By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
If losing is contagious, then The PC Gym may have been put on lockdown on Monday night.
The Cumberland County Lady Panthers invaded Pulaski County High School on Monday evening, with both teams needing a win in the worst way.
Combined, the two teams had lost 17 of their last 18 games, so something had to give on PC's home turf.
Cumberland County - 6-15 on the season - had lost nine of its last 10 games headed into the PC game, while Brian Miller's club was in the midst of an eight-game losing skid with a 9-14 mark on the year.
However on Monday night, the Lady Maroons got well and got well in a hurry.
In short, the streak - one of the losing variety over a span of 27 days that saw PC play with a depleted lineup due to injuries - came to an abrupt halt on Monday evening.
Brittany Warren scored a game-high 28 points for Pulaski County, while Haley Warren added 19 points, on a night when Miller's club rolled past visiting Cumberland County by an 85-49 margin.
And, it was a total team effort on a night when the Lady Maroons simply hit their shots.
"I really felt like the difference in the game was the way we shot the ball, because we shot the ball extremely well and we made free throws," stated a very happy coach Miller who saw his club end the eight-game losing slide with the victory.
"It's like I told our kids, we won by quite a bit and we hadn't been making our free throws of late," added the PC coach. "Tonight, we made 19 of 21 free throw attempts, and most nights if we shoot 21 free throws, we're lucky to make 11. I felt like early on we passed the ball well and moved the ball, which led to some open looks that we made tonight."
Each of the Warren twins scored eight points in the opening stanza, helping PC erase its only deficit of the game - 2-0 - to take an 18-14 lead at the end of the first period.
In the second period - a stanza that saw the Lady Maroons stretch out the lead to 40-28 at the half - was an eight-minute segment that saw everyone Miller called upon contribute to the cause.
Cherokee Capps - who led Cumberland County with 13 points - drained a three-pointer earlier in the second stanza that capped a modest, 7-0 spurt by the Lady Panthers, cutting the PC lead down to 26-23.
At that point, the Lady Panthers would get no closer.
A strong drive to the bucket by Brittany Warren extended the PC lead out to 28-23, but there would be much more to come from Miller and company.
A Sarah Howard three-pointer would ease the lead out to 33-25 moments later, while a basket from Eulah Perkins would give her club its first double digit lead of the night over Cumberland County, 35-25.
"It's good to have everybody back and dressed on our team," stated Miller.
"This is only the second game that we've had everybody back and in uniform for a long, long time, and I feel like we're only going to get better and better now that we're finally getting healthy once again," pointed out the PC coach. "We need to win, and the kids shot the ball extremely well tonight. Hopefully, we can keep getting better and better each day leading all the way up to the district tournament in a couple of weeks."
Already leading Cumberland County by that 4-28 margin at the half, if this game wasn't over by that juncture, it certainly was just moments into the third quarter.
Pulaski simply put this one away by beginning the second half on an impressive, 15-0 run, breaking open a somewhat close game, by taking a 55-28 lead.
PC outscored the Lady Panthers by a 23-10 margin in the third period, taking a commanding, 63-38 lead into the fourth quarter, and would never look back on their way to improving their season record to 10-14 on the year.
"Taylor Brock had started every game for us all year long, and tonight she came off the bench and played extremely well," stated Miller.
"That's the thing about having seven seniors on this team - they lead by example and it really doesn't matter who starts, it's who's playing and who's finishing the game, and I like that about her," added the Lady Maroon coach. "She gave us a spark off the bench we she came in there. That's what we've got to have, and that's people giving us a spark when they come off the bench. I thought Andrea (Jenkins) played well off the bench tonight, and that's what we've got to have coming down this very important stretch of the season."
Pulaski County will be back in action tonight, as the Lady Maroons will host Rockcastle County in a pivotal 47th District matchup for both clubs.
That game is set to tip off this evening at The PC Gym beginning at 7:30 p.m.
CC - 14 14 10 11 - 49
PC - 18 22 23 22 - 85
CUMBERLAND CO. - Capps 13, Davidson 13, Stalcup 9, Flatt 9, Waid 3, Key 2.
PULASKI CO. - B. Warren 28, H. Warren 19, Howard 9, Brock 8, Jenkins 7, Correll 5, Hudson 5, Perkins 4.