By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
For the second game in a row, Somerset would get a double-digit lead over their opponent, but would have the lead and the game slip away from their grasp.
On Saturday afternoon at the Briar Patch, the Lady Jumpers led by double digits for the entire first half, but Mercer County would outscore Erin Walker’s team by a margin of 46-21 in the second half to come away with an 83-72 victory.
The Lady Jumpers led at the break, 51-37, but a second half collapse allowed the Lady Titans to escape the Briar Patch with a nine-point win, allowing them to move to 14-5 on the season.
“I think our girls are not used to playing good teams and having such success against those teams,” began Walker, who saw her team fall to 8-10 on the year with the set back. “We made a lot of mental mistakes today – we turned the ball over twice on inbounds throws. It’s just little things like that, that add up.”
Somerset, thanks to a 12-2 run, jumped out to a 21-12 lead over Mercer County lead in the first quarter. Madison Brooks (8 points) and Virginia Scott (6 points) each had big quarters for the Lady Jumpers, allowing them to grab an early nine-point advantage.
Both teams lit up the scoreboard in the second frame, as Somerset (30 points) and Mercer County (25 points) combined for a total of 55 points. At the intermission, Somerset went into the locker room with a 51-37 lead over the Lady Titans.
Scott had a huge quarter for the Lady Jumpers in the second frame, scoring 17 of her game-high 27 points. Brooks chimed in with 6 points in the frame, while Maranda Mills added in with 5 points.
Mercer County came out on fire in the second half of action, outscoring the Lady Jumpers by a margin of 22-8 in the third stanza. After trailing by 14 points to begin the frame, the Lady Titans found themselves tied up at 59-59 heading into the fourth and final period.
Somerset would strike out first in the final frame, as Mills hit a lay-up to put the Lady Jumpers ahead by a field goal at 61-59. Unfortunately for Somerset, Mercer County would take the lead for good after a trey and never look back, handing the Lady Jumpers their second loss in a row.
To be successful, the Lady Jumpers must put four quarters together in the same game.
“We’ve got to have that focused mentality for four quarters, which is something we have yet to do this season,” explained the second-year SHS coach. “Sometimes we put the first half together but not the second, or we put the second half together but not the first. Consistency is the big thing right now.”
For the Lady Titans, Huffman led the charge with a club-high 24 points. Seygan Robins and Emma Davis both chimed in with 15 points, while Lyric Houston hit double figures with 12 points.
Scott tallied a contest-high 27 points and a team-high 7 rebounds. Brooks finished the contest with 20 points and 6 boards, while Mills scored 9 points and Topanga Brown added with 7 points.
The Lady Jumpers returned to action last night in a 47th District match-up, hosting Rockcastle County at the Briar Patch. Somerset will hit the court again on Friday evening, when they will look to win the 12th Region “A” Classic at Danville High School.
Walker and company are gunning for a trip to Frankfort for the All “A” State Tournament.
“I told the girls that I’ve never been to the Class “A” State Tournament before,” told Walker. “We got beat in the championship last year, so I told the girls that it would be nice to get some revenge and go to Frankfort. Our fuel for this week is getting that trip to Frankfort.”
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
MC – 12 25 22 24 – 83
SHS – 21 30 8 13 – 72
MERCER COUNTY (14-5): Huffman 24, Davis 15, Robins 15, Houston 12, Freeman 9, Burke 6, Lake 2.
SOMERSET (8-10): Scott 27, Brooks 20, Mills 9, Brown 7, McGinnis 3, Bigelow 2, Vaught 2, Johnson 2.