Commonwealth Journal

January 21, 2014

Somerset smashes Lady Rockets

Sophomore Brynlee Bigelow leads Jumpers with 21 points

By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The Somerset Lady Jumpers don’t have a strangle hold on the Girl’s 47th District’s top seed just yet.

However, Erin Walker’s club is getting pretty darn close to that coveted top spot.

On Monday night at The Briar Patch, homestanding Somerset rolled to a 79-48 victory over visiting Rockcastle County, improving to 4-1 in district play with just one district game left against Pulaski County.

And, Walker’s club made it look very, very easy along the way on Monday evening.

Brynlee Bigelow scored a game-high 21 points for the Lady Jumpers, while Virginia Scott added 16 points, Kaitlyn Johnson came off the bench to tally 13 points, and Madison Brooks chipped in with a dozen points.

Emily Vaught meanwhile came off the Lady Jumper bench to score 9 points — just one point shy of putting five Somerset players into double figures — in a game that was never really close.

“After our tough loss against Mercer County on Saturday, we wanted to prove that we can put four quarters together,” pointed out coach Walker, after her club improved to 9-10 overall on the season with the lop-sided win.

“That was our goal for this game tonight — to come hard and put 32 minutes of good basketball together,” continued the Somerset head coach. “We wanted to put together a complete game tonight, and we did that. And, it all started with our defense.”

Indeed, Somerset’s defense took The Rock out of this game from the very outset.

The Lady Rockets actually led Somerset early on by a 2-0 margin, but that would be it, as the Lady Rockets would never lead in this contest again.

Thanks to holding Rockcastle County to just 8 points in the first quarter while turning the Lady Rockets over 10 times during that same time frame, Somerset took control of this contest early on, leading by a 25-8 margin after the first stanza.

And, there would be much, much more to come from the home team.

Bigelow tallied 14 of her 21 points in the opening half of play, and thanks to a very balanced scoring attack, as well as a tenacious defense that forced Rockcastle County into 14 first half turnovers, the Lady Jumpers had this one well in hand at the intermission, leading Chrysti Noble’s club by a 42-22 margin.

“We had active hands and active feet defensively, and we were able to get into the passing lanes a few times, and that helped us generate a lot of points on the offensive end,” stated Walker.

“Our whole focus has been about team basketball,” said Walker. “When we share the basketball and we get our head up in transition, and we’re passing and looking for each other, that’s when we are playing at our best,” stated the Lady Jumper coach.

Rockcastle County went on a modest run over the final minute of the first half and the first couple of minutes into the third period, cutting a 42-17 Somerset lead down to 15 points at 42-27.

However, the Lady Jumpers — after a called timeout by Walker — righted the ship and put this one away big-time thanks to another strong run.

Rock’s run ended thanks to a three-point basket by Vaught, and Bigelow got in on the act by scoring on a pair of lay-ups thanks to back to back steals.

Thanks to a 16-2 run in the third period, Somerset pushed the lead out to a whopping 27 points — 58-31 — very late in the third quarter, basically thwarting any chance the Lady Rockets had of getting back into the contest.

With the win, Somerset gained some much-needed momentum heading into Friday’s 12th Regional Championship Game in the All A Classic.

The Lady Jumpers will face arch-rival Danville in the title game, and Walker says her club is going into that matchup with a chip on its shoulder and something to prove as well.

“Our whole thing after last Saturday’s game against Mercer County was getting ready for this big district game against Rockcastle, and then we have the big regional championship game on Friday,” Walker remarked.

“We wanted to make sure that we came into tonight and put together a full game, and have that momentum heading into Friday’s game,” she added. “One of our goals headed into this season was to go to Frankfort. We want to go to the Class A State Championship. And, we obviously want to get some revenge on Danville, because they cut the nets down at our place last year. We want to go up there on Friday and return the favor to them this year.”

The Somerset—Danville All A 12th Regional Championship Game will get underway from Danville High School on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

RC — 8 14 16 10 — 48

SHS — 25 17 24 13 — 79

ROCKCASTLE CO. — Renner 16,  A. Coguer 8, Kelley 6, Reynolds 4, Saylor 4, McKinney 4, Payne 3, Hansel 2, C. Coguer 1.

SOMERSET — Bigelow 21, Scott 16, Johnson 13, Brooks 12, Vaught 9, Mills 5, McGinnis 2, Brown 1.