The Wayne County Lady Cardinals met 12th Region rival Rockcastle County, last Friday night at Lincoln County High School's Patriot Gym, in the second semifinal game of the 12th Region Tournament.
Wayne County entered with a 17-14 mark on the season and advanced
into the matchup with a 61-57 upset win over Mercer County in the
opening round on Tuesday. Rockcastle County owned a four-game
winning streak that included a 74-56 opening round win over Garrard
County and entered with an impressive 25-7 mark on the season. The
Lady Rockets owned a five-game winning streak against Wayne County,
which included a 66-61 home decision on January 21st of this season,
as the Lady Cards were looking for their first championship game
appearance since March of 2007.
Rockcastle County ended the first quarter with a 12-0 run and never
looked back, rolling to a 36-11 halftime lead, cruising to the 67-30
semifinals win. All-Region junior forward Casey Coleman led a
balanced attack with 15 points and 5 rebounds, while freshman Keelee
King added 14 points and 5 boards, as the winners finished with four
scorers in double figures. Coleman was 4 of 7 from the field and an
impressive 7 of 8 from the free throw line, while King made 5 of 8
field goal attempts, which included 4 of 7 from 3-point range, as the
Lady Rockets improved to 26-7 on the season.
"We ran into a buzz saw that absolutely shot the lights out and
their length and size on both ends of the court made for a long
night. This hurts and it stings but we have so much to be proud of
and look forward to moving forward. Credit Rockcastle County they
shot over 70 percent from the field in the first half and we just
couldn't get into any sync on our end, which is also a credit to
their effort. We picked a really tough night to struggle but despite
the score our kids kept playing hard, so proud of their efforts all
season," said Lady Cards head coach Mark McKinley.
Lindsey Jones came off the bench to provide a lift with 13 points
and 3 boards, as the reserve was 5 of 8 from the floor, which
included 3 of 5 from behind the 3-point line. Senior guard Shelby
Newland was impressive with 12 points and a game high 7 assists,
finishing 3 of 4 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free throw line.
McKenzie Himes battled foul-problems to post 8 points with 3 boards,
while Halie Brown totaled 3 points. Jordan Harper contributed 2
points, as seven different Lady Rockets etched the scoring margin.
"Rockcastle County starts four girls that are 5-10, 5-11, 6-0 and
6-1 so that is a matchup problem and add to that they all have great
quickness. We struggled on the backboards and that's a challenge
when the other team is shooting so well from the tip, credit
Rockcastle County they are playing their best basketball at the right
time," said McKinley.
Wayne County, which had their season end at 17-15, was led by the 16
points and 7 rebounds of Macey Blevins. The 5-10 first team All-
Region selection was 6 of 20 from the field, which included 2 of 7
from 3-point range and 2 of 4 from the free throw line, while Mallory
Campbell joined the 1000-point club with 9 points and 4 boards.
Campbell was 3 of 7 from the field and 3 of 6 from the free throw
line, as Wayne County shot just 22 percent from the field.
"Macey does so much for us and they really had an excellent game-
plan but to her she just kept playing and battling. Congrats to both
her and Mallory for making the All-Tournament team, as Mallory joined
the 1000-point club as a sophomore, what an accomplishment," said
Kenzie Upchurch posted 4 points with 3 boards and Mariah Bowlin
added 3 points, as four different Lady Cards etched the scoring column.
McKenzie Himes led all players with 6 points in the opening quarter
as Rockcastle County used a 12-0 run to claim a 16-5 first quarter
Shelby Newland led all players with 10 points in the first half as
the Lady Rockets used a 20-6 second stanza to own a 36-11 halftime lead.
Keelee King opened the second half with 3 straight threes which
offset the 10 points of Macey Blevins as a 20-13 edge pushed the
score to 56-24 after 24-minutes of play.
Rockcastle County enacted the running-clock in the middle of the
fourth quarter as an 11-6 scoring edge left the final score at 67-30.
The Lady Rockets, which claimed a 31-21 rebound advantage, shot 22
of 34 overall for 65 percent and that included an 8 of 14 mark from 3-
point range for 57 percent. The winners made 16 of 18 free throw
attempts for 89 percent and totaled 17 assists with 4 steals against
Wayne County countered with 10 of 46 shooting overall for 22 percent
and that included a 3 of 24 mark from 3-point land for 13 percent.
The squad connected on 7 of 12 free throw attempts for 58 percent and
tallied 2 assists with 6 steals against 8 turnovers.
The contest marked the end of the prep career for Wayne County's All-
District tournament selection senior Haleigh Criswell.
"We'll miss Haleigh very much; she's been a rock for this team and
this program. Such a bright young lady and her future is very bright
as well, we appreciate her commitment and dedication to this
program," said McKinley.
Congrats to the Lady Cards on a memorable season that included
several huge wins and the challenge to go even further in the future.
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