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South Oldham pulls away late to end Lady Jackets’ season

The Woodford County High School girls’ basketball season came to an end Monday night in Shebyville. The Lady Yellow Jackets battled 29th District champion South Oldham to a near-draw through the first half and most of the third quarter, but faded down the stretch as they were outscored 25-10 in the final 10 minutes. The Jackets had a pair of unlikely scoring leaders as juniors Halee Hood and Niyaune Gentry scored 13 and 11 points, respectively - well above their season averages of four and two points per game. Most of that production came in the first half. Hood scored eight of her points in the second quarter to help the Jackets keep pace with the Dragons. South Oldham played an aggressive, occasionally double-teaming zone to get the ball out of the hands of senior guards Abby Moffett and Abbie Hudson, forcing their teammates to make plays. Early on, the supporting cast stepped up. Senior Kasey Abel knocked down a pair of wide-open shots surrendered by the Dragon defense, making South Oldham pay for daring her to shoot. The Dragons worked well inside and out to start the game. Of their 21 first-quarter points, eight came from layups and nine came from a trifecta of three-pointers by junior Brynna Blackburn. Blackburn was dialed in from distance all night, knocking down five treys, none of which touched the rim. The Jackets trailed 34-31 at halftime, but there was reason for optimism. The team’s three leading scorers — Delaney Enlow, Hudson and Moffett — had combined for just four points and still, the Jackets were in the game. WCHS even led at one point, after Gentry knocked down a three with 46 seconds to go in the first half to put the Jackets ahead 31-30. The teams continued to trade blows for most of the third quarter as the Woodford seniors picked up the scoring slack. Kayla Harlow cashed in a pair of free throws for her fourth and fifth points, Moffett got on the board with a layup, and Enlow converted an and-one opportunity and later scored again to keep the Jackets within three points. After Enlow’s second basket of the quarter made it 43-40, Blackburn connected on another triple. Hood answered for WCHS with a three of her own, but Blackburn found space in the left corner for her fifth three-pointer of the night and from there, the Dragons rolled. South Oldham went on runs of nine and eight unanswered points to put the Jackets away as they dominated the fourth quarter. The loss marks the end of WCHS Coach Erik Daniels’ first season leading the Lady Jacket program. Woodford finished the season as 30th District runners-up in its first season in the district and went .500 with a 15-15 record. “I have learned a lot about myself as a coach,” said Daniels in a Facebook post Tuesday morning. “We wouldn’t have had the season that we had if it wasn’t for my staff. Many long hours grinding trying to push these girls to the limit. Each coach brings something to the table. That’s why I’m confident that we’ll be better next year.” With Abel, Enlow, Harlow, Hudson and Moffett all graduating the Jackets will lose their top four scorers and five of their top six rebounders heading into next season. Looking ahead to replacing that production, Daniels said, “Our young girls have to be ready to go.”

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