The Monticello Lady Trojans hosted Wayne County last Friday night at  

MHS Gym, in an important district match up for both teams. The Lady  

Cards entered with a 0-3 mark and were coming off a 57-40 home loss  

to Lincoln County, earlier in the week. Monticello owned a 1-1 mark  

and was coming off an impressive 34-32 district win over  

Southwestern, on Tuesday night.

    Wayne County won all three games in the rivalry last season,  

including a 61-55 decision, in the opening round of the 48th District  


    Junior guard Jessica Hardin scored a career high 27 points and  

Samantha Sexton added a season best 17 points, as the Lady Cards  

built a 36-16 halftime lead, en route to a 56-39 district win. Hardin  

shot 10 of 18 from

the field, which included a 3 of 4 tally from 3-point range, plus  

converted on 4 of 4 free throw attempts.

     Sexton shot 4 of 12 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free  

throw line, while Jamie Roberts and TaShea Pyles both finished with 5  

points each, as the Lady Cards improved to 1-3 on the season.

     "This was a big one for our team and after opening the season so  

rough, just a great way to open district play. I thought both Jessica  

and Samantha had really big offensive nights. We passed the ball well  

and had pretty good shot selection, plus took decent care of the  

basketball," said Lady Cards head coach Tim Pyles.

     Heather Rigney netted 2 points off the bench, as five different  

Lady Cards etched the scoring column.

    "We stepped up and made our free throws, plus shot the ball fairly  

well from the field," said Pyles.

    Monticello, which dropped to 1-2, was led with the 9 points each of  

Malesha and Mariah Hughes. Malesha, a 5-7 senior, finished 4 of 8  

from the field, which included a 3-pointer, while the sophomore  

connected on 3 of 8 field goal attempts and 2 of 4 free throws.

     Tiara Duncan added 8 points and Autumn Bell returned to the  

lineup with

7 points, as seven different Lady Trojans scored in the contest.

     "I was extremely disappointed in our effort. We didn't play with  

any intensity, or confidence. Just a real lack of focus for whatever  

the reason, but give Wayne County credit. I thought they executed  

very well and wanted it more than we did," said Kelsch.

     Bethany Peyton contributed 3 points, Whitney Watkins tallied 2  

points and Taylor Troxell scored 1, to round-out the Monticello  

players in the

scoring margin.

     "Jessica Hardin has a big game for them, but also credit  

Samantha Sexton too, we never had an answer for Sexton in the low-

post," said Kelsch.

     Wayne County used the 8 points of Jessica Hardin to roll a 13-4  

early lead, but Monticello ended the opening quarter with an 8-2 run  

of their own, to close the score to 15-12, after 8 minutes. The Lady  

Cards opened 5 of 13 from the field with 4 of 11 shooting from the  

field and 2 of 2 effort from the free throw line.

     "We got off to a really fast start and had a couple of chances  

to push the lead, but didn't convert. They came right back and made a  

couple of shots, so we have to do a better job of keeping momentum,"  

said Pyles.

     Hardin added 10 points in the second stanza and Sexton totaled  

9, as Wayne County used a 21-4 run, to claim a 36-16 halftime advantage.

     The Lady Cards made 7 of 7 free throws, during the second period  

run, while Monticello finished 2 of 8 from the floor.

     Tiara Duncan led all players with 5 points in the third frame,  

but the visitors claimed an 11-9 tilt, to push to a 47-25 lead, after  

24 minutes.

     Monticello used the 7 fourth quarter points of Malesha Hughes to  

close the gap of 10 points at 47-37, but Wayne County ended the game  

on a 9-2 run, to roll to a 56-39 win. The duo of Hardin and Sexton  

accounted for all 9 of Wayne County's fourth period points and  

finished with 44 of the team's 56 points.

     "I thought both of those players had really good scoring nights,  

but we also need some other girls to step up. We have to develop some  

more scoring balance and need some points off our bench," said Pyles.

     The Lady Cards finished 18 of 45 overall for 40 percent and  

tallied on 5 of 10 3-pointers for 50 percent. The winners made 15 of  

19 free throw attempts for 79 percent and finished with 12 turnovers.  

Monticello shot 13 of 39 overall for 33 percent. The squad connected  

on 8 of 13 free throws for 62 percent and totaled 16 turnovers.

     Up next for the Lady Trojans was a Saturday date with Pineville,  

in the

Southern Kentucky shootout, at McCreary County Central. Monticello  

claimed a 61-43 win in that game and the complete story will be in  

next week's edition of The Outlook.

    Wayne County was also back in action on Saturday evening, with a  

trip to 12th Region foe Danville. Details on that match up are in a  

related story inside this edition.

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