WCHS girls’ basketball falls to Western Hills in OT
The Woodford County High School girls’ basketball team has picked up its play over the last week, but fell just short against Western Hills in a district matchup, 66-62, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at home in The Hive. “We played really well,” said Woodford head coach Jay Lucas. “We had some fundamental flaws in the last few minutes of regulation and overtime that hurt us. We missed a couple free-throw rebounds that were big. We had a three-point lead (and) if we had gotten those two rebounds, I think we would have probably won.” The loss to Western Hills was the third loss in a row for Woodford, and the second to a district rival. The Lady Jackets lost 79-42 at Franklin County in a district game on Friday, Jan. 15, and then lost to North Hardin 62-52 at the Autism Classic at Marion County on Saturday, Jan. 16. With those three losses, Woodford is now 5-13 overall, 2-5 in the region and 1-4 in the district, with an all important district game at Frankfort coming up on Friday, Jan. 30. The Lady Jackets have to win that game to stay in third place in the district to get a good seed in the upcoming 41 District tournament. Against Western Hills on Tuesday, Woodford was in top form early in the game and behind two three-pointers by sophomore Peyton Rose, who had the hot hand all game long, took an early 6-5 lead. Western Hills came back and regained the lead, 10-6, but then, behind two baskets by eighth-grader Delaney Enlow, Woodford tied it 10-10, then regained the lead 13-12 on a three-pointer by senior Caitlin Ferguson as the first quarter came to an end. In the second quarter, the two teams stayed close, but Woodford maintained the lead most of the way. Then, with the Lady Jackets ahead 19-18, the Lady Wolverines hit two baskets in a row to take a 20-19 lead. After the two teams swapped free throws, which gave Western Hills a 21-20 lead, Rose nailed another three-pointer to give put the Lady Jackets ahead, 23-21. But then the Lady Wolverines made one of two free throws to make it a one-point game, 23-23, at the half. The third quarter saw Western Hills take a quick 26-24 lead, and then improve it to 33-27 midway through the stanza. Woodford then fought back and with 24.9 seconds to go, Rose hit two free throws to give the Lady Jackets the lead, 36-35. Western Hills then hit a two pointer to retake the lead, 37-36, but eighth-grader Abby Moffett came right back and nailed a last second three-pointer to put Woodford ahead 39-37 at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter was an exciting one, as both teams continued to play good defense and hit their shots early, but Woodford maintained control and led 46-43 halfway through the quarter. But Western Hills continued to play hard and hit a three-pointer to tie it 46-46, only to see Ferguson drive down the lane for a two-point layup, which was followed by a two-pointer by Enlow, to give Woodford a 50-46 lead. Following a Western Hills three-point play, which made it 50-49, Rose hit two free throws to keep Woodford ahead, 52-49. But once again, the Lady Wolverines came right back and with a layup and two free throws, took a 53-52 lead with 33.2 seconds left in the game. On the Lady Jackets’ next possession, Moffett hit a three-pointer that gave Woodford a 55-53 lead, but Western Hills came back and hit a two-pointer to tie it 55-55 with just a few ticks left on the clock in the game. Woodford still had one play left to try in the game, and it was a beauty that just fell short. It began with Rose making a long, down-the-court pass to a wide-open Ferguson, but it fell off the senior’s fingertips and bounced harmlessly out of bounds. If that pass had been just a little shorter, Ferguson might have gotten it and made the winning basket. But she didn’t and the game went into overtime. In overtime, just like in the game, the score went back and forth between the two teams early. But with Western Hills ahead 62-60 and with 1:10to go in the overtime period, Ferguson fouled out, Western Hills hit a free throw, and the Lady Wolverines led 63-60. Rose then connected on two free throws to make it a one-point game, 63-62, but that would be as close as the Lady Jackets got, as Western Hills hit three free throws down the stretch to get the win, 66-62. “I just thought we played good enough to win,” said Lucas. “We just didn’t quite (finish off some) plays. I mean, we were two inches too long on that last second play to Caitlin to end regulation. It was perfectly thrown by Peyton; just a little bit too long. If she (Caitlin) catches it and lays it in, we’re talking about how dumb a play it was for them to (not stop) a full-court (play).” Rose, arguably, had her best game of the season, leading the team with 26 points. “(Rose) had a really good game,” said Lucas. “She handled the ball really well. Took care of the ball (and) didn’t turn it over that much. Played flawless as the point.” Ferguson, who Western Hills keyed on throughout the game, finished with eight points. “They (Western Hills) designed their defense to stop Caitlin tonight,” said Lucas. “That’s the first time we’ve seen a box and chaser for much of the game. They chased Caitlin the whole game and (our) other kids had to step up and make shots.” One of those players who stepped up was Enlow, who had a double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds, while Moffett had 10 points. “She (Enlow) did really good,” said Lucas. “… She brought us back there in the fourth quarter and in overtime and made some big plays. Defensively, we’re so much better with her down there on the defensive end, too. “Moffett played pretty good in the second half. I challenged her at half time and she played a lot better.” In Woodford’s 79-41 loss to No. 8 Franklin County, Enlow led the team with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Ferguson had 13 points and five rebounds, and Moffett had six points. Then in the team’s 62-52 loss to North Hardin, Ferguson had a monster game, leading the team with 23 points and nine rebounds. “We played really well that game,” said Lucas. “Caitlin was on fire. She had six threes through three quarters. We just didn’t quite finish the deal. We were down two going into the fourth. Then they pulled a way and beat us by 10.” Also, senior Erica Hysell had 13 points, Enlow and four points and eight rebounds, Rose had four points and eight rebounds and Moffett had eight points.