Lady Eagles Dial Long Distance. Advance To Brashear Title Contest
By David Sharp
Knox County defenders held North Shelby under ten points in the first half of Brashear Tournament girls’ championship semi-final action. Tessa Ramer earned game scoring honors with 23 points, including a single game school record six three pointers in a 61-26 KCHS win.
Tessa Ramer tossed in a free throw, capping a decisive 18-2 Knox County run to a 20-4 lead at the 5:50 mark of period two. Lorrie Peters connected on a pair of free throws 40 seconds earlier.
Jillian Yoder broke up the run with a North Shelby (6-12) hoop at the 5:30 point of period two. Knox County led by a 20-6 margin. The Lady Eagles took a 27-8 advantage to the halftime dressing room.
Knox County coupled their dominant defense with a good shooting performance. The Lady Eagles created good scoring chances with their defense. They also sank shots, especially in the second half.
“My girls have been playing pretty tough defense. There were apparently holes in our defense tonight, and Knox County found them,” said Lady Raider coach Phillip Martin.
“We are having trouble scoring points,” said Coach Martin. “That puts pressure on your defense and wears you out mentally. We got good looks, but tonight we shot about 15% from the field. It’s hard to win ball games when that’s all you do.”
North Shelby fought back within a 32-12 deficit with a 6-2 scoring run at the 5:52 point of the third quarter. The Lady Eagle coaching staff gave their younger players game experience. Kathleen Hinkle finished a Myra Parrish feed for a 42-20 lead with 1:02 to play in the period.
Tessa Ramer set the three point mark with 1:50 to play in the game. Ramer added six rebounds to the KCHS board total of 21. North Shelby had 27 unofficial rebounds on the night.
Knox County held a 17-8 turnover edge and a 13-3 advantage in team steals for a turnover/steal ratio of 30-13. Knox County dished out 17 assists to seven for the Lady Raiders.
Knox County was 11-19 at the free throw line for 58%. North Shelby went 2-8 from the charity stripe. The Lady Eagles connected on eight home run balls while allowing none.
“When we took Knox (County) to overtime earlier in the year, we shot 60% from the field,” said Phillip Martin. “We haven’t come close to that the rest of the year. We could be competitive if we shot 40%. We don’t take enough shots to shoot the ball at a 15-25% rate.”
The Lady Eagles overcame a two point fourth quarter scoring performance to take a 55-50 conference win at Knox County in January. Jillian Yoder led North Shelby with ten points and eight rebounds. Jessica Linberger scored six Lady Raider points and eight boards.
Lorrie Peters scored 14 points with six rebounds. Stacey Leckbee tossed in nine points with three assists. Myra Parrish had a four point, four assist night. Katie Ausmus scored three points. Katie Ausmus led the Lady Eagles in steals with five and assists with four.
“It was a good game for all of us,” said Lady Eagle junior Katie Ausmus. “Everyone played really well and played together.”
Hannah Dale, Amanda Woods, Kathleen Hinkle and Becca Mallett added two points each. Knox County advanced to the 80th Annual Brashear Tournament girls’ championship game. The Lady Eagles will face fifth ranked Marion County (18-2) for the title.
Knox County R-I schools have not won a Brashear Tournament girls’ championship since the district was formed in 1963. Baring High School was the most recent Knox County based girls’ team to win the Brashear Tournament during the 1960-61 school year.
“We had several people step up,” said Knox County coach John Weaver. “Tessa (Ramer) hit some big shots. Stacey Leckbee hit some shots early in the game that were huge.”
“Everybody contributed. We are not going to score over 45 or 50 points unless we have four or five people score. We created a lot of turnovers from our press. That gave us some easy buckets. I’m just proud of the way we played. We will be ready for Saturday.”