• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS girls’ basketball teams strive for success

The Woodford County Middle School girls’ basketball team played its second full week of the fall schedule and came home with some mixed results, as the sixth-grade team went 0-2, the seventh grade team finished 1-2, and the eighth-grade team went 0-3. Here’s how the week unfolded for all three teams. 6th Grade The sixth grade team opened the week at Elkhorn on Thursday, Aug. 25, and lost 32-6. Leading Woodford was Sophie Lester with six points. “The first road game for these girls and we are playing our biggest rival,” said WCMS head coach Stephen Bruce. “They just did not understand what conference road game was like against a big rival. Elkhorn is also very big and athletic. We actually survived the first quarter being only down five points. We had more turnovers the entire night than we did points and that is never a good combination for victory. A lesson learned and we move on to the next game.” The next game was against Bondurant at home on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Woodford lost 31-7. Lester led the team once again, this time with five points. Also, Haydon Wells had two points. “Bondurant is another physical team,” said Bruce. “They opened the game being very aggressive and we did not respond very well and were down 11 points after the first. The first quarter rattled us a little and we never got into any offense and went scoreless. We went in at the half to settle everyone down. We made a couple of adjustments and came out and played a better second half. We saw some improvement and will build on the things they did well, but we just can’t score right now and that leads to losing.” The sixth grade team is now 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference. 7th Grade The seventh-grade team opened the week at home on Tuesday, Aug. 23, with a 28-19 win over Royal Springs. Leading Woodford was Tori Cavins with 10 points and Mackenzie Karo with six points. “A big home conference game for us as we battle to stay on top in our conference.,” said Bruce. “Royal Springs plays an aggressive 2-3 zone and we tried to prepare for it. We did not shoot the ball very well in the first quarter and were only behind by one point. The second quarter we picked up our defense which led to some easy baskets and built our confidence. It also enabled us to take the lead into half time. We had a good third quarter and took control of the game. It was all predicated on our defense. We held on for a good win.” In the seventh-grade teams second game of the week they played at Elkhorn on Thursday, Aug. 25, and lost 34-18. Leading the team was Cavins with eight points. “The fun game of the week is against Elkhorn,” said Bruce. “They are big, quick, aggressive, and strong. All of those attributes are tough for any team to handle and we did not handle them either. We were down 18-4 after the first quarter. We did settle down in the second quarter and caused them to be a little tentative. We were happy to be only down 14 at the half. The second half, our girls played hard and played them even for the most part. Their size and pressure won the day.” In its final game of the week, the seventh-grade team lost to Bondurant 31-27 at home on Saturday, Aug. 27. Leading the team was Mackenzie Karo with nine points, Elizabeth Edwards with eight points and Jaden Oldham with six points. “We started the game very tenacious on defense causing turnovers and fast break opportunities,” said Bruce. “We did not capitalize on all of them, but we played well. We went into halftime up by five points, but were displeased with the effort in the second quarter. We fell asleep in the third quarter and Bondurant took the lead. I was not sure how we would respond, but they fought back to within one and we had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead. We had a few turnovers at the wrong time that stopped the momentum to take the lead. It was the third quarter that cost us the game. The seventh-grade team is now 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference. 8th Grade The eighth-grade team opened the week on the road, Tuesday, Aug. 23, and lost to Royal Spring, 39-23. Leading Woodford was Devan Champion with eight points and Adriana Jackson with six points. “We were not ready to play this game,” said Bruce. “We stood around and Royal Springs took it right at us and we dug ourselves a hole after the first quarter. The girls did not shoot well, but their defense kept them in the game. We played a little more like we are capable in the second half. We ran our offense and good things began to happen. The hole we dug in the first quarter was too big to get out of tonight.” The second game of the week was also on the road against Elkhorn on Thursday, Aug. 25, and Woodford lost 33-21. Leading the team in scoring was Halee Hood with nine points. “I could describe Elkhorn the same way for all three grades,” said Bruce. “WCMS opened the game with a couple of turnovers that turned into points for Elkhorn and I thought it was going to be a long night. They stopped the bleeding quickly and responded with some really good defense in the second quarter to keep the game close. We just could not get a shot to fall in the first half. The second half we battled them all night. We played very hard and played our best up to this point in the season. Elkhorn was just too big and talented tonight for us to get a win, but I was proud of how hard they played.” The seventh-grade teams final game of the week was on Saturday, Aug. 27 against Bondurant, and Woodford lost 34-11. Hood led the team once again, this time with four points. “Saturday morning games are always a mystery of what you are going to get in terms of quality play,” said Bruce. “On this day the mystery was solved in the first quarter as we did not score. We could not catch the ball nor did we execute anything we worked on in practice. The second quarter was a little better, but we just struggled. “We decided at halftime to trap on the half court and disrupt their offense. It worked and we were able to get a few easy baskets. We also ran our offense much better, but we had issues catching the ball all day. This was not a pretty game. We will now prepare for a full week next week.” The eighth-grade team is now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

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