It had been 13 long years since the Somerset Lady Jumpers basketball team had brought home a district tourney championship.
Last night at Casey County High School, the homestanding Lady Rebels made sure that drought would extend to at least one more year.
Randy Salyers’ club shot the lights out against Somerset from the outset, racing out to a 24-5 lead early in the second frame.
As a result from that huge early deficit, Somerset could never really get back in this one, falling to Casey County on Friday night in the championship game of the Girl’s 47th District Basketball Tournament by a final score of 60-40.
“We knew coming into the game that they (Casey County) shoot a lot of three’s,” pointed out Somerset coach Erin Walker after the contest.
“They are a very good three-point shooting team, and that was something that we talked about from Tuesday night to now,” continued the Somerset coach. “We knew we had to close out on their shooters, and we feel like we’re best defensively when we are playing our active zone. We just didn’t do a good enough job tonight of closing out on their shooters when we were in our zone.”
Casey County — seeking to win the 47th District Tournament for the third year in a row — wasted little time in putting Somerset away on Friday night in an impressive beatdown over the Lady Jumpers.
Lakken Miller hit two of her three, three-point baskets in the first quarter of play, and when she sank her second trey of the night just before the horn sounded ending the opening stanza, Casey County had already built a double-digit lead over Somerset at 18-5.
On the Lady Rebels first two trips of the second stanza, Sarah Beard drained a trey followed by Miller’s third three-point basket of the evening.
That minute and a half flurry by Casey County that ended the first quarter and the beginning of the second frame gave the Lady Rebels a 24-5 lead.
At that juncture, this game was all but over, as Somerset would be playing for pride for the rest of the evening.
“When you give up as many three’s as we did early tonight, and you dig yourself that kind of hole from the outset, it’s just hard to come back from that,” lamented Walker.
“It’s not just hard physically, but it’s also hard on you mentally as well,” said ,,Walker. “You’re down 20, and you’re thinking that you’re not going to be able to come back from this. But, I was proud of our girls for fighting all the way through, because a lot of things did not go our way tonight.”
Casey County — thanks to that 19-point bulge at 24-5 — cruised into the half with a very comfortable, 32-15 lead over Somerset, and that lead would only get bigger as the second half unfolded.
Somerset was ice cold from the field for much of the game but especially at the beginning of the third period.
Casey County meanwhile was hitting shots seemingly from all over the floor — both from the inside and outside.
While Casey County hit five three-pointers in the first half, the Lady Rebels hurt Somerset big-time after the intermission by taking the ball inside.
Freshman center Brooke Snow dominated the paint, scoring 12 points on the night while ripping down six boards.
Casey County went up by as much as 24 points in the third stanza, scoring the first seven points of the second half to claim a 39-15 lead over the Lady Jumpers.
A three-pointer from Bynlee Bigelow with 2:49 remaining in the third stanza — her only points of the night — gave Somerset its first points of the second half, but Casey was still up comfortably by a 39-18 margin and well on its way to a third consecutive 47th District championship.
Christin Terry tallied 10 of her team-high 16 points in the second half, going a perfect, 8 for 8 from the charity stripe, in leading Casey County to a 22-9 mark headed into next week’s regional tournament.
Miller added 13 points in the win, while Snow chipped in with 12 points and Beard added 10.
Somerset was paced by Maranda Mills with a game-high 17 points, while Virginia Scott added 10 points.
Somerset — 14-14 on the season with Friday night’s loss — will advance to the Girl’s 12th Regional Tournament, which will get underway Monday night at Lincoln County High School.
Check out Sunday’s edition for full details of the tournament as well as the bracket.
Members of the 47th District’s All-Season Team were as follows: Tiara Cochran, Lakken Miller, and Christin Terry from Casey County, Peyton Ingram and Taryn Davis from Pulaski County, Alaina Coguer and Morgan Renner from Rockcastle County, while Somerset’s trio of Maranda Mills, Virginia Scott, and Madison Brooks rounded out the squad.
SHS — 5 10 14 11 — 40
CC — 18 14 13 15 — 60
Somerset — Mills 17, Scott 10, Johnson 5, Bigelow 3, Brooks 3, Vaught 2.
Casey Co. — Terry 16, Miller 13, Snow 12, Beard 10, Cochran 5, Eads 2, Carman 2.