• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS girls’ basketball teams continue improvement

The Woodford County Middle School girls’ basketball teams have seen a lot of action over the last two weeks and have had some mixed results. In the five games the three teams have played, the sixth-grade team finished 2-3, the seventh-grade team went 4-1 and the eighth-grade team finished 1-4. Here’s a recap of all three middle school basetball teams’ games. 6th Grade The sixth-grade team played at home against Harrison County on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and scored a 20-10 win. Leading the team was Sophie Lester with 11 points. “It was a fast paced game to start with and we were being aggressive taking the ball to the basket,” said Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce. “Sophie Lester led the charge by scoring seven of her 11 points in the first quarter. Our defense remained solid throughout the night. It was our pressure defense that caused the most problem for them and we were able to get a good win.” The team was on the road at Campbell for its next game on Thursday, Sept. 8, and in a close contest, Woodford lost, 16-12. Lester scored six points to lead the team once again. “Long bus trips make for very sluggish starts,” said Bruce. “We slept walked through the first half and were only capable of scoring four points on offense and their full court pressure caused a lot of turnovers. “The good news was our defense was solid and we held them to seven points. We stayed out on the floor at half time and walked through a few plays and prepared for their fullcourt pressure, which paid off. We handled their pressure better and played much better. They had a little more fire power and beat us in a close one 16-12.” In other recent action, the sixth-grade team traveled to Lexington and defeated Lexington Catholic 30-24 in a game on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Lester led the team with 14 points. Then on Tuesday, Aug. 30, the team went to Georgetown and lost to Scott County 13-11. In the game, Lester scored eight points and Kristyn Murphy had two points. Then in a home game on Thursday, Sept. 1, Woodford lost to McNabb 34-26. Lester had 17 points in the game, while Haydon Wells had five. With all those games complete, the sixth-grade team is 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference. 7th Grade The seventh-grade team had a home game against Harrison County on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and got the win, 27-23. Tori Cavins led the team with nine points, while Mackenzie Karo and Emma Moffett contributed seven points each. “We opened with a flurry and held them to one basket,” said Bruce. “The second quarter was just some poorly executed basketball and we allowed them to get right back in the game. Harrison County had one player that scored most of their points. We talked about how to stop her and to be more aggressive attacking the basket. “The third quarter we accomplished the aggressive part, but we could not hit a free throw. We were 0 for 6. We tightened up our defense and picked up the pace of the game, which is to our advantage and were able to extend our lead. Free throws were a killer, as we shot 25 percent for the game. It could have been an easier win.” Next, Woodford went on the road and lost to Campbell 41-24. Cavins once again led the team in scoring with 13 points. “This was a big and athletic group of girls and we played afraid,” said Bruce. “We did not score our first basket until one minute to go in the first quarter. The good news for us was that Campbell was not shooting very well or it could have been worse. Their big girl got things going in the second fueled by their press. We went into halftime down 19-6, but felt if we took it to them that we could draw some fouls and beat them. We came out with a little more spunk, but we had no answer for their big girl. They extended their lead and cruised to an easy victory.” In previous action, the seventh-grade team defeated Lexington Catholic on the road on Monday, Aug. 29. Cavins had 14 points in the game, while Elizabeth Edwards had eight. Then on Tuesday, Aug. 30, Woodford played Scott County in Georgetown and got a big win, 38-8. Cavins led the team in scoring once again with 10 points, while Madison Tracy had eight points. Then on Thursday, Sept. 1, at home, Woodford defeated McNabb 25-21. Cavins had 12 points and Tracy had four points. The seventh-grade team is now 7-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. 8th Grade Like the other two middle school teams, the eighth-grade team had a home game against Harrison County on Tuesday, Sept. 6, where they lost 41-23. Devan Champion had nine points in the game to lead Woodford, while Adriana Jackson contributed six points. “Harrison County is a pretty solid team and we knew we needed to play well to win,” said Bruce. “Our problem is the start of the game. We dig ourselves a hole and spend the rest of the game trying to get out. This game was no different. “We scored three points in the first half and most of that is because we missed easy shots or we turned the ball over. It seems like we come in at halftime and settle ddown and come out and play teams fairly even. The second half was 23-20, which means we would be in the game if the first half was the same. They played hard and have something build off of from the second half.” Next, Woodford was on the road on Thursday, Sept. 8, and lost to Campbell 42-25. Caegan Brandenburg led the team with seven points, while Mackenzie Karo contributed five points. “This is a big, athletic team,” said Bruce. “I reminded our players about the press since we had seen it the two games before ours and for the most part handle it pretty good. The issues we had was when we tried to make long passes. They are athletic enough to make steals and go score. “We did a little better with our start of the game, but were still down 12 at the half. We could not buy a basket and got frustrated a little and they extended their lead. The one thing that made me proud was our team continued to fight until the end. We got beat by a better team, but saw some improvement.” In previous action, the eighth-grade team lost to Lexington Catholic on the road on Monday, Aug. 29. Champion led the team with five points and Karo had four points in the game. In their next game on Tuesday, Aug. 30, the team travelled to Georgetown where it lost to Scott County 31-18. Lilli Bicknell led the team with nine points, and Champion had six. Then in a home game on Thursday, Sept. 1, Woodford defeated McNabb 36-16. Champion led the team with 12 points, while Jackson had 10 points and Halee Hood had eight points. The eighth-grade team is now 3-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

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