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The Spencer County Lady Bears picked up their first win of the season last Tuesday night against Whitefield Academy, scoring a 54-35 victory over the visiting Lady Wildcats.
The girls jumped out to a big lead and never looked back as they held a 29-13 lead at the half. That dominance continued in the second half as Krysten Barlow scored off a steal to spark a 8-4 run to begin the quarter.
“We got the one win I was hoping for, now we are back to working on win number two,” said head coach David Marion.
He said a look at the box score left him happy, as it showed balance.
“We had several kids step up and contribute. Mackenzie Myers is becoming more of a leader for this team every day and she led us with 19 points,” Marion said.
Niqua Downs added 10 points with Kaylan Nigh adding eight, Barlow seven, Alyssa Howie scored six and Kristien Downs added four.
On Thursday, the girls hosted district rival Collins, and the Lady Titans began to pull away from a close game in the third quarter. The Bears had scored twice at the end of the first half to make it 19-15 at the break, and opened the third quarter with a bucket by Myers and a put-back by Kristien Downs to tie the game at 19-19. Another basket by Nigh kept the game knotted at 21-21 before Collins win on a 6-0 run and then would score the final eight points of the quarter to go up 37-23 to start the fourth quarter.
The offensive woes continued in the final frame as the Lady Bears could only muster eight more points as they fell to the Lady Titans 50-31. Myers led the way with 12 points while Nicole Bush, Niqua Downs and Howie scored four each, with Barlow, Kristien Downs and Nigh scoring two each and Lydia Tackett adding one.
Marion said that while Myers is always an offensive threat, the team must get more points from other players.
“If we are one dimensional, we are in trouble,” he said. “We, as a coaching staff, need to get Krysten Barlow and Kris Downs more involved.”
The team has also struggled from long-range this season, a trend Marion doesn’t expect to continue. He said Myers, Barlow, and both the Downs girls can be outside threats, but the shots simply aren’t falling early in the season.
“I told them when we get hot, we might light someone up,” he said. “Until then, we are working on getting the ball into the post a little more. Our biggest point of emphasis right now is teaching them what a good shot within the offense looks like.”
After the first couple of weeks, Marion said this year’s squad is better that the team last year. His squad isn’t that deep so his regulars are going to have to play harder for longer periods of time, he said.
“I like this team,” said Marion. “When the kids learn to trust each other and trust the coaches, it will all come together.”
The girls were to host Western Hills on Monday, and travel to Shelby County on Tuesday. This Friday, they will host Presentation in the first round of the Girls Holiday Classic that will be held at both Spencer County Middle School and High School. The eight-team tournament serves as a fundraiser for the Lady Bears program, so fans are encouraged to come out and catch some of the excitement.