Edmonson's Girls Push Past Butler County 59-43
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
Edmonson County's girls endured a physical match against Butler County in the first round of the District 12 tournament, hosted at ECHS on Monday night, as they prevailed 59-43.
The win puts them in the finals of the tournament, which is scheduled for this Thursday. They will take on the Trinity Lady Raiders, who defeated Grayson County tonight 55-39. Trinity's win marks the first time since the 1999 season that Grayson County failed to advance past the first round.
The Lady Bears caused some problems for Edmonson early with an effective spread 2-3 zone that kept the Lady Cats from penetrating the paint. Edmonson struggled with their outside shooting and Butler County held them to only 6 first quarter points, a season low.
The lead would be short lived as Edmonson County went on an 18-6 run that allowed them to take a 27-15 lead at the half--a lead that would eventually make the difference in the game, despite a third quarter run by Butler County.
The Lady Bears outscored Edmonson County 19-13 in the third quarter which cut their lead to 40-34, but a 19-9 final run by the Lady Cats was more than enough to end Butler's season and put the Lady Cats back into the district finals.
"Tonight was typical tournament basketball," said Coach Weaver. "Some of them understand it, the ones that were here last year. Some of the others that didn't play much, they learned that a one seed vs. a four seed don't always means what you think it means. Butler County came to play with nothing to lose, and we talked about that before the game. I'm really proud of my girls, they took a shot in a real physical game and they persevered to the end."
Lauren Ballance was a spark for the Lady Cats early. She led Edmonson with 9 points and 4 rebounds at the half. When a rebound was needed, she seemed to be there. When a loose ball was within reach, she grabbed it. When Butler County pushed, she was the one to lead the push back. She finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds. She was also a perfect 5/5 from the free throw line.
"When she gets determined, and sometimes it may take a while to get to that point, but when she gets determined, I don't want to be the one to stand in front of her. She answered the call in a physical game, and I thought Mia (Goad) also played physical."
Goad finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Point guard Katie Lindsey finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Emma Rose Vincent tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Madison Harrison had 6 points and 6 rebounds, Chanley Logsdon had 3, and Macie McCombs had 2.
A win in the finals on Thursday against Trinity would mark the first back-to-back District titles since the '94 and '95 seasons. Lauren Ballance's mother, Tyra (formerly Parsley), who is also an assistant coach, and Mia Goad's mother, Stacy (formerly Graves) were teammates on the last repeating championship team.
In the preseason, several media outlets mistakenly predicted that Edmonson County would fail to have a winning season, likely as a result of the Lady Cats losing two of the all-time leading scorers in ECHS girls basketball history from last year's team, along with two other starters, and the departure of Region 3 Girls Coach of the Year, Kevin Jackson. Edmonson County is now 23-7 on the season and have won 11 straight games.
Edmonson County is scheduled to take on Trinity this Thursday at 7pm at ECHS. The audio broadcast will be available on the Edmonson Voice.
First round ECHS boys action is set for Tuesday night at 7:45 in game two as the Wildcats will take on Butler County.