By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Southwestern got out to a quick start over the Wayne County Lady Cardinals thanks to an 11-0 run in the early minutes of the game.
The home standing Lady Warriors, thanks to that early start, ran out to a commanding lead over Wayne County to come away with a 65-52 victory on Tuesday evening at the Wigwam.
Although his team came away with a 13-point win in their 48th District opener, first-year Lady Warrior head coach Stephen Butcher knows his ball club can play much better than they did.
“We did enough to win,” began Butcher. “We always talk about laying bricks on a foundation and making progress – I don’t know how much of that we did tonight. I think we won because we were better, not because we did things exactly the way we needed to do them on a consistent basis. We had way too many lapses on the defensive end – not getting to the help side, not communicating, and not finding people in transition.”
Junior post player Dylana Fothergill got things rolling in the early minutes, tallying Southwestern’s first 8 points of the contest. When Wayne County took a timeout at the 4:16 mark in the first period, Fothergill had outscored them by an 8-2 margin.
Fothergill’s big play in the early minutes, along with a lay-up from sophomore Samantha Fitzgerald and a trey from junior Adison Corder were a part of an 11-0 Lady Warrior run. With the 11 unanswered points, Southwestern led 13-2 with 3:24 left to play in the opening period.
After one quarter in the books, Southwestern held an 18-8 advantage over the Lady Cardinals. Bethany Peyton had 6 of Wayne County’s 8 first quarter points.
Wayne County outscored the Lady Warriors, 11-10, a second quarter that seemed to have no flow. The Lady Cardinals spent the majority of the frame at the charity stripe, shooting 11 free-throws. Southwestern, meanwhile, only shot 4 free-throws in the quarter.
The Lady Warriors came out of the intermission on a roll, outscoring Wayne County by a 19-7 margin in the third period to take a 49-26 lead into the fourth quarter. Fitzgerald had 8 points in the quarter, while Fothergill chimed in with 5 points.
The Lady Cardinals did outscore Southwestern in fourth period, but it was too little, too late, as the Lady Warriors claimed the 13-point victory to move to 6-1 on the year and 1-0 in district action.
Fothergill led the charge for Southwestern with game-highs in points (19) and rebounds (6). Fitzgerald wasn’t far behind, finishing with 16 points and 5 boards. Corder also hit double figures for the Lady Warriors, scoring 12 points.
Leading the way for Wayne County in scoring was Peyton and Megan Burchett, who both scored 9 points each in the district loss. Peyton and Jaime Roberts both had 5 rebounds for the Lady Cardinals.
Butcher was glad to see his team get the district win, but he feels that his team can be a really great one if they play to their potential.
“I’m not going to let the girls settle,” explained Butcher. “We’re not going to be the just the most talented team we can be, we’re going to be the best team we can be. That requires us to do the things that all great teams must do. We really want to thank the crowd for coming out tonight – hopefully they will come back and see us when we get back home in January.”
Southwestern will compete in the Republic Bank Classic this weekend, which will be held from Friday to Saturday at Lexington Catholic. The Lady Warriors will kick off the tournament against Bourbon County on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Warriors’ next home game will be on January 11, 2014, when they will host Middlesboro at the Wigwam.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
WC – 8 11 7 26 – 52
SW – 20 10 19 16 – 65
WAYNE COUNTY (3-3): Burchett 9, Peyton 9, Roberts 8, Hicks 8, Ta. Bell 7, To. Bell 7, A. Bell 2, Hopper 2.
SOUTHWESTERN (6-1): Fothergill 19, Fitzgerald 16, Corder 12, Reed 7, Latham 5, Cook 2, Combs 2.