By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
After taking a look at the free-throw shooting statistics after last night’s Pulaski County-Southwestern game, it was very easy to see why the outcome was the way it was.
Southwestern missed three free-throws on the night, going 13 of 16 from the charity stripe for a percentage of 81. Visiting Pulaski, meanwhile, went 12 of 28 from the free-throw line for a percentage of 43.
The difference in free-throw shooting made a huge difference in last night's cross-town match-up, as the Southwestern Lady Warriors came away with a 59-51 victory over the Lady Maroons of Pulaski at the Wigwam.
“We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well overall,” began Lady Maroon coach Brian Miller. “We haven’t shot a lot of free-throws at practice lately. We’ve been plugging everyone in and out with different rotations, so we’ve got to get back to work.”
With the setback, the Lady Maroons fell to 9-13 on the year, and unfortunately for Pulaski, the loss was their eighth consecutive loss. However, those losses have had a lot to do with the numerous injuries and illnesses that have effected members on the Pulaski team.
For Southwestern, the victory allowed Tim Rice and company to move to 13-9 on the season and extend their winning streak over the Lady Maroons to four consecutive games. With the eight-point win, the Lady Warriors have now won 13 of the past 14 meetings against Pulaski.
Though it wasn’t the prettiest of games for the ‘Blue and Orange,’ Rice was glad to see his team leave the gym with the win, which was their third straight victory after wins against North Laurel on Saturday and West Jessamine on Monday evening.
“We got a win, but we didn’t play very well,” began Rice, who is in his ninth season at Southwestern. “We were doing a decent job defensively in the second half until we started fouling. For some reason we were fouling with a double-digit lead. We have got a few things that we need to work on, but that’s the reason why you play the game.”
Both squads traded baskets to kick-off the contest, as Southwestern sophomore Destiny Molden hit a three and Pulaski sophomore Eulah Perkins came up with back-to-back baskets. After Perkins’ pair of scores, the Lady Warriors would go on a 14-2 run to take a 17-9 first quarter lead.
Southwestern’s 14-2 run included a beginning span of eight unanswered points. Along with Molden, fellow sophomores Adison Corder and Dylana Fothergill chimed in on the run. Of the Lady Warriors’ 17 first period points, Molden tallied eight of them, paced by a pair of three-points.
Perkins and senior Brittany Warren combined to score all nine of the Lady Maroons’ first quarter points. Warren tallied five points, while Perkins scored four.
The Lady Maroons would outscore Southwestern in the second frame by a margin of 13-12. The score at the intermission would be, 29-22, in favor of the Lady Warriors.
Southwestern ran the table in the third stanza, as they outscored the Lady Maroons by a margin of 12-5. After three quarters of basketball action in the books, Southwestern went into the fourth and final frame with a 16-point, 41-27 lead over Pulaski.
Down by a margin of 16 points, one would think that a team would lay down and call it quits. Pulaski, however, would not, as they came back to cut the lead all the way down to six points late in the contest.
“Pulaski played hard,” Rice stated. “They never quit, they always play hard.”
In the fourth frame, the Lady Maroons outscored Southwestern, 24-18. But it just wasn’t enough, as the Lady Warriors came away with the eight-point victory.
The Lady Warriors were led by Corder, who tied for a game-high 20 points. The sophomore tallied nine of her 20 points in the final quarter. Three other Lady Warriors made it into double figures, as Molden tallied 12 points, while Brittany Combs and Fothergill both chimed in with ten points apiece.
Rebounding-wise, Southwestern was led by freshman Samantha Fitzgerald, who pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Fothergill and freshman Elisabeth Latham both had seven boards each.
Pulaski had one player reach double figures, which was Brittany Warren’s club-high 20 points.
Despite the loss, there were some bright spots for the Lady Maroons, particularly the comeback of senior Sarah Howard, who scored three points in her first action since breaking her foot in a December game against Monticello. Haley Warren is also expected to be back soon, so things are looking up for Miller and company.
With the injuries to Howard and Haley Warren, the Lady Maroons have had some youngsters step-up and play well. Last night, three players - Perkins, Taryn Davis, and Jeriah Privett - all had a nice showing for Pulaski. Perkins finished with five points and five rebounds, while Davis and Privett both came in during the fourth period and scored seven points each.
“Those kids are playing well - and we expect them to,” praised Miller. “They’ve had a good JV and freshman season. It’s one of those things where people go down and someone has got to step-up. Those kids have played a lot of valuable minutes, which will help us down the stretch when everyone gets healthy again.”
The Lady Maroons will hit the hardwood again on Friday evening, playing in another cross-town match-up, this time against 47th District rival Somerset at 7:30 p.m. at PC Gym. Look for the preview of that district showdown in Friday’s sports section.
Southwestern will return to action on Friday night as well, traveling north on Highway 27 to take against 12th Region opponent Garrard County.
PC - 9 13 5 24 - 51
SW - 17 12 12 18 - 59
PULASKI COUNTY (9-13): B. Warren 20, Davis 7, Privett 7, Perkins 5, Correll 5, Jenkins 4, Howard 3.
SOUTHWESTERN (13-9): Corder 20, Molden 12, Fothergill 10, Combs 10, Fitzgerald 7.