Casey County survives opening round of Girls State Tournament

 GARY MOYER PHOTO

Casey County's Lauren Lee scored 15 points during the Lady Rebels' 49-46 win over Pikeville. 

Lexington — A case of the nerves almost got the best of Casey County, but in the end, the Lady Rebels did just enough to pull out a slim 49-46 win over Pikeville during Wednesday’s first-round action of the 2020 Mingua Beef Jerky/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16

Casey County overcame a 16-of-43 shooting effort as Jordyn Stephens and Lauren Lee combined to score 31 points to lead the Lady Rebels to the three-point win.

"I think the court, it shellshocked us most of the game,” coach Tara Weddle said. “First time on the big stage in this environment, kind of shook us up for a bit.”

Stephens led Casey County with 16 points while Lee added 15 points. Kirsten Cole-Williamson led the way for Casey County with 15 points while Trinity Rowe finished with 14 points.

It was nip and tuck during first quarter action until Casey County managed to claim a 14-7 advantage after a layup with Haley Brock at the 1:25 mark.

Pikeville’s Emma Ratliff managed to hit a 3-pointer before the end of the period to cut her team’s deficit to 14-10.

The Lady Rebels were able to put some distance between themselves and Pikeville thanks to Gena Cravens knocking down two 3-pointers while Jordyn Stephens hit one.

Cravens’ 3-pointer combined with a free throw by Stephens allowed Casey County’s lead to grow to 29-19 at halftime.

Stephens scored nine points in the first half while Lauren Lee added seven points. The Lady Rebels hit 10-of-23 shot attempts while limiting the Lady Panthers to an 8-of-22 shooting effort.

Pikeville began to slowly cut into its deficit in the third quarter.

A jumper and a 3-pointer by Tackett cut Casey County’s lead to 29-24. The Lady Rebels’ advantage grew to 34-26 at the 4:48 mark after a 3-pointer by Stephens, but the Lady Panthers finished the period with a 4-1 run that made the score 35-30 with eight minutes remaining.

Trinity Rowe’s layup pulled Pikeville to within three points (35-32) of Casey County’s lead to open the fourth quarter, but a basket by Natalie Duggins and a 3-pointer by Lee pushed the Lady Rebels advantage to 40-32.

Pikeville continued to rally and cut its deficit to one point (47-46) with 18.7 seconds remaining after two free throws by Rowe but Lee sealed the win for the Lady Rebels with two free throws a couple of seconds later.

2020 Mingua Beef Jerky/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16

At Rupp Arena

First Round

Casey County 49, Pikeville 46

Pikeville 10 9 11 16 46

Casey County 14 15 6 14 49

Pikeville (46) — Rowe 14, Tackett 7, Gearheart 2, Cole-Williamson 15, Ratliff 3, Maynard 5.

Casey County (49) — Lee 15, Stephens 16, Cravens 9, Duggins 4, Wilkey 3, Brock 2.

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