Lady Eagles Claim Second Straight Conference Crown

Lady Eagles Claim Second Straight Conference Crown
By David Sharp
Knox
County jumped out to a 21-4 first quarter lead and never looked back in
a 55-34 Tri-Rivers Conference girl’s victory at Milan.
Coupled with
a one point Putnam County win over Scotland County the same evening,
Knox County won the Tri-Rivers Conference girl’s basketball
championship for the second consecutive season.
The Lady Wildcats
(12-11, 3-6) battled back in the second quarter. Milan outscored Knox
County 13-8, trimming the Knox County lead to 29-17 at the half. The
Lady Eagles took it to Milan in the third quarter reeling off an 11-5
run to a 41-22 lead.
“We all knew we needed to play well, especially
on the road,” KCHS guard Stacey Leckbee said. “We came out on fire. We
showed up to play. They couldn’t handle us. We took care of business.
The whole team just had this fire underneath them.”
Eleven players
scored in the fourth quarter. Taylor Lincoln and Kelsey Cahalan
unleashed three pointers during the final eight minutes. Giovanni
Caponetto answered with a Milan home run ball.
Hannah Sanders led
the Lady Wildcats with 13 points. Deborah Thompson was the next high
Milan scorer with six points. The Lady Wildcats beat Putnam County
later in the week for a 4-6 final conference mark.
Knox County
rained six three pointers down compared to a pair of Milan home run
balls. Milan was 6-10 from the free throw line. Knox County sank seven
of ten from the charity stripe.
“We wanted it last year, but I think
we wanted it even more this year,” Knox County senior guard Stacey
Leckbee said of the second straight Tri-Rivers Conference girl’s
basketball title.
Knox County won a girl’s state basketball
championship in 1976. The Lady Eagles won consecutive district titles
in 1990 and 1991. Knox County had one winning season during a decade,
coming in 1994. Knox County will have their third straight winning
girl’s season this time around.
“In the last 15 times we have stepped out on a conference court, we have only lost once,” Stacey Leckbee said.
Devin
Gudehus led Knox County with 11 points. Amber Ausmus tossed in three
first quarter home run balls and finished with nine points. Kathleen
Hinkle scored nine points.
Stacey Leckbee and Hannah Strange scored seven points each. Hannah Dale put in five KCHS points.
Kelsey
Cahalan and Taylor Lincoln scored three points each. Kelly Bruns scored
two points. McKaiya Miller, Kelsey Bryant and Sarah Dooley participated
in the conference clinching game and did not score.
Knox County
improved to 16-6 on the season, 8-1 in the Tri-Rivers Conference. “We
had a great start. Amber Ausmus came out in the first quarter and hit
three three’s,” Knox County coach John Weaver said.
“That got us
going early. Our defense played well. They cut it to ten or 12 in the
second quarter. Our kids continued to play good defense,” John Weaver
said. “We knew what was at stake.”
“We had a chance to get another
conference road win if we played well and we got it done. It’s a credit
to the kids,” John Weaver said when asked about the Lady Eagle’s back
to back conference championships.
“Last year it was great. That was
the first time in school history as far as an undefeated (girl’s)
conference championship,” Coach Weaver said. “This year made it extra
special. We were probably picked second or third coming in, losing four
seniors.”
“The kids have worked hard all season. That was one of
our three goals, to win a conference championship. We have accomplished
that and we are proud of it.”

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