• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS 7th-grade girls’ basketball wins three games

The Woodford County Middle School girls’ basketball teams continue to work on their games as they get closer to the postseason. Over the last week, all three teams played the same opponents, with the seventh-grade team having the most success as they won all three of their games, while the sixth- and eighth-grade teams each went 1-2. Here’s a recap of the games. 7th Grade The seventh-grade team faced Scott County at home on Monday, Sept. 12, and came away with a big win, 33-13. Tori Cavins led the team with 11 points. “This should be an easy game to get ready for because it is a big rival and a conference game,” said Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce. “However, we were very lethargic and made unforced errors all night. We took this team for granted because we beat them handily earlier in the season. We finally decided to play in the third quarter and took complete control of the game. We were able to get another conference win to stay in contention for the conference title.” Lexington Catholic was Woodford’s next opponent at home on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and the seventh-graders won 26-18. Cavins led the team with nine points, while Elizabeth Edwards had eight points. “We came out offensively strong, but our defense was not very sharp and Lexington Catholic jumped out to a 9-6 lead,” said Bruce. “It was some bad shooting by both teams and at halftime we were down 11-9. “Coach Jeff Moffett made a couple of adjustments and challenged our defense and the girls responded with a 9-0 quarter to take an 18-11 lead going into the fourth quarter. We held on for a 26-18 win.” The final game of the week was on the road against Bourbon County on Thursday, Sept. 15, and Woodford on 25-14. Cavins led the team once again, this time with 16 points. “It was a better job opening the game with some intensity,” said Bruce. “We took control in the second quarter with our defense and had an 11-6 lead at the half. We did not come out ready in the third, but kept our lead despite not being satisfied with execution. Defense and offense both picked up in the fourth and we walked away with a 25-14 win.” The seventh-grade team is now 10-4 overall and 4-1 in the conference. 6th Grade The sixth-grade team also faced Scott County at home on Monday, Sept. 12, and won a thriller, 18-17. Sophie Lester led the team with 12 points. “A big conference rival came to town for a rematch of a very close loss earlier in the season,” explained Bruce. “Out sixth graders were eager to play because we felt we made some bad mistakes in the previous game. “We jumped out to a 6-4 lead and then we always have a quarter where we do nothing and that was in the second quarter. We went into halftime down 8-6. “It was our defense that kept the game close. It was 14-10 after the third quarter. We decided to put some pressure on them full court and Sophie Lester got hot and scored eight of her game high 12 points in the fourth quarter. Lester hit the game winning shot with about 15 seconds to go in the game for 18-17 win. In its next game, also at home, Woodford faced Lexington Catholic on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and lost a heartbreaker 19-18. Lester and Haydon Wells both led the team with seven points each. “This was a close game last time and today was no different,” said Bruce. “We laid a goose egg to start the game, but our defense held them to two points. The offense picked up for both teams in the second quarter and we went into the half down 8-5. “Haydon Wells scored five of her seven points in the second half to keep us in the game with Lester in foul trouble. Our defense was stellar in the third to help us take a 9-8 lead into the fourth quarter. It was an 11-9 quarter and Lexington Catholic hit their free throws late to steal a one-point win.” Woodford’s next game was against Bourbon County on the road on Thursday, Sept. 15, and the Lady Tigers lost 14-12, despite Lester’s team-high 10 points. “A tough road game,” said Bruce. “We were still sleeping on the bus when the first quarter started and dug ourselves a hole being down 8-0. We did not play much better in the second and went to halftime down 10-2. “The third was a better quarter, as we cut the lead to four points, 12-8. We just kept battling all night and cut the lead to three. Then we were able to get a steal. We called timeout and were trying to get a three for a tie, but were fouled. Sophie Lester hit the first free throw and then we decided to miss the second and try to get rebound and score. But, Bourbon County got the rebound and turned it over. We drew up a last shot and just could not get what we wanted and lost 14-12.” With those games complete, the sixth-grade team is 4-7 overall and 2-2 in the conference. 8th Grade Like its younger counterparts, the eighth-grade team faced Scott County at home on Monday, Sept. 13, and won 25-24. Halee Hood had eight points, while Devan Champion pulled down 13 rebounds. “We have been playing better recently, but were blown out the previous contest with Scott County,” said Bruce. "Still, we felt they were not that much better that us. We needed to not put ourselves in a hole to start the game. Our goal was to keep it close going into the fourth quarter and we would have a chance to win. “We started well with a 5-1 first quarter. They are a very big team and we dared them to hit shots outside. Scott County made their run in the second quarter to win it 12-7, but we were only down 13-12 at the half. “We wanted to keep the same game plan and keep attacking. We took the third quarter and the lead 20-16. We got a little tight, but we only gave up one field goal in the quarter. It was a three-pointer and the rest were free throws. “We stayed in attack mode. Devan Champion owned the boards all night and Halle Hood hit big baskets for us. Alyssa Hysell hit a free throw to put us up by one point with 10 seconds. Scott County was called for walking and we got a huge win against a conference rival.” Woodford did not have much time to relax after their big win, as the very next night, Tuesday, Sept. 13, was a home game against Lexington Catholic. Despite playing well, Woodford lost 21-18. Champion had seven points, while Adriana Jackson contributed six points. “I was not sure of our mental state for this game after winning such a big game against Scott County the night before,” said Bruce. “However, we played very well in the first half and executed the plays we wanted and took a 9-8 lead into halftime. “We kept playing well in the third quarter to extend our lead to 16-14. We did not play bad in the fourth quarter, but we just could not hit a shot no matter where we shot it. Lexington Catholic escaped with a 21-18 win.” Woodford closed out the week with a road trip to Bourbon County on Thursday, Sept. 15, where they lost 25-17. Champion was the team’s leading scorer with eight points. “Bourbon County is undefeated and the best team on the other side of our conference,” said Bruce. “They are a very good shooting team and I challenged our girls to limit Bourbon County’s shot attempts. If they could do that, then we could win this game. “We did that in the first half and were down 11-7. We kept the same game plan and they made a little run, but we stayed on task and battled back. We made a late charge and missed a couple of shots and free throws at the end of the game and lost 25-17. It was a good effort and should build some confidence in us as we come toward the end of the season.” The eighth grade team is now 4-10 overall and 2-3 in the conference. (Information courtesy of Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce.)

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