Lady Cats Fall To Breckinridge 55-51 In Season Opener
Darren Doyle, story: Alyssa Doyle, photos:
A nine-point lead disappeared from the Lady Cats last night at ECHS for the 2019-20 season opener in the third quarter as Breckinridge County surged back on top with an 11-0 run, from which Edmonson County never recovered.
A 16-point first half performance by senior Lauren Ballance led the way for Edmonson County early as she connected on three 3 pointers and knocked down 3 of 4 free throws. The Lady Cats led 12-10 after the first and held a 27-24 lead at the half.
Edmonson County jumped out to a 6-0 run to start the third quarter where they had extended their lead to 9, but Breckinridge adjusted and allowed only two more points from Ballance in the second half. The Edmonson County lead was erased after a 11-0 run from the Lady Tigers to take a 35-33 lead in the third quarter. Edmonson County tied the score at 35 late in the third, but Breckinridge took the lead with their next basket and held it for the rest of the game.
Despite the onslaught of three pointers from the Lady Tigers (10) and the loss after holding a decent lead, Coach Bart Weaver had plenty of positives to discuss after the game.
"I'm just so stinking proud of these girls," he said. "The effort, the detail to game plan, but we just missed a few shots here and there. You know, if we'd had an 'and-one' there, or made that duck (in) right there underneath, you know..."
Ballance finished with 18 points, Emma Rose Vincent put up 12 points and 7 rebounds while going 8/10 from the free throw line. Katie Lindsey added 8, Mia Goad added 7, and Madison Harrison had 6.
"This is one of the better teams in the region," Weaver said. "This just tells our girls that we can play with anybody in our region and anybody on our schedule."
Edmonson County will travel to Butler County on Friday for the first district game of the year in a girl/boy doubleheader with the girls tip off scheduled for 6pm.
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
Both the Edmonson County Wildcats and Lady Cats are set to begin the 2019-20 season tonight at home against Breckinridge County with a girl/boy doubleheader beginning with the girls game at 5:30pm.
Both the boys and girls teams lost only one senior each last year and both head coaches, Mike McClintic (boys) and Bart Weaver (girls) are excited about what this season could bring. We spoke with each coach yesterday to discuss the upcoming season that begins tonight.
The boys team had plans of bringing back four starters from last year's 12-18 squad (losing last year's senior Griffin Spainhoward) but a summer baseball injury from the team's leading scorer and rebounder, junior Chaz Wilson, has altered that plan. Coach Mac said Wilson, who averaged a double/double last year (14ppg, 10rpg) was playing first base on a traveling league earlier this summer when he jumped to catch an errant throw. He crushed his ankle as he landed, which required a combination of plates and screws to repair. Wilson is currently rehabbing and McClintic said the timetable for his return is unknown; however, it could be within two weeks or as late as January.
"I'm not sure about his exact return time," he said. "He obviously wants to come back as soon as possible, and so do we, but we want to make sure he's healthy and ready. If we have to wait a month or more, then that's what we need to do, in the meantime, we're looking at it as 'next man up.' We say that a lot and we mean it. If someone goes down or isn't available, we've got to have somebody to step up and be the next man up."
Coach Mac says he's been pleased with what he's seen in practice so far. Returning will be senior guards Nick Clemmons (8.2ppg) and Dalton Decker (12.5ppg) with Decker at point and Clemmons as shooting guard. Decker is expected to lead the floor while the team will look for Clemmons as their three-point shooter.
Senior Eli Booker returns at center and McClintic says he's coming back with a better feel around the rim. Senior Mason Pierce will retake his role as forward, a scrappy player who's known for getting to loose balls and rebounds, and junior Daniel Woosley will fill the role of the other forward that will also show shooting ability this season.
"We're going to be a little deeper this year," said Mac. "That will help us as we try to run more man-to-man and motion. We're going to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor. Our guys are showing good leadership already and that's really going to help us."
The roster is made up of only juniors and seniors, 7 of each, something the Wildcats haven't experienced for several seasons.
"That leadership extends out to guys coming off the bench, too. Trent Taylor, Gavin Rose, Luke Meredith, Isaiah Johnson, Jon Smith, Lane Lindsey, Houston Vincent, and Dylan Lindsey, everybody has a role and I think when we all fill them like we're trying, we have a shot at this district."
The District 12, Grayson, Trinity, and Butler, which Mac says is wide open. The boys are scheduled for two district games on the road in just the second and third games of the season.
"Breckinridge is a tough team and we're looking forward to a challenge tonight," he said. "I think we have a legit shot of having a great season and competing in the district but we'll see in 2-3 weeks where we stand after these early district games."
If the team can compete well early without Chaz Wilson, McClintic says he looks forward to what can happen once he returns and the guys are running on all cylinders.
Just like the boys, the Lady Cats also lost only one senior, which was Chanley Logsdon (9.2ppg, leading 3-pt shooter), but Coach Bart Weaver it may take more than one person to fill her shoes.
"She brought much more to the table than just shooting threes," he said. "She was our leader, she did a lot of things so we've been talking about leadership a lot this year."
Like McClintic, Weaver looks to have four returning starters which could come in handy when another word is mentioned, which is "three-peat." The Lady Cats enjoyed back-to-back district titles over the past two season, something not accomplished in Edmonson County since the 1994-1995 seasons under former Coach Kevin Jackson. A basketball district three-peat has only been accomplished once in school history, when the boys did it in 1973, 74, and 75.
"Yes, we said 'three-peat' already," said Weaver. "We talk about it often. The district is wide open, very similar to last year and I really like where the team is right now. We want to accomplish some big tasks this year. In August we committed to being in better shape, so we've put in the work in conditioning and weights. We want to be stronger than our opponents."
Returning starters will be point guard junior Katie Lindsey (11ppg) and senior guard Lauren Ballance (9.7ppg, 6.5rpg). Leading rebounder senior Madison Harrison (6ppg, 7rpg), and Emma Rose Vincent (8.6ppg, 5rpg) returns as starting center. Senior Mia Goad (5ppg) will be the other starting forward. Senior Macie McCombs will likely be the sixth player, who Weaver says will be a solid contributor this season.
"At first I was a little worried about our depth but after seeing some younger players step up, I feel pretty good about it. You'll probably see some of Lily Jayne Vincent, Jadlyn Simon, who's really improved, Shea VanMeter, Paige Wolfe, and Maham Shahbaz throughout the year."
Last year's team finished 24-8 and Coach Weaver says he's expecting another successful season.
"We're excited and I like what I see. I like where our girls are. It's a wide-open district and we plan to go out there and compete."
Girls action is scheduled to begin at 5:30 tonight at ECHS with the boys starting around 7:30pm. The WildcatsLive crew with carry both the audio broadcast and video stream for both games on the Edmonson Voice Facebook page and website.
Mayfield Cardinals Clobber Wildcats 58-14 In Class 2A Region Playoffs
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Mayfield Cardinals showed why they're considered one of the top teams in the state as they painfully defeated the Wildcats 58-14 in the Class 2A Region Playoff game Friday night in Mayfield. The Cardinals (12-1) averaged more than 40 points per game on the season.
The Wildcats were outmatched by the Cardinals in too many categories as Mayfield flexed their muscles early, jumping out to a commanding 35-0 lead in the first quarter. As the running clock began, there wasn't much else the Wildcats were able to put together.
Mayfield had managed to extend their lead to a whopping 51-0 at the half. After another touchdown in the third, the Cardinals finally reached their final score of 58.
With just under 8 minutes left in the game, Chance Lucas finally put Edmonson County on the board with a 21 yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good and the lead was cut to 58-6.
Edmonson County recovered the ball after an onside kick which led to a 28 yard touchdown run by Eddie Acosta. The two-point conversion was good for a 58-14 Mayfield lead. The running clock brought a quick end to the second half and the season for Edmonson County.
Edmonson County finishes the season at 6-7 and as the 2A District 3 Champions. It's their first district win since 2011 and their first regional final game since 2008.
Student Led Prayer Held By Edmonson and Clinton County Players Brings Bright Spot After Tough Week
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Bad news unfortunately tends to spread the fastest and it always seems to get the biggest response; however, a recent Facebook post from one of the WildcatsLive broadcasting crew has gotten some attention for different reasons.
Scott Lindsey, the play-by-play football announcer for the WildcatsLive team on the Edmonson Voice noticed from the press box at Wildcat Stadium that a prayer was being conducted by both Edmonson County and Clinton County football players immediately following the Wildcats Class 2A, District 3 Championship win Friday night.
Before the trophies were given and the celebration began, a group prayer was held and led by Clinton County's #82, senior Parker Tallent. Lindsey noted the prayer on his social media post that said:
"After a really hard week for our kids, the football team took the field Friday night with heavy hearts at the loss of one of their classmates. They went out that night and played their hearts out, and won the District Championship. At the end of the game as Granville Meredith and I were broadcasting and calling the Wildcat win, we look out on the field as the teams were shaking hands, and this is what we saw from the press box. People will brag about this District Championship for many years, and for the players and coaches, it will always be special to them, and it should be, but this picture is what I will always be most proud of when I remember this night! The win will be etched in EC Sports history for ever, but this scene will be etched in my heart and mind as long as I live!"
The post received several hundred 'likes' and all positive comments from the communities of both Edmonson and Clinton Counties.
"This is why my home will always be EC," said one user. Another commenter said "That is special and our little county is SPECIAL!" Another said "Can’t love this enough!" One more Facebook user posted "Give them much respect these kids are awesome. All people should take a lesson from this."
Post and pregame prayers are not that uncommon in high school sports, but they normally don't make headlines. And while activities prior-to and after games usually aren't news, positive reactions from large groups of people are always good to share, especially after a tough week for many Edmonson County residents.
It's just one example that shows there is sometimes more to a football district championship than simply a winner and runner-up.
Edmonson County Defeats Clinton County 17-13
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats claimed the Class 2A District 3 Championship title at home against Clinton County 17-13 in a gritty contest Friday night to advance in the playoffs. It's the furthest Edmonson County football has gone since 2008.
Two well-matched teams took the field in low 30s to high 20s temperatures as the Bulldogs looked to get revenge from the mud-bogged contest the Wildcats took from them earlier in the season, 13-0. The Wildcats also had another chip on their shoulder as according to the coaching staff, the team was contacted by Clinton County prior to tonight's game asking them if it was ok to have their own pyrotechnic guy there tonight to shoot off fireworks "after they won." There were no fireworks in Edmonson County tonight.
Both teams defenses looked good early and the first quarter ended in no score.
Edmonson County made a good run late in the second as the Cats got into the red zone and quarterback Jon Smith scored the first touchdown of the game, which was a 2 yard run. Clay Walden's extra point was good and the Cat led 7-0
Edmonson County got into the red zone once more with time winding down in the half, but after three tries at a TD with less than 5 yards to go, Walden punched a 25 yard field goal through the posts for a 10-0 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs fell victim to a huge penalty to start the third as they fumbled Edmonson County's pooch kickoff, which the Cats recovered. On the next play, Smith hit Chance Lucas with a 40 yard touchdown pass and Walden's extra point extended the Wildcat lead to 17-0 with 11:49 to go in the third.
Each team continued trading possessions, but the ball stayed in between the 45 and 55 yard line through the remainder of the quarter until the Bulldog quarterback came inches of being sacked, but was able to shimmy up the left sideline for a first down that rejuvenated Clinton as they were able to score a TD on the possession. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 17-7 after an extra point with 1:22 left in the third.
With the momentum shifting slightly in Clinton County's favor, the Bulldog crowd began to thaw and come alive as noisemakers and cheers began to ring out from across the field and the Bulldogs were able to score another touchdown to cut the lead to 17-13. The ball was bobbled on the extra point attempt and it was no good.
Turnovers were key in this game as Edmonson County picked off three passes during the game; one from Isaiah Johnson, who picked a huge pass late in the game, and two more from Andy Lindsey. However, the biggest defensive play of the game came with 1:49 to go with the Bulldogs on the ropes. Clinton County tried a 30-something yard pass on 4th and 23, but was disrupted by Wildcat senior Eddie Acosta, who made an incredible leap to get his hands on a pass that not only prevented a first down, but it caused a turnover on downs for the Bulldogs.
Edmonson County was able to burn out the clock after they took possession to claim the title and advance into next week's playoff game.
The Wildcats turned a 1-5 start to the season into a 6-6 record with a new district championship trophy to put in the case, all without pyrotechnics.
"The whole time, I thought we were a good football team, I just knew we were," said Head Coach Nathan Smith. "We were banged up, we were injured, we had some things just no go our way in a couple games right there, but our seniors, our captains stuck with us. We healed up a little bit and we kinda figured out what our recipe was for winning football games and they stuck to it, got better every week, and I'm proud of them. Proud of all them."
Matt Shaw had another solid performance for Edmonson County tonight. His charge in last week's game was the difference against Green County and that momentum carried into tonight, Coach Smith said.
Smith attributed the late season success to having a team with no jealousy. He said the guys are teammates that do what's needed to win, not put stats on the books.
"Nobody on the field is jealous and this is rare for a football team," he said. "I've coached a lot of football teams and this is the first one that I can truly say no one cares who's getting the ball, who's scoring touchdowns, as long as the team is winning, that's what they're about. You can ask every single running back, quarterback, it doesn't matter. They want Matt Shaw to have the ball. If he's got the hot hand, that's who we're gonna feed."
Smith also said a good week of practice, including working out in the snow, led to good preparation for the game tonight. His players had a different attitude, a different look, and a different energy (without pyrotechnics) than they'd had in previous games.
"They were focused, they were locked in, in practice, there no problems inside the locker room. I had a feeling we'd come out and play pretty well. We made some mistakes and we let them get back in the game, it could've been a bigger victory, but I'll take it however we can get it. I'm not picky."
Edmonson County is set tentatively to take on Mayfield (11-1) at 7:30pm on the road next week as they continue to the next round of the playoffs. We will update that schedule when more updates are available.