By DOUG EADS
MT. VERNON — First year head Somerset Lady Jumper basketball coach Bobby Bowling — despite the fact his club began the season with an 0-5 mark — maintained all along that his team was capable of getting the job done this season, and competing inside the 47th District.
On Wednesday night at Rockcastle County High School, Bowling’s Lady Jumpers proved just that — Somerset does belong in any conversation when it comes to district title contenders.
Madison Garland scored 13 of her team-high 18 points in a decisive fourth quarter, and the Lady Jumpers picked up arguably their biggest win of the season, knocking off home-standing Rockcastle County 51-44.
“We executed defensively all night, and controlled the backboard,” stated a very happy coach Bowling after the contest.
“I’ve told our girls all year that if we lock down and rebounded, we’ll give ourselves a chance, night in and night out,” continued the Somerset coach. “This group is battle tested, we have played what turned out to be a gauntlet of a schedule early, and it has really calloused us.”
Somerset led this one at the break by a slim, 22-21 margin, and the game remained tight throughout, until the Lady Jumpers outscored The Rock in a decisive fourth period, 21-12 to gain some much-needed breathing room.
And, leading the charge for Somerset coming down the stretch was Garland.
The Somerset sophomore scored 13 of her 18 points in the final frame, helping Bowling and company earn a huge district win on the road, knocking off a Rockcastle County team that already owns a victory this season over one of the favorites in the 12th Region in Casey County.
Eighth grader Grace Bruner also had a big night for Somerset, joining Garland in double figures with 11 points, and Rachel Presley added 10 points.
The Lady Jumpers — now 5-7 on the season and 1-2 in district play — will return to action on Friday night with another big district game on the road, playing at Casey County in a girl/boy doubleheader.
That action will tip off at 6 p.m. with the girl’s contest.