By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
What is the best way to celebrate your 17th birthday?
Well, if you are Destiny Molden, you pour in a game-high 20 points and beat a state-ranked team.
That’s exactly what Molden and the Southwestern Lady Warriors did on Friday night at the Wigwam, as the junior celebrated her 17th birthday with a 20-point performance in a 76-63 victory over Scott County.
Along with Molden’s game-high 20 points, there were five Lady Warrior players who finished in double figures on the night: Elisabeth Latham (13 points), Adison Corder (11 points), Samantha Fitzgerald (10 points), and Brittany Combs (10 points).
Stephen Butcher, who is in his first season as the head coach of the Lady Warriors, loves seeing his team play for another. The first-year coach believes that his squad can make some noise throughout the Bluegrass State if they continue to put the team first.
“My kids are so invested right now in how the team is doing and how their teammates are doing,” began Butcher. “As long as that is our mentality, we can play with anybody in this state. We may not win every game, and I don’t expect us to win from here on out, but I do expect us to compete and play for each other.”
“This group of kids are invested in one another,” Butcher continued. “You can see how happy their faces are when someone else scores. As long as that continues to be our mentality, we have a chance to do something special this year.”
Midway through the third quarter, Scott County lessened the Southwestern lead to 2 points at 39-37. Just like that, a Lady Warrior double-digit lead lessened all the way down to a lone basket.
After the visiting Lady Cardinals cut it to 2 points, the Lady Warriors went on a 14-0 run to grab a 53-37 advantage. The run included a pair of three-pointers by Combs and Corder, along with scores from Molden and senior Allie Venable.
Thanks to the big run in the third period, Butcher and company went into the fourth and final quarter with a 56-44 lead over Scott County. The Lady Warriors would win the game by a 76-63 margin.
A pair of post players had big nights inside the paint for Southwestern. Latham finished with a double-double, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Dylana Fothergill, who had 5 points in the contest, chimed in with 10 boards.
Southwestern, with the help of their defense, got out to a quick start against the Lady Cardinals. The Lady Warrior defensive pressure forced Scott County into 9 first quarter turnovers.
With the help of a 10-0 run in the closing minutes of the opening period, Southwestern held a 17-6 lead after one quarter in the books. A quartet of Lady Warriors scored on the run – Molden, Corder, Fitzgerald, and Madison Cook.
The Lady Cardinals did outscore Southwestern by a 26-20 total in the second period to cut the Lady Warrior lead to 37-32 advantage at the intermission.
Southwestern, now 5-1 on the year, will return to action on Tuesday night at the Wigwam, when they will host the Wayne County Lady Cardinals in a pivotal 48th District match-up.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
SC – 6 26 12 19 – 63
SW – 17 20 19 20 – 76
SCOTT COUNTY (2-1): Guyn 15, Defoor 14, Christopher 11, Walker 5, Boehm 5, Young 4, Roberts 4, Guy 4, Robb 1.
SOUTHWESTERN (5-1): Molden 20, Latham 13, Corder 11, Fitzgerald 10, Combs 10, Fothergill 5, Venable 4, Cook 3.