had 7 and 6 rebounds respectively.
“I am just proud of our girls, I love them to death and they’re just fun to be around,” Booth said.
Due to schedule changes, the Edmonson Lady Cats, as of now, are not scheduled to play until this next Friday at 6 p.m. at home in Brownsville in a rematch of their first loss without Swihart against Butler County. They only lost by 3 points.