By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Southwestern looked as if they would cruise to a victory over Somerset after they opened Monday night’s game at the Wigwam with a 14-0 run.
Somerset, however, would roar all the way back from that early deficit and even take the lead at one point in the game.
In the end, the Southwestern Lady Warriors were too much in the end for the Somerset Lady Jumpers, as Stephen Butcher and crew came away with a 61-51 victory. The Warriors moved to 4-1 on the year with the win, while Somerset fell to 0-4.
The first-year Southwestern hoops coach was pleased to that his team come away with a hard-fought victory over their cross-town rival.
“I’m really proud of my kids,” told Butcher. “We didn’t have to win this ballgame, but they decided that the score on the scoreboard was more important than the stat line in the paper and in the scorebook. It’s for that reason that we ended up coming out on top tonight.”
Led by the trio of Destiny Molden, Adison Corder, and Samantha Fitzgerald, Southwestern ran out to a 14-0 advantage over visiting Somerset. On the run, Molden and Corder had 5 points each, while Fitzgerald chimed in with 4.
Somerset’s first points of the contest came with 2:31 left in the opening frame, when Maranda Mills knocked down a pair of free-throws to make the score, 14-2. The junior would score again later in the period on a lay-up and a three-pointer, allowing her to finish with 7 of Somerset’s 9 first quarter points.
After one quarter in the books, Southwestern held a 17-9 lead over the Lady Jumpers. After the Lady Warriors jumped out to a 14-0 lead, the Somerset concluded the frame on a 9-3 spurt.
It wasn’t the best start to the contest for the Lady Jumpers, but they stormed back to make it a game and even take the lead.
“We didn’t come out at our best,” told Walker. “They made a good run there at the beginning of the game – that may have been the worst quarter that we’ve had all-year long. We played bad that quarter, but we were only down eight points. We battled back and even took the lead at one time.”
Somerset would cut the Lady Warrior lead to 2 points twice at 22-20 and 24-22. The Lady Warriors would end the first half with a 7-0 run to take a 31-22 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Lady Jumpers would use a 10-0 run in the third stanza to take their first lead of the evening with a free-throw from Madison Brooks to make the score 33-32. Topanga Brown had 5 points on the run, while Brooks added 3 and Virginia Scott tallied 2.
A lay-up from Fitzgerald with 2:01 left in the third quarter would put the Lady Warriors up by a score of 37-36. Southwestern would never trail again in the ballgame. With a basket from Cassi Reed, Butcher’s squad went into the fourth period with a 3-point, 39-36 advantage over Somerset.
The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 47-40 lead after a trey from Corder. After lay-ups from Scott and Brown, the Lady Jumpers trailed by 3 points at 47-44.
With 2:48 left to play in the contest, Corder hit another lay-up to widen the gap to 53-48. Free-throws from Molden and Elisabeth Latham put Southwestern out front at 56-48 with 1:08 left on the clock.
Southwestern would seal the deal in the end at the charity stripe, allowing them to come away with the 10-point victory over the Lady Jumpers. The 61-51 win allowed the Lady Warriors to extend their winning streak over Somerset to 8 straight games.
Corder led the way for the victorious Lady Warriors with 14 points, while also having 5 rebounds. Fitzgerald chimed in with 12 points and 7 boards, while Molden hit double figures with 10 points.
Dylana Fothergill pulled down a team-high 8 rebounds on the night and also scored 6 points. Latham had 7 points and 3 boards in the victory over Somerset.
Somerset had a pair of ladies share the leading scorer role, as Scott and Mills scored 14 points each on the night. Scott had a club-high 8 rebounds go along with her 14-point evening. Three Lady Jumpers scored 7 apiece points on the night – Brooks, Brown, and Vaught.
Despite an 0-4 start to the season, Walker says there is no need to hit the panic button just yet. 3 of Somerset’s first 4 opponents were ranked in the top 25 preseason rankings (Glasgow, Perry County Central, and Southwestern).
“We’ve played four really tough games – three of our first four games were against three preseason top 25-ranked teams,” said the second-year Somerset coach. “We’ve battled in each of those games, but we just keep coming up a little bit short each time. The good thing is that it’s only December – we’ve got lots of games left.”
Somerset will look to earn their first victory of the season on Friday evening, when they will travel to Mount Vernon to face Rockcastle County in a 47th District clash.
The Lady Warriors will have a big game themselves on Friday night, when they will host Scott County at 7:30 p.m. at the Wigwam.
“We’re going to have to be ready to play – they’ve got a lot of athleticism and a lot of shot-makers,” concluded Butcher. “If we’re not ready to play, it could potentially be a long night. We’re making progress. Are we ready for that? I think so.”
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22
SHS – 9 13 14 15 – 51
SW – 17 14 8 22 – 61
SOMERSET (0-4): Mills 14, Scott 14, Brooks 7, Brown 7, Vaught 7, Bigelow 2.
SOUTHWESTERN (4-1): Corder 14, Fitzgerald 12, Molden 10, Latham 7, Fothergill 6, Combs 5, Reed 4, Venable 3.