• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS 8th-grade girls’ basketball team honored

8TH GRADEERS HONORED. The Woodford County Middle School honored its eighth-grade girls’ basketball team on “8th Grade Night, prior to its game against Georgetown at home on Thursday, Sept. 22. Shown in the photo are, front row, from left, Kamari Black, Halle Hood, Alyssa Hysell, and Caegan Brandenburg; back row, Adriana Jackson, Devan Champion, Stephen Bruce (head coach), Asia Shands, and Lilli Bicknell. (Photo submitted)

The Woodford County Middle School girls’ basketball teams had a busy week of games and then “8th Grade Night” on Thursday, Sept. 22. In terms of wins and losses, the sixth-grade team played three games and went 1-2 last week, while both the seventh-grade and eighth-grade teams played four games and went 2-2. Prior to the game against Georgetown at home on Thursday, Sept. 22, the eighth-graders were honored for their play throughout their middle school careers. Members of the eighth-grader team are: Lilli Bicknell, Kamari Black, Caegan Brandenburg, Devan Champion, Halle Hood, Alyssa Hysell, Adriana Jackson, and Asia Shands. Here’s a recap of all the games. 6th Grade The sixth-grade team started their week on Tuesday, Sept. 20 with a 37-19 home loss to Elkhorn. Sophie Lester led the team with 10 points. On Thursday, Woodford faced Georgetown at home and won 17-14, with Lester scoring 11 points and Maddie Smith putting away six points. The sixth-grade teams final game of the week was on the road on Saturday, Sept. 24, and the team lost 26-12 to Bondurant. The sixth-grade team is now 5-9 overall and 3-3 in the conference with one week left in the season. 7th Grade The seventh-grade teams first game of the week was on Monday, Sept. 19, on the road against Lexington Christian Academy, and Woodford won a one-point thriller, 29-28. Leading the team was Jaden Oldham with nine points and Tori Cavins with seven points. The next game was on Tuesday, Sept. 20 against Elkhorn, and the seventh-grade team lost 31-23. Cavins led the team with nine points, while Elizabeth Edwards contributed eight points. On Thursday, Sept. 22, the seventh-graders faced Georgetown and cruised to a 37-7 win. Cavins led the team again, this time with 12 points. In their final game of the week, Woodford was on the road and lost 33-16 to Bondurant. Cavins led the team with seven points. The seventh-grade team is now 12-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference. 8th Grade Like the seventh-grade team, the eighth-grade team opened their week at Lexington Christian, but lost 27-25. Devan Champion led the team with 11 points and Alyssa Hysell had six points. “We have been playing better as we come to the close of the season,” said Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce. “However, our last couple of games we have gone back to some old habits. We came out against LCA and played a fairly decent first half and it was tied 11-11. We talked about running our offense and finding the open player. “We executed those things as we had practiced and took a 21-17 lead going into the fourth quarter. Our defense failed us in the fourth and we got foul happy and just did not execute very well. We lost a game that we should have won and that stung a little.” In their second game of the week, Woodford lost at home to Elkhorn, 39-21. Champion led the team in scoring with 12 points, and Hysell had five points. “We lost a game we should not have lost the night before and played a big conference rival the very next night,” explained Bruce. “There was not much time to waller in misery, but we had to play the best team in our conference. “The girls came out and played well taking a 6-5 lead after the first. We played really hard, but could not hit a basket in the second and they led 16-8 at the half. “We still felt good and left the locker room excited to play the second half. We did not play well and they took control with a 12-0 quarter. The good news was these girls did not quit and fought to the very end by winning the fourth quarter 13-10. But, we lost 39-21.” The next game was against Georgetown on Thursday, Sept. 22 - “8th Grade Night,” and there was a lot to celebrate as Woodford won 30-21. Champion led the team with eight points, while Adriana Jackson had six points and Kamari Black had five points. “It was ‘8th Grade Night’ - a night to celebrate eight girls who have played all three years I have coached at WCMS,” said Bruce. “These are good young women that play really hard and are a lot of fun to be around. They make life very interesting and it has been a treat to coach them. “I was not sure how they would play with all the festivities, but they were really focused and jumped out to a 10-6 lead. They increased the lead at halftime to 19-10. In the third quarter neither team could hit a shot, and we kept our lead, 24-12, after three. We got a little too aggressive in the fourth and fouled a lot to allow them to get closer, but we prevailed and it was a good, deserving win. It was a fun night for all eight girls and they deserved it.” The eighth graders ended their week on the road where they defeated Bondurant, 27-12. Champion led the team with a double-double - 17 points and 13 rebounds. “Bondurant is a very physical team and we usually don’t do well against teams like this and they beat us easily early in the season. I told our players before the game we had to be the aggressor or we would lose. I had watched our two teams prior (to this one) play tentative and Bondurant just took it to them. “We opened strong and aggressive and took it right to them and made them shoot from the outside. We were up 9-5 after the first. We took control of the game in the second quarter limiting them to one shot and we were able to do what we wanted. Devan Champion led the way with 10 points and five rebounds in the second quarter alone. She finished with a double-double, 17 points and 13 rebounds. “Bondurant made a mini run in the third by hitting two three-point shots, and we followed that up with a shutout in the fourth. “These girls always play hard. We did not execute great today, but we played well together and had our best shooting game in a long time. This was a really good win against a very good opponent. We have just a couple games left before the tournament begins and we are playing much better.” The eighth-grade team is now 6-12 overall and 3-4 in the conference. There is one week left in the season before fall break. After the break, the conference tournament will be held and both the seventh- and eighth-grade teams will be in it. (Information provided by Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce.)

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