• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Lady Jackets fall to Henry Clay, 49-37, in 11th region semifinals

The Woodford County High School girls' basketball team lost, 49-37, to Henry Clay in the 11th Region semifinals March 3 at McBrayer Arena in Richmond. The Lady Jackets struggled to handle the pressure of the Lady Blue Devils for the majority of the game. WCHS junior Kayla Harlow scored the first points of the game with a baseline jump shot, but the Lady Blue Devils went on a 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead midway through the first quarter. WCHS junior Abbie Hudson hit a mid-range jump shot to cut Woodford's deficit to 5-4, but Henry Clay went on a 6-0 run and led 11-4 with 2:30 left in the quarter. WCHS junior Delaney Enlow grabbed an offensive rebound and scored in the post and Woodford trailed 11-6 at the end of the first quarter. WCHS sophomore Adriana Jackson hit a three-pointer to begin the second quarter, and Enlow added a basket in the paint to even the score at 11. The Lady Blue Devils ended the quarter on a 9-0 run and led 20-11 at halftime. Henry Clay scored on a fast-break to begin the third quarter and Jackson hit a three-pointer for the Lady Jackets on their first trip down the court. The Lady Blue Devils went on an 8-0 run and led 31-16 at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Jackets began the fourth quarter by pressing the Henry Clay ballhandlers and were successful in creating turnovers. Woodford went on an 8-0 run and cut its deficit to 31-25 with 5:30 to play. The Lady Blue Devils responded with an 8-0 run to stop the Lady Jacket comeback attempt. Hudson and Enlow were named to the 11th Region All-Tournament team. "I thanked my seniors after the game for putting their time and effort into this program," said WCHS Coach Steve Jaco. "We had our chances tonight and got some clean looks that didn't go in. We got tight out there, and you have to give Henry Clay credit. They defended well and made us earn everything we got out there." Dunbar The Lady Jackets survived a late rally by Dunbar and won, 57-50, in the 11th Region quarterfinals Thursday, Feb 28. Woodford's defense was tremendous for the entire 32 minutes. Harlow and Enlow combined for 15 blocked shots and forced the Lady Bulldogs to shoot from the perimeter. "I think we didn't play our best tonight, but we stayed with our game plan and gutted out a win," said Harlow. "I think if we can lessen our turnovers and slow things down a bit, that we can continue to win these type of games." Harlow blocked a pair of shots in the opening minute of the first quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs found a way to take an 8-4 lead with 5:15 to play. Enlow scored an old fashioned three-point play then scored again in the post to give the Lady Jackets a 9-8 lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Lady Bulldogs hit a three-pointer as time expired and led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was sloppy on both ends with each team committing a handful of turnovers. Enlow scored in the post to open the second quarter and she and Harlow each blocked a shot on the defensive end. Midway through the second quarter, Harlow reached in to tie up a Lady Bulldog ballhandler but instead ripped the ball away. She passed to Enlow, who scored to give Woodford a 19-18 lead with 90 seconds to play in the half. The teams exchanged baskets, and Woodford led 21-20 at halftime. WCHS senior Nia Jaco hit a three-pointer to begin the third quarter, and Enlow added a pair of free throws to give Woodford a 26-20 lead. The Lady Jackets dominated the game in the third quarter with eight points from Enlow and led 40-31 heading to the fourth quarter. Woodford held a 50-36 lead with four minutes remaining in regulation when the Lady Bulldogs staged a terrific comeback and cut the Woodford lead to just four points in the final minute. Jaco season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter. With .50 seconds remaining, Dunbar was forced to foul, and WCHS sophomore Ellie Dougherty hit 10 of 10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. "It felt great to be able to make those free throws in the clutch and help the team win the game," said Dougherty. "We have been working hard on not making cross court passes and not being intimidated when the pressure increases." Enlow led the Lady Jackets with 28 points, and Dougherty added 12 points. "We have to do a better job of slowing down and not running straight into the defense," said Steve Jaco. "We did a lot of good things on the court tonight, and if we can slow things down, we can be dangerous.

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