• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets’ season ends at 11th Region tournament

The Woodford County High School girls’ basketball team saw its 2016-17 season end in the 11th Region tournament with a 61-54 loss to Lafayette on Monday, Feb. 27, at Paul S. McBrayer Arena on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. This game followed the Lady Jackets’ second place finish in the 41st District tournament, which was played Tuesday through Friday, Feb. 21 to 24, at the Frankfort Convention Center. In their first game of the district tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 22, against Western Hills, Woodford got out to a fast start and went on to win 82-62, and advanced to the championship game on Friday, Feb. 24, against then-No. 7 ranked Franklin County, who defeated the Lady Jackets 68-33. Woodford closes out the 2016-17 season 14-19 overall, 7-9 in the region and 4-4 in the district. In its region game against Lafayette on Monday, Feb. 27, Woodford got out to a slow start and was down 22-7 at the end of the first quarter. But, in the second quarter, they settled down and began to fight their way back into the contest, and at halftime had cut the Lady Generals’ lead down to 10 points, 34-24. In the third quarter, the Lady Jackets continued to fight back, with junior Peyton Rose and freshmen Delaney Enlow, Abby Moffett, Abbie Hudson and Kasey Abel leading the charge. By the end of the quarter, Woodford had cut the Lafayette lead down to seven points, 49-42. In the fourth quarter, Woodford had Lafayette reeling a little, as the Lady Jackets, especially Moffett, Rose and Enlow, began hitting a high percentage of their shots, while Woodford’s team defense clamped down on the Lady Generals. However, as hard as they tried, the closest Lady Jackets got was within six points, 60-54, with under three minutes to play. As the clock ran down, Lafayette made only one free throw, while Woodford was unable to score again, and the Lady Generals got the win, 61-54. “I thought after the first four or five minutes of the game, we played really well,” said Woodford head coach Jay Lucas. “We did a lot of good things and made some shots. I thought we missed some shots early due to nerves, and that’s to be expected when you’re as young as we are. I thought that we really battled and fought and fought and fought and got back into the game and made Lafayette have to win it at the end. And they did. Lafayette deserved to win; I’m not saying they didn’t. But, we battled all night long.” Enlow led the Lady Jackets with a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Moffett lead the team in scoring with 14 points, while Rose had 10 points and five assists, Abel had eight points and nine rebounds, Hudson had seven points. and eighth-grader Devon Champion had two points. In the district tournament, Woodford had its best game of the year in the first-round against Western Hills on Wednesday, Feb. 22, when the Lady Jackets took an early 20-9 lead in the first quarter and went on to an 82-62 win. “By far our best game of the year, said Lucas. “Look at our score. We scored 82 points. I don’t think we scored in the 80s all year long. I told the coaches that we were going to have to score to win tonight, because Western Hills is going to score. They’ve got good shooters, (and Alexis) True is a great player. They’re going to score. So, we’ve got to make sure (we go) out and score.” In the game, Enlow had a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. She also had three blocks. In addition, Moffett also had a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists, while also grabbing seven rebounds. Rose also scored in double figures with 15 points and eight assists, and Hudson had 14 points and four rebounds. In addition, freshman Kayla Harlow had five points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, Abel had two points and six rebounds, sophomore Anna Manges had two points, eighth-grader Devan Champion had two points, and junior Mara Llorente had two points. The win put Woodford in the championship game against Franklin County, who had defeated Frankfort 75-22 in its first round game. In the game, Woodford played strong early against the seventh-ranked Lady Flyers. In fact, they played so well that Franklin County head coach Joey Thacker took out all his starters and put in a completely new lineup for awhile, and by the end of the first quarter, Woodford was down only one point, 14-13. In the second quarter, Franklin County had its starters back on the court and they picked things up a little, but Woodford stayed close. However, with the score 20-17 following a three-pointer by Abel, the Lady Flyers scored eight unanswered points to take a 28-17 lead, and by the end of the first half, they were ahead, 36-21. Franklin County continued to roll in the second half and led 57-25 at the end of the third quarter and went on to win the game, 68-33. “It was a good first quarter,” said Lucas. “We played really well. Of course, he (Franklin County’s coach) got mad at his starters, took them out and put his backups in. We played really well in the first quarter, but then we really struggled to score the rest of the game. Their defense has a lot to do with that. Their defense is one of the best defenses we’ve played all year.” Enlow led the team with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Moffett had eight points and three rebounds, and Rose and Abel had five points each. With the season now complete, Lucas is already looking forward to next season. “We’re excited about next year,” he said, “and, hopefully, we’ll come back and make some noise.”

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