By DOUG EADS
Could the third time be the charm this season for the Pulaski County Lady Maroons?
PC — after losing both regular season contests to the Casey County Lady Rebels — had one more shot at their district rival last night at The PC Gym in the title game of the Girl’s 47th District Basketball Tournament.
Unfortunately, thanks to a slow start out of the gate and a rough shooting night, the answer to the above question was a downright ‘NO’.
Jordyn Stephens led Casey County with 13 points, while teammate Gena Cravens added 10 points, helping Tara Weddle’s club nail down the district championship with a 46-35 victory over Pulaski County.
“Everybody forgets that Casey County beat us by 35 points last year in the district tournament,” stated PC head coach Chris Adkins immediately following the contest.
“This is their same team that has been starting for them in this, their third year,” continued the Lady Maroons coach. “We’ve come a long way, and Casey County knows they were in a ballgame. And, my kids understand where they’re at right now.”
Where PC was at the beginning of Thursday night’s contest might have well been in a freezer, because the Lady Maroons began this contest ice-cold — from the field at least.
Pulaski County managed only two field goals in the first quarter of play, and one of those was a steal and layup by Shelby Cothron.
For the first half, Pulaski County only had five made field goals at the intermission, and as a result, it was Casey County going into the locker room with a 22-14 lead in a low-scoring affair.
At the beginning of the third quarter, things went from bad to worse for Pulaski County.
The Lady Rebels began the second half with a modest, 7-0 spurt, that concluded with a basket from Shaylah Wilkie.
That bucket gave the Lady Rebels a whopping, 29-14 lead over an ice-cold PC squad with almost half of the third period gone by.
The Lady Maroons didn’t score a single point until the 4:02 mark of the period, thanks to a three-pointer by Madelyn Blankenship.
That trimmed the deficit at that juncture down to 29-17, but Casey’s Gena Cravens answered that three with a trey of her own on the Lady Rebels next trip downcourt, extending the advantage over PC to 15 points again at 32-17.
A three-pointer from Shelby Cothron — who led Pulaski County in scoring with a game-high 16 points — at the buzzer to end the third stanza, cut the deficit down to 36-28 headed to the fourth and final frame.
However, in the fourth quarter, the Lady Rebels were able to keep the pressure on the Lady Maroons, forcing Adkins and company to play from behind — mostly by double digits throughout the stanza.
“I think our girls realize they’re not very far away from being competitive against some of the top teams in our region,” pointed out Adkins
“Our girls are great kids, they work real hard, their parents are very supportive, and our administration is very supportive,” he added. “We have everybody back next year, so our future is very bright.”
With the loss, Pulaski County fell to 17-13 on the season, and will move on to next week’s Girl’s 12th Regional Basketball Tournament, which will be hosted by the Lady Maroons
The Girl’s 12th Regional Tournament will begin next Wednesday night, February 27th, beginning at 6 p.m.
The entire tourney bracket with first round matchups will be on The Doug Out over the weekend.