• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Lady Jackets lose a heartbreaker in Region 11 tournament

The Lady Jackets were eliminated from the postseason on Monday, Feb. 26 when they lost a nail-biter to Paul Laurence Dunbar, 53-51. Woodford battled for the entire 32 minutes but a few turnovers in the final minute was the difference in the game. Dunbar scored a total of 19 points off 20 Lady Jacket turnovers. WCHS sophomore Delaney Enlow was unstoppable in the post. She scored a game high 24 points on 12 of 14 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds.

The Lady Jackets started the game by feeding Enlow in the post and she scored on a quick turn-around shot down low. Dunbar's Mashayla Cecil nailed a three-pointer on tits first possession. WCHS junior Nia Jaco scored a pair of gritty baskets in the paint but the story of the first quarter was Dunbar junior Cheyenne Fullwood who made three baskets from beyond the arc. Enlow finished the quarter with six points and the Lady Jackets trailed by four points after the first quarter.

The Lady Jackets defense created a pair of turnovers and scored on layups on back to back possessions to begin the second quarter. WCHS sophomore Abby Moffett grabbed an Enlow miss and scored over a pair of Lady Bulldog defenders. Dunbar senior Peyton Humphreys scored consecutive baskets for the Lady Bulldogs to give them a 30-28 lead at the half.

Woodford started the second half on a 4-0 run but Dunbar matched them with a 4-0 run of its own. After a quick basket by Enlow, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to take a four-point lead. The Lady Jackets turned the ball over on three straight possessions, but did not allow any points as a result of those miscues. WCHS sophomore Kayla Harlow scored a basket in the post and then Moffett hit a three from the left side to bring Woodford within a point heading into the fourth quarter.

Enlow and Harlow each scored in the post to give Woodford a three-point lead to start the fourth. Enlow blocked Cecil's shot, but Cecil stole the ball on the other end of the floor and went coast to coast for a layup. The Lady Jackets led 51-50 with 90 seconds to play. WCHS sophomore Abbie Hudson was fouled but missed the one and one free throw. Cecil was fouled and made both free throws to give the Lady Bulldogs a 52-51 lead with 20 seconds to play. The Lady Jackets turned the ball over again and were forced to foul. The Lady Bulldogs made one of two free throws and Woodford had the ball with three seconds to play. The Lady Jackets lost control of the ball as time expired.

“This was a great opportunity that we lost tonight,” said WCHS Coach Steve Jaco. “We made some bad decisions on the floor and on my part too. Things happen and it didn't work out for us.”

District championship

The Lady Jackets fell short in their District championship bid on Friday, Feb. 23 losing 56-46 to the Franklin County Lady Flyers. Woodford County struggled in the first half and faced a double digit deficit for much of the game. The Lady Jackets came within three points a few times in the third quarter but the Lady Flyers fought off the Woodford rally.

Enlow scored the first basket of the game with a turn around bank shot in the paint. The Lady Flyers answered with a three-pointer. Enlow scored again in the post but FCHS senior Josie Thacker responded with a score, while being fouled in the low post and completed the three-point play. Enlow grabbed a miss by Hudson and scored. Moffett made a pair of free throws, but the Lady Flyers were aggressively taking the ball to the basket. FCHS senior Kindall Talley was fouled hard while scoring on a layup. Talley sank the free throw to complete the three-point play. The Lady Flyers ended the quarter on a seven-point run and led 19-9.

Jaco scored a three-point play in the post and Enlow picked up her second personal foul in the first minute of the second quarter. WCHS freshman Devan Champion hit a jumper from the left side and the Lady Jackets had cut the deficit in half in the first two minutes of the quarter. The Lady Flyers came out of a timeout and scored four straight points before WCHS senior Peyton Rose hit a three from the top of the key. The Lady Flyers went on a 5-0 run, then Jaco scored another three-point play after grabbing an offensive rebound and was fouled while scoring. The Lady Flyers finished the quarter on a 5-0 run and led 33-20 at halftime.

The Lady Jackets came buzzing back in the third quarter led by Hudson who hit a pair of threes to highlight a 10-0 run. Woodford outscored the Lady Flyers 12-5 in the quarter and trailed by just six entering the fourth quarter.

The two teams exchanged baskets in the first three minutes of the quarter. The Lady Flyers held onto a six point lead for much of the fourth quarter. The Lady Jackets were forced to foul and the Lady Flyers made their free throws down the stretch to clinch the championship. Rose, Jaco and Hudson were named to the All-District team.

District Semifinal vs Western Hills

The Lady Jackets won their semifinal showdown with Western Hills, 58-45, on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Enlow was dominant with 18 points and Jaco was relentless in rebounding with 18 boards. The game was close for three quarters and the Lady Jackets pulled away in the final quarter.

“We worked together tonight and good things always happen when you do that,” said Moffett. “Harlow stepped up big tonight with Enlow in foul trouble early and she helped us stay in the game. Everyone had a hand in this win.”

Enlow scored the first four points of the game and the lady Wolverines missed their first four shot attempts. Enlow picked up her second foul of the half in the first quarter and was forced to sit on the bench. Harlow grabbed an offensive rebound and scored in the paint as the buzzer sounded. The Lady Jackets led 8-4 after one quarter.

Hudson was fouled attempting a three-pointer to start the second quarter. She made two of three free throws. The Lady Wolverines scored five straight points and promoted a timeout by the Lady Jackets. Moffett hit a three and the Lady Wolverines answered with a basket from long range. Woodford led 19-6 at halftime.

The Lady Wolverines scored the first two baskets of the second half and took a 20-19 lead. Moffett settled the Lady Jackets down with a layup basket and then had an assist to Enlow who scored in the post. The Lady Wolverines hit a three-pointer with a minute to play in the quarter but Enlow went back to work in the post and scored. Hudson hit a shot from just inside the three point line at the buzzer to give Woodford a 30-26 lead.

Western Hills reclaimed the lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter by going on a 5-0 run. After a Woodford timeout, Enlow scored four straight points in the paint to give the Jackets a three point lead. WHHS senior Montana Muravchick hit a long three-pointer to tie the game 34-34 and Moffett responded with a three for the Lady Jackets. After a layup by Moffett, Muravchick hit another three to give the Lady Wolverines a 39-38 lead. The Lady Jackets went on a 10-0 run including a pair of long threes by Hudson. Woodford made its free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

“We thought we had them beat but they came fighting back and we dug deep to find a way to pull away and win this one,” said Champion. “We wanted this game for our seniors.”

“I could not be more proud to be part of this team,” said WCHS senior Carrie Collins. “The energy in the fourth quarter was incredible. They wanted it so bad and when they fight that hard, I cheer even harder for them.”

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