The Wayne County Lady Cardinals hosted 12th Region rival Somerset, last Monday night at the Rodney C. Woods Gymnasium, in the first of four games on the week for each team.  The Lady Cards entered with an 11-11 mark on the season and was coming off a 74-18 win over Cumberland County, two days earlier in the Robbie Davis Memorial Shootout at Clinton County HS Gym.  The Lady Jumpers owned an 11-12 record overall and had won three straight games, including a 53-32 home win over Lexington Christian, in their last outing.  The teams met a season ago with Wayne County claiming a 65-53 road decision, the Lady Cards sixth straight in the rivalry.

    Wayne County used a 22-10 second quarter run to enjoy a 28-14 
halftime lead and withstood a late Lady Jumper rally to claim a 58-48 
home win.  Junior guard Macey Blevins just missed a triple-double 
with a game high 19 points, game high 11 assists and game best 9 
rebounds, while logging all 32-minutes.  The 5-10 stalwart was 6 of 
13 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free throw line, while Mallory 
Campbell added 15 points and 7 rebounds.  Campbell was 7 of 12 from 
the floor and 1 of 4 from the free throw line, as the winners 
improved to 12-11 on the season.
    "Our focus just wasn't what it needs to be if we want to play and 
beat the best teams in this region, which is disappointing.  We'll 
certainly take a win and that's a good way to start a four-game week, 
but we came out really sluggish.  Macey continues to play at an 
extremely high level and Mallory did some really good things in the 
post.  We did some good things as a team, as well, but we need 32-
minutes as a team, not four and five-minute stretches," said Lady 
Cards head coach Mark McKinley.
    Junior guard Jade Turner totaled 6 points, finishing 1 of 2 from the 
field and made 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch, while Haleigh 
Criswell made 2 of 7 3-point attempts to post 6 points with 3 boards, 
as Wayne County claimed a 29-24 rebounding advantage.
    "Controlling the backboards was a big key going into the game and we 
did a pretty good job there, plus we made our free throws down the 
stretch to seal the win.  The free throw line has been an area that 
we've struggled at most of the season so to make 10 of 12 late was a 
good sign.  Jade made some big ones and Haleigh shot it well in the 
first half from three, but this was just one of those games that our 
offensive flow and defensive effort lacked at times," said McKinley.
    Kenzie Upchurch provided a spark with 4 points and 4 boards off the 
bench, while Amber Jones and Mariah Bowlin tallied 3 points each. 
Xaviea West scored 2 points, as eight different Lady Cards scored in 
the win.
    Somerset, which dropped to 11-13 on the season, was playing 
shorthanded with two players out but managed two scorers in double 
digits led by the 14 points of 5-4 freshman guard Taya Mills.  Mills 
was 5 of 9 from the field, which included 1 of 5 from 3-point range 
and made 3 of 6 free throw attempts with 3 rebounds, in 30-minutes of 
play.  Junior Madison Garland was 4 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 6 
from the charity stripe to add 12 points with team bests of 8 
rebounds and 4 assists, while logging all 32-minutes.
    Lauren Foutch scored 7 points, Makenzie Fisher and Devan Hurt 
totaled 6 points each, as Hurt also grabbed 5 rebounds, while Kate 
Bruner netted 3 points, as six different Somerset players etched the 
scoring margin.
    The Lady Jumpers scored the game's first 4 points, before Wayne 
County snapped a 5-minute scoreless with 3 baskets to battle to take 
a 6-4 first quarter edge.
    The Lady Cards made 5 of 9 3-pointers in the second stanza, led by 
the 6 points of Haleigh Criswell and 6 points of Macey Blevins to 
spark a 22-10 run and claim a 28-14 halftime lead.
    Mallory Campbell led all players with 9 points in the third frame to 
offset five different Somerset scorers, as a 16-15 tilt left the 
score 44-29 after 24-minutes of play.
    Taya Mills answered with 9 points in the final period, but the Lady 
Cards converted on 10 of 12 free throw attempts, down the stretch to 
hold on for a 58-48 win.
    Wayne County finished 20 of 42 overall from the field for 48 percent 
and that included a 6 of 20 mark from 3-point range for 30 percent. 
The winners tallied on 12 of 18 free throws for 67 percent and 
totaled 12 assists with 4 steals against 10 turnovers.
    The Lady Jumpers countered with 16 of 41 shooting from the field for 
39 percent and that included a 3 of 14 clip from 3-point range for 21 
percent.  The squad connected on 13 of 21 free throw attempts for 62 
percent and tallied 8 assists against 14 turnovers.
    Up next for the Lady Cards was a makeup game at McCreary Central on 
Tuesday night, as the teams met in early December with the Lady 
Raiders claiming a 60-49 road win.
    Details on the matchup are in a related story inside this edition of 
The Outlook.

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