• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets get first district win of season

Caitlin Ferguson powers her way for a layup during the Woodford County High School girls’ basketball game against district-rival Frankfort at home in The Hive on Saturday, Jan. 2. The senior led her team with a double-double, as she scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to help the Lady Jackets win the game 64-56. (Photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

In a crucial, must-win district game, the Woodford County High School girls’ basketball team scored a 64-56 win over Frankfort at home in The Hive on Saturday, Jan. 2. With the win, the Lady Jackets are now 5-7 overall, 2-2 in the region, and in third place in the 41st District with a 1-2 record. “It’s just a big district win for us because we are now in third place in the district, not in fourth,” said Woodford head coach Jay Lucas after the game. “Frankfort is in fourth. That’s important because the fourth-place team has to play Franklin County in the first round of the district (tournament). So, that’s just a big win. If we can get another one, either Western Hills at home this month or Frankfort away at the end of the month, that’ll secure us into the No. 3 seed (in the tournament).” Prior to the start of the game, the team honored senior Caitlin Ferguson for scoring her 1,000th point during Woodford’s game against Owen County in the Community Trust Bank Invitational Tournament at Western Hills on Wednesday, Dec. 30. She reached the milestone in the second quarter of that game to become the 16th player to reach 1,000 points as a member of the Lady Jackets. “It was pretty awesome,” said Ferguson of her achievement. “I, honestly, didn’t know. I didn’t think I was going to make it. When he (Lucas) told me that I was close in our pre-season meeting I was like – ‘Whoa, okay.’ Then, it was funny, because my grandpa told me that I was 26 points off, when really I was only six points off. So, I had no clue.” Added Lucas, “(Caitlin) becomes the 16th member to join the 1,000-point club, and we’re proud of her as a coaching staff. She’s an excellent player, an excellent athlete, and plays hard all the time. She really gives her all for this team and is showing great leadership for us.” Against Frankfort, Woodford came out on fire and opened up an 18-7 lead on four two-pointers by eighth-grader Delaney Enlow, two three-pointers by Ferguson, and two-pointers by senior Erica Hysell and eighth-grader Abby Moffett. But then Frankfort finally got its game going, and by the end of the first quarter had caught up to make it a two-point game, 18-16. In the second quarter, it was a much different game, as the two teams stayed within one or two points of each other the entire stanza. Woodford regained the lead early at 19-16, but Frankfort came back and tied it 20-20, then took the lead 23-20. A few plays later with the Lady Panthers up by one, 25-24, eighth-grader Kasey Abel hit a basket to give Woodford the lead, 26-25, but then Frankfort came back once again, and on two free throws and a layup regained the lead, 29-26. Eighth-grader Abby Moffett then hit two free throws to make it a one-point game, 29-28, going into the half. At the start of the third quarter, Ferguson hit a free throw and a three-pointer early to give Woodford the lead, 32-29. After that, while Frankfort did hit a few baskets, Woodford began to take control of the game. Behind a two-pointer-and-one play by Moffett, two free throws by sophomore Peyton Rose, two-pointers by Enlow and Hysell, and another three-pointer by Ferguson, Woodford led 44-37 with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter. Soon after, the quarter ended with Woodford ahead 51-37. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Jackets continued to play strong and, while tiring a little, would not allow the Lady Panthers back into the game. By the 4:11 mark, Woodford held a 17-point lead, 60-43, on the way to a 64-56 win. Ferguson, who is currently ranked in the top 20 in scoring (20.9 per game) and three-point shooting (3.3 per game) in the state, led the Lady Jackets in the game with a double-double, scoring 25 points and 14 rebounds. “Caitlin played a great game. Got a great start to the game,” said Lucas. “We got up 18-7 and then they made a run at the end of the first quarter to make it 18-16. She was big all night. She handled the ball well. I think she got a little tired at the end because I didn’t sub for her, so she made some mistakes at the end. But that’s okay. She carried us a lot during the game.” Also scoring a double-double was Enlow, with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Moffett finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Enlow is also ranked in the top 20 in the state in rebounds (10.0 per game) and field-goal percentage (61.2 percent). “Enlow and Moffett were both big,” said Lucas. “Both of those eighth-graders played a good game today; a good solid game. Enlow had a bunch of points, Moffett had a bunch of points. We’ve been looking for a third leading scorer, and Moffett stepped up.” Lucas also made note of the play of a few other players. “I thought Peyton (Rose) handled the pressure all night long really well,” he said. “And, Erica and Kasey – Erica Hysell (senior) and Kasey Abel (eighth-grader), both chased (Frankfort’s Brianna) Burbridge all night and did a really good job on her.” Prior to the game against Frankfort, Woodford finished 1-2 in the Community Trust Bank Invitational Tournament at Western Hills, Tuesday andWednesday, Dec. 29 and 30. “We went 1-2. I thought we should have been 2-1,” said Lucas after the game against Frankfort. “We should have beat Owen County. It was an overtime loss. Tough loss for us, but we learned from it and moved forward and got ready for (Frankfort), and came out tonight and played really well.” Woodford opened the Western Hills’ tournament with two games on Tuesday. In the first one, the Lady Jackets defeated Ballard 54-34. Ferguson led the team with 24 points, while Enlow had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. In the second game, Woodford lost to Shelby County 46-31. Enlow scored another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Ferguson led the team with 14 points. In their final game of the tournament, Woodford lost a close game in overtime to Owen County, 64-61. Ferguson led Woodford with 20 point and nine rebounds, while Enlow scored another double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. In addition, Rose had 13 points and Moffett had eight points.

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