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The Spencer County Lady Bears bowed out of the 2012-13 basketball season with a 54-26 loss to powerful Anderson County last Monday night in the opening round of the 30th District Tournament held at Collins High School in Shelbyville.
The Lady Bearcats, 29-1 on the season and ranked number 2 in the state was expected to post an easy win over the 10-20 Lady Bears, and they showed their dominance early on.
Anderson County got out of the gate quick with two three pointers for a 6-0 lead on their way to racing out to a 12-0 lead with over minutes remaining in the first quarter before Spencer County’s McKenna Pfeiffer got a bucket to put the Lady Bears on the scoreboard. Kaylan Nigh would score again toward the end of the first quarter but Spencer found themselves down 17-4 at the first buzzer.
The Bearcats then secured the victory with an offensive onslaught to start the second period, hitting on another three-pointer to spark an 18-0 run as they built a commanding 35-4 lead with just over two minutes left in the half. MacKenzie Myers, Spencer County’s leading scorer on the season found the basket and connected on a free throw to cut it to 35-7 and Pfeiffer added another free-throw to make it 35-8 at the half.
Myers would hit another three early in the third quarter to put the Bears in double digits but then Anderson County scored the next 15 points as they made it 52-11 late in the third quarter. Lady Bear senior MacKenzie Keown hit a three pointer to end the quarter but Spencer still trailed 52-14.
Anderson County put in their reserves in the final quarter and Spencer County was able to make it a bit more respectable. Keown hit another three, as did Pfeiffer later in the period and the Bears were able to score 12 points in the final frame.
Spencer County Coach David Marion said the season did not end well for his girls, as they dropped their final nine games of the season, but said this squad did accomplish a few things that can carry over into next year.
“I saw progress in our team on and off the court,” he said. “We made it to double digit wins for the first time in four years. We had a player, MacKenzie Myers, make the All-Region team, and we reached most of our goals that we set for our team in the beginning.
“I feel that we are better than we were when I started with them back in May and next season the bar will be raised higher.”
As for next season, Marion said it’s going to take dramatic improvement in a couple of areas that will require “a tremendous amount of work.” Those include decreasing the number of turnovers and shooting a better percentage.
“We will take a month off and we will get started back in mid-March with optional workouts where we will address these and other areas that we need to improve. I honestly think once these kids get used to me and the system that I am trying to install, our improvement will be noticeable. Expect a more exciting pace from the Lady Bears next season.”
Before closing the chapter on 2012-13 however, Marion wanted to praise his seniors who made his transition a bit smoother in his first season.
“I will tell you what I told them in the locker room after the game. The four seniors were the foundation for where the SCHS girls basketball program will go in the future. Only time will tell, but some years down the road, I think people will look back and remember these kids.”
Here’s what Marion had to say about each senior:
Ashton Edwards: “You could always count on Ashton to show up for work. She showed up for practices and games with a smile on her face and kept the team laughing when we needed it.”
Cadeja Hays: “DeeDee battled injuries throughout her senior season. She was always a fantastic young lady to be around.”
MacKenzie Keown: “MacKenzie was our quiet leader. She just came to practices and games and gave it her all. She also had a severely sprained ankle that she played through. I will remember MacKenzie for her toughness.
McKenna Pfeiffer: “McKenna was a huge surprise to even be out on the court this season. After having an accident where she broke her femur and sustained other injuries, she surprised everyone by making it back in to goal on the soccer field and onto the basketball court. Tough kid.”