The Wayne County Lady Cardinals opened play in the Best of the Lakes Holiday Classic, at Clinton County High School Gym, on Thursday December 27 against Eighth Region foe South Oldham.  The Lady Cards entered with a 1-7 record on the season and were coming off a 50-41 loss to Anderson County, in the final round of the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic, at Lexington Catholic.  The Lady Dragons owned a 6-2 record on the season and were coming off back to back wins in the Nelson County Hoops Classic, as the squad bested Boyle County 65-53 and Frederick Douglass 62-32.  This was the first of four games in three days for all eight teams in the tournament, as Wayne was in a pool with South Oldham, Henry County and host Clinton County.

    Macey Blevins scored a game high 28 points, to pace four different 
Lady Cards scoring in double figures, as Wayne County made a season 
high 13 of 18 3-pointers for 72 percent and rolled to a 77-56 first 
round win.  Blevins, a 5-10 junior in just her third game back on the 
season, shot 10 of 16 from the floor, which included a perfect 3 of 3 
from 3-point range and made 5 of 6 free throws with 6 rebounds and 4 
assists, in 25 minutes of action.  Sophomore Mariah Bowlin was a 
perfect 6 of 6 from 3-point range to add a career high 18 points, as 
the winners improved to 2-7 on the season.
    "The most important game of the tournament is the opener and I 
thought we played extremely sharp on both ends of the floor.  Macey 
was really in a good rhythm and is getting back into form after 
having a little time to shake the rust off, from being out of 
action.  What a job shooting the basketball as a team and what a 
confidence-builder this effort was by Mariah.  This should really be 
a breakout game for her moving forward and when we shoot the ball 
that well from three, we can do some really good things," said Lady 
Cards head coach Mark McKinley.
    Sophomore forward Mallory Campbell finished 6 of 13 from the floor 
and 1 of 2 from the free throw line to just miss a double-double with 
14 points and 9 rebounds, while Jade Turner tallied 6 points with 4 
assists.  Haleigh Criswell netted 5 points with 4 boards, while the 
trio of Xaviea West, Kenzie Upchurch and Sydney Alley all scored 2 
points each, as eight different Lady Cards scored in the impressive win.
    "Anytime a team shoots the ball well, everything on the other end 
gets easier as well.  This was just a very solid tournament opener 
against a nice team in South Oldham," said McKinley.
    South Oldham, which dropped to 6-3, was led by the 17 points of 
senior guard Skyler Sahatijan.  The stalwart was 6 of 12 from the 
field, which included 3 of 5 from 3-point range and was a perfect 2 
of 2 from the free throw line, in just under 24-minutes of play. 
Eighth grader Ella Morrison connected on 4 of 11 field goal attempts, 
with a 3 of 7 mark from 3-point range and made 2 of 2 from the 
charity stripe to post 13 points with a team high 7 rebounds, while 
logging all 32-minutes.  Sophia Kirtland scored 6 points, as a total 
of eight different Lady Dragons etched the scoring margin.
    Macey Blevins and Mariah Bowlin each scored 6 points in the opening 
minutes, as Wayne County raced to a 17-10 first quarter lead.
    Mallory Campbell dominated the second stanza with 10 points and the 
Lady Cards totaled 4 3-pointers in the second stanza and used a 21-15 
run to own a 38-25 halftime advantage.  South Oldham was led by the 
10 first half points of Ella Morrison, as the 38 points in a half 
were a season high for Wayne County.
    Bowlin added three more triples in the third frame for 9 points, 
which sparked a 25-14 run and gave the Lady Cards a commanding 63-39 
edge after 24 minutes of play.
    Skyler Sahatijan scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half, 
including back to back threes in the fourth quarter, as South Oldham 
ended the game with a 17-14 clip to leave the final score at 77-56. 
Macey Blevins totaled 17 points in the second half, as the Lady Cards 
finished with a season high 77 points.
    Wayne County, which dominated the backboards with a 37-26 rebounding 
clip, connected on 29 of 55 field goal attempts overall for 53 
percent and that included a net-scorching 13 of 18 from 3-point range 
for 72 percent.  The winners converted on 6 of 8 free throw attempts 
for 75 percent and totaled 14 assists with 3 steals, against 13 
turnovers.
    South Oldham finished 18 of 58 overall from the field for 31 
percent, which included 10 of 31 shooting from behind the 3-point 
line for 32 percent.  The squad connected on 10 of 11 free throw 
attempts for 91 percent and tallied 5 assists against 10 turnovers.
    Up next for the Lady Cards was a Friday afternoon matchup with Henry 
County, while the Lady Dragons would face Clinton County.
    Details on Wayne County's game with Henry County is in a related story inside this edition of The Outlook.

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