Darren Doyle, story and photos
A fourth quarter push from the Lady Cats wasn't enough as they lost to the Grayson County Lady Cougars 65-58 in the finals of the 12th District Tournament last night in Leitchfield. A team effort saw nearly all of the Lady Cat starting five in double figures, but shooting struggles in the third quarter proved to be the difference as Grayson County was able to pull away.
"If you look at the score, it's not that different from the times we played them earlier in the season," said Coach Kevin Jackson. "But tonight was a totally different ballgame, we were in it pretty much all night."
Jackson said there were crucial times in the 3rd quarter where the Lady Cats needed to score, but the shots simply didn't fall, although they were good shots, and good looks at the basket. "That was the difference in the ballgame. When they hit 3's like they did, and we missed some good shots, that's how it goes."
In earlier contests between the two teams, Grayson County was able to mount huge leads after the first quarter, creating holes too deep for the Lady Cats. Things were different in this game, as the Lady Cats trailed 17-13 after one, and cut the deficit to 29-27 at halftime.
The Lady Cats had multiple shots that seemingly were halfway down the basket, yet bounced or rimmed out again and again during the third. The Lady Cougars were able to outscore Edmonson County 15-7 during the quarter.
"All you can ask is for an opportunity for a good shot, and for your kid to take that shot," Jackson said. "We had that, and we didn't have any of our kids back away from the pressure, and that's what I was proud of."
The Lady Cats trailed by as much as 15 late in the fourth, but Jackson said he told his team that the game wasn't going to get away from them. Pressure from Edmonson County and a couple of threes allowed them to cut the lead quickly, but it wasn't enough as Grayson County went on for the win.
The Lady Cats were led in scoring by Madelyne Taylor and Rachael Duncan who each had 14 points. Taylor added 6 rebounds and Duncan grabbed 5.
Peyton Martin had 13 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Caitlin Simon added 9 points and Jhonna Basil scored 8.
Jackson said prior to the game, he told the girls that he wanted Lady Cat fans to get their money's worth. After the game, he said he told them that had certainly been the case.
"I guaranteed them that no one who bought a ticket tonight would be asking for any money back," he said, smiling. "These girls laid it all on the line, and it wasn't just one or two, it was all of them that got in the game. Our kids on the bench are so supportive."
Jackson said that in his 30 years of coaching, he'd never had a team without at least one disciplinary problem until this year. He said it was one of the best teams he'd ever had in terms of working well together.
"That means more to me than winning a state championship. I told them they would all be good people and be successful in life. That's what it's all about."
The Lady Cats now await the pairings for the 3rd Region Tournament for games that will begin next week in Owensboro. We'll keep you posted as we receive the information. The first game will be broadcast right here at EdmonsonVoice.com on WildcatsLive.