Lady Tigers Get Job Done On Both Ends of Floor Despite All-Out EC Effort
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Murray High School Lady Tigers became the third top five, state-ranked team to play the Lady Cats this season, and they simply had too many weapons for Edmonson County to handle.
Murray's defense held Edmonson County's two leading scorers, Caitlin Simon and Peyton Martin to a season low 15 total points. They shot nearly 50% from the field, including 10 of 23 three pointers. It was also the 5th game in 8 days for the Lady Cats. As good as the Lady Cats have been all year, Murray was better today.
"I don't want to leave here with a bad taste in our mouth," said coach Kevin Jackson. "We ran into a really, really good Murray High School team and that's why they're ranked fourth in the state. We've played the number one, number two, and now number four team in the state this year, and they beat us by more than 20 points, but I think those are the only types of teams that are going to beat us like that."
The Lady Cats fell behind early in the first as a result of 80% three-point shooting from the Lady Tigers. They trailed 20-10 after one. Even though Edmonson turned up defensive pressure on the three pointer, Murray was still able to score on short range jumpers in the second and the Lady Cats trailed 33-14 at halftime.
Murray outscored the Lady Cats 18-6 in the third quarter to take a 51-20 lead into the fourth. Even as the deficit grew past 30 points, Edmonson County continued their exhausting effort.
"We're going to learn from this and I really think we got something out of that fourth quarter," said Jackson. "I called timeout and told them I wanted to get something positive out of this quarter, not just go through the motions, and I think we did."
He agreed that Murray was "the real deal," and coming up with ways to beat them wasn't easy. "They have so many different weapons and they shoot the ball so well."
Edmonson County scored 12 points in the final quarter but it wasn't enough as they fell 67-32 in the All A State Classic as a semifinalist. While not the end result for which the Lady Cats had hoped, it's the first time in school's history for girls' basketball making the tournament.
"I want everybody at home to know how good the kids are that are representing Edmonson County," said Jackson. "Whether it was in restaurants, back at the hotel, or in the arena, I kept hearing about how well our kids were behaved. When you take 15, 16, 17 year old kids on the road, you never know what you're going to get anymore. With this group, we know. You're going to get well behaved kids and I'm proud of them."
Also scoring for the Lady Cats was Emma Rose Vincent, who led Edmonson County with 10 points and 6 rebounds, Lauren Ballance had 5 points and 7 rebounds, Madison Harrison had 3, and Katlin Collins and Mia Goad each had 2.
Seniors Simon and Martin were both named to the All-Tournament Team, and the Lady Cats were presented a semi-finalist trophy.
Edmonson County is now 19-4 on the season, which is the best record in the third region. They are scheduled to take on Trinity on Tuesday night at home in a girl/boy match beginning at 6pm. It will be the annual basketball homecoming with festivities taking place between games.