Lady Eagles Clear Large Hurdle To Conference Crown
By David Sharp
Knox County jumped out to a 9-2 first quarter lead and held off a third quarter challenge for a 54-38 Senior Night victory over Schuyler County. The Lady Eagles (13-10, 5-1) put themselves in position to win a share of the Tri-Rivers Conference girls’ championship with a win at Putnam County.
The Lady Rams (12-10, 1-3) came within two points of handing Putnam County their first conference loss the previous evening.
Both teams shot the basketball well early. Knox County ruled the boards during the first minutes. The Lady Eagles held a 15-3 unofficial rebound lead at one point. Lesa Ford pulled the Lady Rams back within a 9-5 deficit with a home run ball.
KCHS girls’ single game three point shot record holder Tessa Ramer canned two three balls in a row for a 20-11 lead with a minute remaining in a well played first quarter. Kaitlin Stump dialed long distance with ten seconds until the first break for a 20-14 Knox County lead.
Knox County had a good inside to outside game going in the first half. White hot Tessa Ramer threatened her own record when she tossed in two more home run balls, helping build a 32-18 Knox County lead with three minutes showing on the second quarter clock.
Lorrie Peters pounded the lane for six second quarter points. Knox County took a 35-21 lead to intermission. The Lady Eagles led by 17 points early in the third period.
Schuyler County improved their rebounding. The Lady Eagles worked the ball, but went cold from the field. Knox County defended well enough to keep the Lady Rams from seeing open shots and getting back in the game. The Lady Rams had numerous third quarter scoring tries rattle off the rim.
Schuyler County outscored the Lady Eagles 6-2 in the third quarter. Knox County did not play well offensively, but got eight minutes closer to victory without giving up their double digit lead.
Amanda Woods broke the ice with a three point play and a 40-29 KCHS lead with 7:14 remaining in the contest. Woods scored the next four Knox County points. Lorrie Peters had a sharp looking feed for a 42-29 lead. Two free throws gave the Lady Eagles a 45-29 advantage at the 5:14 mark of the fourth quarter.
“We had to come out and make the most of it because this was going to be our last game here,” said Knox County senior Amanda Woods. “We wanted to go out on a good note.” Amanda Woods and Tessa Ramer were honored along with the other winter sport seniors between games.
“They were going to come back and be ready after we beat them before by six,” said Amanda Woods. “We knew they wanted revenge against us, and we weren’t going to let them have it. We are going for a conference gold. We are going to get it done.”
Knox County kept banging away and reclaimed their 17 point lead at 49-32 with four minutes to play in the game. The Lady Eagles went to their delay game with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rams pulled within eight points in the second half, but could get no closer. “They came out in a boxing match style,” said Schuyler County coach Steve Stock. “They beat us up early and we didn’t respond. They set the tone. For whatever reason, they were physically stronger than us.”
“They were more aggressive than us. They came out and took the game at us like they had something to play for,” said Coach Stock. “We had a few defensive breakdowns and let Tessa Ramer get hot. No excuses, they came out to beat us and beat us in every way, shape or form tonight.”
Knox County held an unofficial 37-24 rebounding advantage. The Lady Eagles limited their turnovers to nine. Knox County held an 8-3 assist edge.
Kaitlyn Stump led Schuyler County with 13 points. Stephanie March and Lesa Ford added 11 Lady Ram points each. Schuyler County was 6-10 from the free throw line with two three pointers.
Amanda Woods scored a game high 17 KCHS points with eight rebounds. Tessa Ramer finished with 16 points. Lorrie Peters had double-double point and rebound totals of 12 with three assists. Katie Ausmus scored five points with six rebounds. Myra Parrish and Stacey Leckbee added two points each.
“I’m happy for our seniors. Tessa Ramer and Amanda Woods stepped up on both ends of the floor,” said Knox County coach John Weaver. “More than that was their leadership, the intensity and the emotion they showed. It wasn’t just tonight. They did it the whole year and that’s why we are playing for a conference championship.”
Lorrie Peters had double digit rebounds and points for us,” said Coach Weaver. The Lady Eagle coach responded to a question of what was the difference in the game. “We played more physical than they did. Kaitlin Stump, (Stephanie) March and (Lesa) Ford hit shots early in the game.”
“We kept throwing different people at Stump defensively,” said Weaver. “We scored 54, but I still think it was our defense. We held a team that had been scoring in the 60’s and 70’s early in the year to 31 the first time and 38 points tonight.”
“Like always, I think our defense was the difference. I am very proud of our seniors,” said John Weaver.