• Thomas Mims, Woodford Sun Sports Writer

Going out in style

Lady Jackets come back to earn crucial Senior Night victory over Collins

The Woodford County High School girls’ basketball team has found a rhythm in February. After a 9-12 start, Coach Erik Daniels’ Lady Yellow Jackets have won five of six. Wins over Collins and North Bullitt have given Woodford County its first winning record since the second day of the season, Dec. 3. Last Thursday was Senior Night at The Hive as the Lady Jackets honored six seniors – Kasey Abel, Delaney Enlow, Kayla Harlow, Abbie Hudson, Olivia Jackson and Abby Moffett — before the crucial district showdown with Collins. A loss would have dropped the Jackets to the No. 4 seed in the 30th District tournament, requiring Woodford to win an opening round game against Shelby County just to advance to the district semifinal where a 23-5 Anderson County Lady Bearcat squad would be waiting. Instead, the 74-71 overtime victory vaulted the Jackets to the other side of the bracket to set up a rubber match with Collins, with the winner advancing to the 8th Region tournament. “Now that we know what we’re capable of, we have more confidence in ourselves and as a team,” said Enlow. It was truly the seniors’ night. Enlow (23 points), Hudson (17) and Moffet (16) combined for 56 of the Jackets’ 74 points. All but eight of Woodford’s points were scored by seniors, as Harlow added nine and Abel chipped in a free throw. Woodford got off to a strong start. The Lady Jackets scored the game’s first six points of the game with an all-senior starting lineup (Hudson, Jackson, Moffett, Harlow and Enlow) to take an early lead. Collins battled back, but trailed 18-16 after the first quarter. The second quarter was all Collins. The Lady Titans outscored the Jackets 21-8 to take a 37-26 lead into halftime. A play early in the second quarter was somewhat a microcosm of the first 10 minutes as Collins struggled to pull down rebounds against the size of Harlow and Enlow. Harlow pulled down an offensive rebound, missed the putback, rebounded her own miss, missed the follow up, snared another rebound and at last got the shot to go down. The end of the quarter also had a snapshot-moment that summed up recent events. After a nearly six-minute long stretch in which the Titans outscored Woodford 15-4, Collins senior guard – and 8th Region Player of the Year Olivia Federle got a midrange buzzer beater to close the half with a 17-4 run and an 11-point lead. On Monday, Federle was named Player of the Year by the region’s coaches after averaging 20 points a game this season. Thursday, she was one of two Titans who scored in double-digits with a 28-point performance. The third quarter was a near draw as the Jackets cut the deficit to 10 to start the fourth quarter, trailing 50-40. Moffett started the quarter on the right note, knocking down a pair of three-pointers to help Woodford close the gap to 52-46 before a Collins trey extended the lead to nine with five and a half minutes to play. Woodford reeled off eight straight points to close the gap. Moffett knocked down a pair of free throws, junior Halee Hood added four free throws of her own, and a pick-and-roll with Hudson got Moffett another basket, giving her 10 points in the quarter. Thirty seconds later, Hudson’s assist on an Enlow basket gave the Jackets the lead at 56-55. Enlow converted an and-one on the next possession to give WCHS a 59-55 lead after the 13-0 run. In the final 90 seconds, Federle scored seven points to help Collins turn the tide and take a 64-60 lead with 34 seconds left. Moffett quickly got to the line and converted to pull the Jackets within two. WCHS fouled instantly and Collins missed the front end of the bonus free throws, giving Woodford the ball back. Daniels called a timeout with 16 seconds left to set up the final sequence. Hudson took the ball on the left wing as the Jackets spaced the floor and put Enlow in the paint. Hudson drove to the right, cutting through the lane to get to the rim for a layup. The unsung hero of the play was Enlow. As the WCHS center came into the paint, she sealed Federle off and prevented her from rotating defensively to help contest Hudson’s layup with six seconds left. Federle couldn’t get a buzzer beater to go down and the teams went to overtime. The extra frame belonged to the Jackets. Woodford outscored Collins 10-2 in the first three minutes of the period and held on for a 74-71 win. Curiously, down three with 20 seconds left, the Titans elected not to foul and allowed WCHS to run out the clock. “It was a great way to end my career on the (Woodford) court,” said Enlow. “There’s nothing like playing a tough game and coming out on top.” Monday night, the Jackets downed the North Bullitt Lady Eagles 70-50 to move their record to 14-13 entering postseason play. “Everyone played their best game ... It was a great team win,” Enlow said after the victory.” Woodford County takes on Collins for a third time this season next Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. Enlow says the team is “highly energetic” heading into the third game with th Titans and that the team is “Excited to play.” The district tournament will be held at Anderson County

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