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The Spencer County Lady Bears split a pair of games last week, including a 43-35 come-from-behind victory at Campbellsville Thursday night.
The Lady Bears started sharp, racing out to a 9-4 lead, but then struggled on both ends of the floor as the Lady Eagles were able to battle back and took a double-digit lead late in the second quarter.
The second half didn’t start any more promising, as the Lady Bears soon found themselves looking at a 12 point deficit mid-way through the quarter, but they refused to surrender. Plagued by some misfires from the field and from the charity stripe, Spencer County turned to their defense to stop Campbellsville and were able to make enough buckets to close the gap.
Still down by five at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Lady Bears’ defense clamped down even tighter, holding Campbellsville to just two more points the rest of the evening. On offense, the Bears continued to get the ball inside and Chelsea Gross and Kenisha Marshall scored some timely buckets and the girls also made good on free-throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Lady Bears’ Coach Daniel Cox was pleased with his team’s toughness, despite the poor start.
“I was proud to see that the girls were not willing to give up. We found ourselves down early and they fought back,” he said. “Their focus never wavered and they showed maturity as a team.”
Cox attributed the rally to defense.
“They stepped up the defense to another level,” he said. “We made some changes to our defensive strategy in the second half, but it was the hustle of the girls that made it work.”
Marshall led the way on the night with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Gross chipped in with 10 points and 5 rebounds. Jayme Thomas added six points, Shelby Pfieffer scored two and Lyndsey Kempt added a free throw.
On Saturday, the girls were back in action as they traveled to district rival and defending district champion Anderson County, and were unable to overcome an early deficit, eventually falling 52-37.
Marshall again led the way with 16 points and eight boards while Thomas added 10 points. Kempf added six points while Gross had five points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Cox was quick to credit Anderson County’s execution and said they knew going in it would be a tough game, but they very well could meet again in the District Tournament and a season’s worth of improvement may prepare the Lady Bears for a rematch.
“We are still improving as a team and I look forward to the rest of the season,” said Cox.
One area of improvement that Cox is confident will come will be in shooting. The Lady Bears are only hitting 27 percent of their shots, a dismal 11 percent of their three-point shots, and just under 46 percent from the free throw line. All those numbers must improve and Cox said they will.
“I have complete faith in all of the girls’ shooting skills. Every team and player has bad shooting days,” he said. The key to overcoming the bad shooting is to step up other aspects of the game, like he said they did on defense at Campbellsville.
The girls are back in action this weekend with a tournament in Gallatin County. Cox said the busy schedule over the holiday break will help prepare his squad for the rest of the schedule.