• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCMS girls’ basketball teams; 7th- & 8th- grade prepare for tourney

The Woodford County Middle School girls’ basketball teams are closing in on the end of the season. In fact, the sixth-grade team played its final game, while the seventh-grade and eighth-grade teams completed their regular seasons and are preparing for the postseason, which takes place following the fall break. Here’s how the teams did last week. 6th Grade The sixth-grade team completed its season on Monday, Sept. 26, at Shelby East, where they won 21-12. Sophie Lester led the team in the game with 14 points. “This was the last game of the year for our sixth-grade team,” said Woodford head coach Stephen Bruce. “They came out ready to play and executed the things we have been working on all year. They raced out to 10-4 lead and extended their lead to 16-7 at the half. “This group always has at least one quarter that is really bad and, in this game, it was the third quarter. They did not score a basket until one minute to go in the quarter, but held Shelby East to one basket as well. Both teams struggled to find the basket the rest of the game and we were able to get a win 21-12.” With the win, the sixth-grade team finishes the year with a 6-9 overall record and a 3-3 conference record. 7th Grade The seventh-grade team also started the week against Shelby East on Monday, Sept. 26, and lost 31-28. Tori Cavins led the team with 16 points and Emma Moffett had five points. “We came out very lethargic and unfocused, which led to us being behind after the first quarter, 7-5,” said Bruce. They decided to play a little bit in the second quarter and took a 14-13 lead into halftime. “We wanted them to separate themselves from Shelby East in the third quarter, but we went back to sleep. They took a 23-18 lead going into the fourth quarter. The last quarter was back and forth as we tried to mount a comeback. Tori Cavins and Emma Moffett led the charge as we finally tied things up with under a minute to go in the game and then neither team could do much. “We came down with 15 seconds to go and missed a good shot. They got the rebound and raced to the other end. After a timeout, they ran a play and we defended it well, but their player got the ball, took two dribbles and shot it from about five feet behind the three-point line for a 3-point win for Shelby East, 31-28. On Thursday, Sept. 29, Woodford travelled to Georgetown and lost to Royal Springs 28-21. Cavins led the team with seven points, and Moffett contributed five points. “The seventh-grade team has not been playing well coming to the end of the season,” said Bruce. “This was our last conference game and regular season game. We needed a win to secure our spot in the conference tournament. Our staff thought they would come out ready to play and we did not start bad only being down 8-7. The second quarter was a different story, as we could not get any offense going and they shot lights out to take a 18-10 lead into halftime. “The third quarter was nothing to watch as both teams combined for six points, but we were down by nine. We needed to make a run if we had a chance to win this game at all. We cut the lead to two and had a chance to tie, but they hit a couple of late baskets to secure a win, 28-21.” The seventh-grade team completes the regular season with a 12-8 overall record and a 5-3 conference record. Woodford won the tiebreaker and will play at Campbell Middle School in the tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. 8th Grade The eighth-grade team also started the week on the road against Shelby East and lost 18-16. Alyssa Hysell led the team with 10 points. “Our nemesis all year has been our shooting and on this night on the road was no different,” said Bruce. “The good news was that Shelby East could not shoot either and we went into halftime down by a point, 6-5. “We were tentative all night and it continued in the second half. Alyssa Hysell hit her second three of the game and a free throw to account for all of our scoring we were down 11-9 after third quarter. Devan Champion got into foul trouble and she is our best rebounder and best playmaker inside. A switch went on and we decided to play in the fourth quarter and also pressed them. It caused them to turn it over but we could not convert many times. “We finally tied it and had the ball under our basket. We called our best out-of-bounds play and they called an illegal screen on Champion for her fifth foul. It was a tough call and they went down to score on a put back and we lose 18-16 with a few end of the game situations not going our way. We battled back and came up short.” Woodford closed out its regular season on Thursday, Sept. 29, at Royal Springs and lost 31-21. Champion led the team in shooting with 12 points. “This was our last regular season game and our chance to finish third on our side of the conference, but we came in lethargic,” said Bruce. “We decided to open with a press to take advantage of our quickness, but they sliced the press to pieces and we were down 12-2 after the first. Then we played even the rest of the game. “Royal Springs has a really good guard that can shoot and handle the ball. She scored 11 of her game high 17 in the first half and had the lead 18-8. “We decided at halftime to play a box and one. I asked Kamari Black to guard their best player. She frustrated her the rest of the night. However, we could not respond on offense by hitting a jump shot or free throw. They kept their lead and won, 31-21.” The eighth-grade team finishes the regular season with a 6-14 overall record and a 3-5 conference record. Woodford will play in the conference tournament at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Bourbon County at 6 pm. (Information provided by coach Stephen Bruce.)

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