The Wayne County Lady Cardinals hosted East Jessamine, on January 25 at the Rodney C. Woods Gymnasium, in an important 12th Region matchup
for both teams. The Lady Cards entered with a 9-8 mark on the season
and were coming off their first loss in nine games, a 66-61 loss at
Rockcastle County. East Jessamine owned a 7-10 mark on the season
and was coming off back to back close home losses to Berea 47-45 and
Bourbon County 54-53, earlier in the week. The teams met last season
on January 19 of 2019 with Wayne County rolling to a 70-31 road win,
at East Jessamine.
The Lady Cards jumped to an early 8-0 lead and enjoyed a double-
digit lead at the end of every quarter the rest of the way, as Wayne
County cruised to a 59-40 home win. Macey Blevins led the way with
14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, in just over 24-minutes of
action. The 5-10 junior All-State candidate was 4 of 7 from the
floor, which included 3 of 4 from 3-point range and connected on 3 of
4 free throw attempts, while Mallory Campbell added a double-double
with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Campbell was 4 of 8 from the field
and 3 of 5 from the charity stripe, as the winners improved to 10-8
on the season.
"This was a good team win coming off a tough loss earlier in the
week. Macey shot it well, distributed the basketball and was solid
on defense. This was also a good matchup for Mallory as she had to
battle against a smaller, but quicker post player and managed a
double-double. Our kids have been battling some ankle injuries and
the sickness-bug as well, so to come in and still battle well enough
to get a win is a positive. Our execution was lacking at times, but
we'll take the win and move on to a big challenge on Monday night,"
said Lady Cards head coach Mark McKinley.
Jade Turner totaled 10 points, finishing 3 of 5 from the floor,
which included 2 of 3 from 3-point range and was a perfect 2 of 2
from the free throw line, while Haleigh Criswell posted 7 points with
6 rebounds. Mariah Bowlin tallied on 2 of 5 3-pointers and 1 of 2
free throws to net 7 points, while the sophomore duo of Kenzie
Upchurch and Amber Jones both tallied 4 points. Jones added 4
boards, as Wayne County enjoyed a 45-25 rebound advantage.
"Jade continues to improve and all our girls have improved, but
credit Jade her confidence continues to grow on offense. We need a
third scorer in double figures each night out and with this team we
certainly have five, or six different players that can come from. We
had all five starters score seven or more points, so that's the type
of balance we like to have," said McKinley.
Sophomore Xaviea West chipped in with 2 points and 6 rebounds, as
eight of the 12 Lady Cards that logged minutes marked the scoring
East Jessamine, which dropped to 7-11, got 17 points, 5 rebounds and
3 assists from 5-7 freshman guard Jermyra Christian. Christian was 6
of 18 from the field, which included 2 of 6 shooting from 3-point
range and converted on 3 of 9 free throw attempts, while Autumn
Harrison tallied 5 points. Hannah McClain sparked the bench with
4 points, all in the first half, while a foursome of Lady Jaguars all
added 3 points. Iesha Dean posted 2 points with a team best 13
rebounds, despite shooting 1 of 13 from the field, as eight different
visitors etched the scoring margin.
"East Jessamine had a good game plan and watched tape, so they
certainly made us work on both ends of the court. They are very
athletic and also very young, so their best basketball is coming,"
Wayne County opened 6 of 10 from the field and made 4 of 7 3-
pointers to counter 5 turnovers to take an 18-7 first quarter lead.
East Jessamine opened just 3 of 15 from the field and would struggle
thru the opening three periods of play.
Macey Blevins totaled 11 points in the first half and the Lady Cards
used a 14-8 clip in the second stanza to take a 32-15 halftime
Seven different Wayne County players scored in a balanced third
frame as a 16-10 surge pushed the lead to 48-25 after 24-minutes of
The Lady Jaguars heated up for 5 3-pointers in the closing minutes
and ended the game with a 15-11 scoring edge, which left the final
score at 59-40.
Wayne County finished 21 of 44 overall from the field for 48 percent
and that included a 7 of 15 clip from 3-point range for 47 percent.
The winners connected on 10 of 15 free throw attempts for 67 percent
and totaled 11 assists with 1 steal against 16 turnovers.
East Jess shot 15 of 56 overall from the floor for 27 percent and
that included a 7 of 21 mark from 3-point range for 33 percent. The
squad was 3 of 9 from the free throw line for 33 percent and tallied
4 assists against 6 turnovers.
Up next for Wayne County is a challenging three-game week, as South
Laurel comes to town Monday, followed by a road-trip to Garrard
County on Thursday with a home date with Mercer County on Saturday in
the inaugural Kenny Davis Classic.
"South Laurel is one of the favorites in the 13th Region for good
reason, Garrard County is as improved as anyone in our region and
Mercer County is playing as well as anyone right now, so yes a huge
set of challenges for our basketball team. Hopefully we can heal-up,
I know we're looking forward to it," said McKinley.
Details of all three games will appear in next week's edition of The
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