The Wayne County Lady Cardinals hosted Casey County, last Thursday 
night at the Rodney C. Woods Gymnasium, in the home opener for the 
2019-2020 season.  Wayne County entered with a 0-1 mark and was 
coming off a 68-34 loss at North Laurel earlier in the week, while 
Casey County entered with a 1-1 record.  The Lady Rebels rolled over 
Boyle County 74-45 in their opener, before dropping a 55-51 home 
decision to Victoria, Australia the following night.  Casey County 
defeated the Lady Cards twice last season, including a 70-37 win in 
the opening round of the 12th Region Tournament on February 28, at 
Pulaski County High School Gym.
    The Lady Rebels wasted little time in this one, rolling to a 20-4 
first quarter lead and cruised to a 68-38 win.  Seniors Natalie 
Duggins and Jordyn Stephens paced a balanced attack with 15 points 
each, as Duggins made 4 of 8 from the floor and shot a perfect 6 of 6 
from the free throw line with 5 rebounds, in 20 minutes of play. 
Stephens connected on 6 of 12 field goal attempts, which included 3 
of 5 from 3-point range with 4 rebounds, as the winners improved to 
2-1 on the season.
    "Casey County is one of the favorites in the region for a very good 
reason.  They have a group of seven seniors that have started and 
played the past three or four years, so we knew this was another 
tough challenge to start the season.
    We had way too many turnovers early and that led to some easy 
baskets, plus we didn't make the most of our scoring opportunities. 
We missed our first nine free throws and also missed some easy ones, 
which it kind of snowballed early.  Once we settled in, I thought we 
battled back pretty well,' said Lady Cards head coach Mark McKinley.
    All-Region performer Lauren Lee added 9 points and 4 rebounds, while 
the duo of Mackenzie Cundiff and Bre Johnson tallied 7 points each. 
Jalee Yokum scored 6 points, while the trio of Shaylah Wilkey, 
Madison Chansler and Natalie Pierce all totaled 3 points each, as 
nine different Casey County players marked the scoring column.
    Wayne County was without the services of All-Region player Macey 
Blevins, while Casey County's All-Region performer Gena Cravens also 
missed the game.
    Wayne County, which dropped to 0-2, was led by the 10 points and 9 
rebounds of 5-11 sophomore Mallory Campbell.  Campbell finished 5 of 
13 from the floor, in just under 27-minutes of action, while Kenzie 
Upchurch made 4 of 8 field goal attempts and 1 of 3 free throws, in 
just under 22 minutes of play.
    "Mallory and Kenzie both played well and we did a really nice job on 
their girl in the post.  Mallory had some strong takes to the basket 
and Kenzie shot the ball with confidence, we just once again had too 
many turnovers.  We did some nice things and the goal is to keep 
getting better each time out, as when we do get Macey back, I think 
we'll see how much these early struggles have helped us in the long 
run,' said McKinley.
    Amber Jones posted 6 points with 6 boards, while Mariah Bowlin made 
2 of 2 3-pointers to tally 6 points with 3 rebounds.  Jade Turner 
tallied 4 points with 3 boards, while Xaviea West paced the reserves 
with 2 points and 4 boards, as the Lady Cards enjoyed a 31-29 
rebounding edge.
    Casey County forced 9 turnovers in the opening minutes and used the 
11 points of Natalie Duggins to race to a 20-4 lead.
    Wayne County battled back in the second stanza paced by the 6 points 
of Mallory Campbell to take an 11-10 tilt to close the gap to 30-15 
at halftime.
    The Lady Rebels made 5 of 5 free throws in the third frame and used 
the 7 points of Jordyn Stephens to spark a 17-11 spurt to own a 47-26 
edge after 24-minutes of play.
    Bre Johnson sparked the reserves in the final quarter with 7 points 
and Casey County ended the game with a 21-12 clip to race to a 68-38 
win.
    The Lady Rebels shot 23 of 54 overall for 43 percent and that 
included a 10 of 28 mark from 3-point range for 36 percent.  The 
winners converted on 12 of 16 free throw attempts for 75 percent and 
totaled 6 turnovers, while enjoying a 26-0 points off turnovers 
advantage.
    Wayne County finished 17 of 41 overall from the field for 41 percent 
and that included 3 of 9 from 3-point range for 33 percent.  The 
squad made just 1 of 10 free throws for 10 percent and posted 6 
assists with 2 steals, against 24 turnovers.
 
    Up next for the Lady Cards is a two-game week with a trip to Lincoln 
County on Monday, followed by a home district date with McCreary 
Central on Thursday night.  Details on both matchups will appear in next week's edition of  The Outlook.

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