• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets rally to beat Berea; fall to W. Jessamine

The Woodford County High School girls’ basketball team split its two games last week, as they rallied to beat Berea 51-48 on the road on Wednesday, Dec. 14, and then lost to West Jessamine 67-46 at home on Friday, Dec. 16.

With those games complete, Woodford is now 4-2 overall this season, 2-1 in the region and 1-1 in the district.

In the game against Berea, Woodford was without its starting point guard, Peyton Rose. However, in the game, Woodford showed that its team chemistry is solid this year, as the Lady Jackets found ways to pull together without her to get the win.

However, as has been the case so far this season, turnovers almost doomed them, as they turned the ball over 22 times in the game. Because of that, they found themselves down by five points heading into the fourth quarter.

But, they came together, fought hard and outscored Berea 22-14 in the final stanza to earn a hard fought 51-48 win.

In that final quarter, freshman Abby Moffett hit three 3-point shots, while freshman Kasey Abel hit two free throws with two minutes to go and freshman Abbie Hudson hit two free throws with about a minute to go and sophomore Abbey Peterson hit one of two free throws with two seconds to go to seal the win.

Overall, Moffett led the team with 15 points and six rebounds, while freshman Delaney Enlow had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

DELANEY ENLOW, left, works to get position on a West Jessamine defender to shoot the ball. The freshman forward led Woodford in the game with a double-double, as she scored 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. But, when the final buzzer sounded, West Jessamine had the win, 67-46. (Photo by Rick Capone)

Sophomore Anna Manges had six points and four rebounds, Peterson also had six points and four rebounds, Hudson had five points and four rebounds, and Abel had three points and five rebounds.

“I thought our kids stepped up in Peyton’s absence,” said Woodford head coach Jay Lucas. “Abbie Hudson played well. I thought Abby Moffett, Kasey Abel and Delaney Enlow (all) played well. The biggest thing we need to correct is the turnovers. We just committed too many against that team. Twenty-two is too many. We need to cut them down.”

Unfortunately, turnovers plagued Woodford again on Friday when the Lady Jackets played West Jessamine. In total, they turned the ball over to the Lady Colts 29 times. That’s 51 turnovers in two games, which did not please Lucas at all.

“When you commit 29 turnovers, you’re not going to beat too many people,” he said. “We committed 29 turnovers (against West Jessamine). We committed 22 against Berea. So, in the last two games, we’ve had 51 turnovers. Way, way, way too many.”

Against West Jessamine, Woodford was once again without Rose, as she had to sit out the first half for missing the Berea game.

At the start of the game, the Lady Colts took an early 4-1 lead, but the Lady Jackets came back and on a put-back by Enlow, and then another shot from under the basket by the freshman on the next possession, Woodford led 6-4.

West Jessamine then hit an easy shot to tie the game, 6-6, but a pull-up jumper by Hudson gave Woodford an 8-6 lead. It would be the last time they led in the game.

On the next play, West Jessamine hit a three-pointer to take a 9-8 lead, then followed with a two-pointer from under the basket to make it 11-8.

Moffett then got the ball near the corner, drove the baseline and made an easy shot to make it a one-point game at 11-10. West Jessamine answered with a bucket to make it 13-10.

The Lady Jackets came back and got the ball to Enlow under the basket for another two points to close the scoring gap to one point again at 13-12.

But then, bang, bang, West Jessamine hit three 3-point shots in a row, two from the corner, and one at the buzzer, to open up a 10-point lead at 22-12 at the end of the first quarter.

After that, West Jessamine controlled the game the rest of the way, leading 43-25 at halftime, 57-34 at the end of the third quarter and 67-46 to win the game.

While turnovers hurt the Lady Jackets and helped lead to the loss, Lucas noted that, “(West Jessamine is) a nice team. We didn’t lose to a slouch; they’re 6-0. Our two losses this year are to the No. 3 team in the state, Franklin County, and to a team that’s 6-0 and playing pretty good.”

Still, with that thought in mind, he added, “Most of our turnovers have been bad passes. We’re not getting a lot of walks called on us. We’re not losing the ball out of bounds. It’s just passing skills. Our passing skills need to improve. When our passing skills improve, and we cut down our turnovers, we’re going to have a special season because we’re that good offensively. We just can’t turn the ball over.”

Lucas then gave the team something to think about and take to heart for the rest of the season. “I told the team in the locker room, ‘You’re never as good as you think you are when you win, and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose. You’ve just got to find a way to fight through it, play a little harder, play a little tougher. We just need to reduce our turnovers.”

Next up, Woodford played in the Bardstown Holiday Classic. There they defeated Cordova, Tenn. 58-56 on Monday, Dec. 19, on a last second shot by Enlow; and won/lost xxxx to Jeffersontown on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Then on Wednesday, Dec. 21, they played Bardstown. Results were not available at press time. But, complete results of the tournament will appear in next week’s Woodford Sun.

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