By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
Having already lost to No. 1 Marion County 66-35 earlier this year, the Lady Indians knew the task ahead of them when they took on the Lady Knights in the championship game of the Gateway Holiday Classic in Montgomery County Saturday.
In spite of a much improved effort over that first encounter, the Lady Knights were once again too much for the Lady Indians (11-2) to handle as they fell to the state’s top ranked team, 59-37.
The loss snapped Central’s nine-game winning streak.
Despite the loss, Central coach Robbie Cooksey was happy with the effort his squad gave.
“We made some progress between the two games, which is nice to see. I think our effort was very good and I think we got some good looks,” Cooksey said. “But they are just so long it makes it really hard to take it to the basket and hit shots from the perimeter. They are No. 1 for a reason. Sometimes there are teams better than you and you tip your hat and say good game and you go on your way.”
Marion County jumped out to a quick seven-point lead to start the game before Central finally got its offense going and pulled to within two at 7-5 on a basket by Ashton Feldhaus and a three by Heather Hinkle.
But that was as close as the Lady Indians would get the rest of the way as Marion County raced out to a 22-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Knights then turned up the defense, holding the Lady Indians to only four points in the second quarter to take a commanding 34-17 lead at the half.
Marion County’s swarming defense held Central’s top scorers Feldhaus and Larryn Brooks to a combined 12 points and made it difficult on other shooters to find open shots all night.
Hinkle had a big game for the Lady Indians, finishing with a team-high 15 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and going 3-for-3 on three-pointers.
Shadae Bosley held her own inside against the taller Lady Knights, scoring eight points and pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Brooks finished with seven points and two assists despite sitting out much of the third quarter with foul trouble. Feldhaus had five points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Bailey O’Bryan had two points.
University of Kentucky signees Makayla Epps and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers lived up to their all-state reputations. Epps finished with 25 points, while Goodin-Rogers had 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Scott High 64, Berea 51
The Berea Community Lady Pirates finished play in the Whitefield Academy Christmas Tournament with a 64-51 loss to Scott High Saturday in the championship game.
Scott used some hot shooting in the third quarter to overcome a 31-27 deficit.
“We had a good first half. They were pressing us and we were beating the press and scoring,” Berea coach Jerry Bingham said. “Then they came out and quit pressing us in the third quarter and we had trouble scoring in the half court.”
Sophomore Victoria Sexton led the way for the Lady Pirates with 14 points, followed by Jordan Sandefur with 13.
Ashley Sizemore finished with seven points, while Hannah Haycraft and Miranda Montgomery had six points each, Chase Fain added four and Alex Horn had one point.
“We had a good three days to make it to the finals,” Bingham said. “This is something we can build on.”
The Lady Pirates will be back in action Friday against Model.