Edmonson County Downs Trinity 45-43
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cats won their 12th straight game, which also turned out to be the 12th District Championship, Thursday night in a tight win over the Trinity Lady Raiders 45-43. The win also marks the first time the team has won back-to-back titles since the 1994-1995 seasons under former coach Kevin Jackson.
Jackson was also at the helm for last year's title, which was the first since he led the team to the 1998 championship. There were several eyebrows raised going into this year's season, as the Lady Cats lost 4 starters and two of the top leading scorers in Lady Cat history; however, new Head Coach Bart Weaver said he never doubted that his team would win if they'd buy into his system. He said he predicted to win at least 20 games--the current record is 24-7--and he wanted to prove the doubters wrong.
"We certainly did that tonight," he said. "I give all my girls the credit. My assistant coaches, they've been there, they've done a great job, and you know, sometimes you can take advantage of people not believing in you. I've done that and the whole team has done that. Hats off to Trinity. They came out and played a heck of a game, but we just found a way, and it's special."
Edmonson County couldn't throw a basketball in the Green River off the middle of the Brownsville Bridge during the first quarter. They missed eight shots in a row, some of which were wide open layups and finished the quarter 3 for 12 from the field and 1 out of 2 free throws. Trinity took a 9-8 lead going into the second.
Point guard Katie Lindsey began to find some success by penetrating the lane, splitting defenders, and taking it to the hole. She scored on a combination of buckets and from drawing fouls, where she scored at the line.
The second quarter saw a little better shooting from Edmonson County, but their rebounding and defense kept them in the game. They pounded the boards and forced double-digit turnovers against Trinity in the first half and took a 22-21 edge into the locker room at the break, despite shooting 26% from the field and only 1-11 from behind the three-point line for a season low 9%.
Edmonson County responded big in the third, outscoring Trinity 16-6 in the quarter and took a full head of steam into the fourth; however, the Lady Raiders answered with lights-out shooting while the Lady Cats went cold again. Trinity went on a 14-2 run that gave them their first lead at 41-40 with two minutes left.
Trinity got a stop against the Lady Cats on the next possession but Edmonson County cranked up their defense and forced Trinity into a timeout. The Lady Cats forced a turnover on the next play and Katie Lindsey was able to draw a foul as she drove to the basket on their next possession with 56 seconds remaining. Lindsey calmly hit both free throws as EC regained the lead at 42-41.
Trinity missed a three-pointer and as Edmonson's Madison Harrison pulled the rebound, she was immediately fouled with 36 seconds to go. Harrison missed the front end of the bonus which was rebounded by Trinity's Morgan Kinsey; however, Lindsey sneaked around and swiped the ball loose and it went out of bounds off the foot of another Trinity player with 32 seconds remaining.
Lindsey was fouled once more on her way to the basket. She hit one of two from the line and Edmonson held a 43-41 lead. A foul was called on senior Chanley Logsdon on the next play and Trinity's Nina Wathen hit two free throws to tie the score again at 43 with 20 seconds left.
Lindsey once again did what she did all night long: drove to the basket and drew the foul with 14 seconds left. She iced two free throws to regain the lead at 45-43, which would be the final score. Trinity missed a difficult runner in the lane as time expired and the Lady Cats claimed the District 12 title.
Katie Lindsey said she knew how crucial the free throws were down the stretch, but shooting only 66% on the season, she was nervous when she went to the line.
"I thought 'Oh gosh' because I haven't shot them really well this season, but I knew what I needed to do and it helped us get the win."
Lindsey said the chip on their shoulders still remains and that Coach Weaver has turned it into motivation.
"He's taught us to play that way all season and we still are," she said. "Yes, we got this district championship, but we still want to go forward. We're going to keep going as far as we can in the region."
While senior Chanley Logsdon was held scoreless during this game, her ball handling was superb with no turnovers. She also dished out 4 assists and grabbed 6 rebounds, all at what seemed to be crucial moments. She is the only returning starter on this year's team.
"It's even more awesome this year than last year, and it's just an amazing feeling because I know how hard we've worked for this," she said. "We worked for it all year, and everybody thought we couldn't do it--but we did do it. We talked about that every game, during halftimes, all season. We're going to keep playing our hearts out, keep playing with that chip on our shoulder, and keep doing what we've been doing."
Lindsey finished with 17 points, Lauren Ballance had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Madison Harrison had 8 points and 8 rebounds, and Emma Vincent had 6 points and 6 rebounds.
Edmonson County will draw Saturday for their Region 3 tournament first round game, which will either be held on Wednesday or Thursday of next week (tentatively).
Edmonson's boys will also be playing in the District 12 finals tomorrow night at 7pm against Grayson County at ECHS. You can listen to the live audio on the Edmonson Voice.