By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
In Tuesday night’s disappointing 62-54 loss to Wayne County, Southwestern Lady Warrior coach Tim Rice sat there almost helpless, as he watched his club miss a total of 12 layups in that game.
On Friday night at The PC Gym, Rice’s club atoned for those shooting woes three night’s earlier.
Last night taking on arch-rival Pulaski County, Southwestern blistered the nets hitting 10 three pointers, breaking open a tight game in the second period on its way to an impressive, 77-63 victory over the Lady Warriors.
“It was just that style of game where both teams were pushing the ball up the floor at every opportunity,” stated Rice, after his club moved to 10-7 with the win.
“We shot the ball well from behind the arc, but so did Pulaski,” remarked the PC coach. “I know we made 10 three’s, but to be honest, I’m surprised that PC only made nine three’s -- it seemed to me like they made about 20.”
Indeed, both teams came out and shot the lights out in the first quarter.
Southwestern made five treys in the opening frame, paced by Destiny Molden, who scored 13 of her game-high 26 points in the first quarter of play.
Meanwhile, PC made a total of four three-pointers, with the game see-sawing back and forth in a very high-scoring affair early on.
There were a six lead changes and four ties in the first half, but thanks to a mini-spurt by Southwestern midway through the second frame, Rice and company would take the lead for good.
After trailing PC 22-20 at the end of one quarter, the Lady Warriors took control of this one in the second quarter.
And, it was mainly due to some torrid shooting from long range.
Molden scored 20 points in the opening half of play on the strength of a trio of three-pointers, and with Dylana Fothergill adding nine points down in the paint, the Lady Warriors, thanks to outscoring the Lady Maroons 24-11 in the second frame, went into the intermission with a double digit lead over Pulaski, 44-33.
“I really think we allowed the ball inside a little too much and we didn’t do a very good job of getting pressure on them,” lamented PC coach Brian Miller, who saw his club fall to 9-7 on the year with the loss.
“We didn’t do a good job of denying the ball inside down to (Dylana) Fothergill, and when they got the ball down to her, we didn’t double down and help out. It was an up and down game, but in the second quarter they slowed it down a little and got the ball inside, and they outscored us by 13 when they did that. We have to do a better job of not letting them down in there.”
Trailing Southwestern by that 11-point margin at the half, Pulaski County’s Brittany Warren came out of the locker room along with her sister Haley, and they tried to put their team on their collective backs.
Brittany Warren tallied 14 of her team-high 25 points in the third frame, and when Haley Warren completed a four-point play after getting fouled on a made three-pointer, the Lady Maroons had trimmed the deficit down to 54-50 midway through the frame.
However, that would be as close as Miller’s club would get for the rest of the contest.
Brittany Combs hit two of her game-high five treys in the third period, helping Southwestern stem the tide and take a 60-55 lead into the final period of play.
In the final stanza, the Lady Warriors methodically extended the lead out to double figures, and when Brittany Warren fouled out with 2:25 remaining in the contest with her club down 69-59, the Lady Warriors could begin to smell a victory.
“We didn’t do a very good job of containing (Brittany) Warren when PC made that run in the third quarter,” pointed out Rice. “We let her penetrate to the basket, and nobody really stepped up down in there to try to pick up a charge -- we just let her drive the ball to the hole at will.”
“It really didn’t matter who we played tonight -- it just happened to be Pulaski County -- but regardless of who we played, we needed to get a win tonight,” stated the Southwestern coach. “We just played so poorly the other night against Wayne County. We missed all those easy shots, and then we let them hit 11 three’s, because we just didn’t defend them at all. This was an important game for us to bounce back, and I’m happy the girl’s came out and responded the way they did.”
As for Pulaski County, last night’s loss to Southwestern took a little momentum away from the Lady Maroons thrilling, come from behind win earlier in the week at Somerset.
However, coach Miller says his team will just have to bounce back and try to keep improving as the season goes along.
“We know we can play better than we did tonight, and that’s the important thing right now for our team,” stated the PC coach.
“Our girl’s practice hard, they play hard, and I thought they played hard tonight,” added Miller. “We got way behind there in the second quarter and then we had to come out and make a run at them there in the third quarter. We came out and put some pressure on them, but you have to credit Southwestern because they came back and made some shots when we put pressure on them during that run in the third quarter.”
Both the Lady Warriors and Lady Maroons will return to action next Tuesday night, taking part in girl-boy doubleheaders.
PC will travel to Liberty to face the homestanding Casey County Rebels in an important 47th District game beginning at 6 p.m.
Southwestern meanwhile will host the Lady Lakers of Russell County in the first game of a twinbill at The Wigwam at 6 p.m.
SW -- 20 24 16 17 -- 77
PC -- 22 11 22 8 -- 63
SOUTHWESTERN -- Molden 26, Corder 15, Combs 15, Fothergill 13, Fitzgerald 5, Latham 3.
PULASKI CO. -- B. Warren 25, H. Warren 17, Brock 8, Correll 7, Jenkins 4, Perkins 2.