Lady Eagles Dump Marion County
By David Sharp
Great second half defense overcame a less than desirable shooting performance, leading sixth seeded Knox County (5-7) to a 38-30 upset victory over Marion County (3-7) in North Shelby Tournament first round girls’ play.
The January 15, contest saw The Lady Eagles sink only nine of 48 shots from the field and 11 of 29 from the free throw line.
Marion County led 14-12 at the half. Knox County stayed in the game by limiting the Lady Mustang offense, and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds on the night. Knox County pulled down 36 boards during the contest. Twelve missed free throws during the opening two quarters prevented the Lady Eagles from opening a lead.
“We truly played four quarters of basketball,” said KCHS coach John Weaver. “We have struggled early. Our defense and rebounding kept us in the first half. I believe we doubled their rebound total in the first half.”
The Lady Eagles came out of the dressing room and competed. Knox County increased their defensive intensity in the third quarter, converting Marion County turnovers into points.
Tessa Ramer and Amber Ausmus canned third quarter three balls. Lorrie Peters sank three of four third quarter free throws. Knox County outscored the Lady Mustangs 16-6 in the third period and took a 28-24 lead into the final eight minutes.
The Lady Eagles played better as the game went on. Knox County got to the rim in the fourth quarter, and scored nearly half their total game field goals in the last eight minutes. Knox County went 6-12 from the free throw line in the second half.
“We got after it,” said Weaver. “We were scrappy. We struggled from the (free throw) line, but we found a way to get it done in the second half. We continued the pressure and came out with the victory.”
Knox County led by four points with about two and a half minutes remaining in the contest. The Lady Eagles took care of the basketball down the stretch. Knox County was charged with 14 turnovers on the night. The Lady Eagles had ten steals, led by Katie Ausmus with three thefts.
“We rebounded well and hit some key free throws down the stretch,” said Coach Weaver. “We were horrible from the free throw line most of the game. But when it counted at the end of the game we made our free throws. We did enough at the end to win it.”
Jenny Mitchell scored a game high 12 Marion County points. Jordan Johnson was in double figures with ten points. Knox County held Ranay Sharpe, normally a very effective offensive post player scoreless on the night. Both sides sank nine field goals each.
Knox County was 3-6 for 50% from three point range. Lorrie Peters led Knox County with ten points and 14 rebounds. Peters grabbed 11 of Knox County’s 21 offensive boards and shot 60% from the free throw line.
Tessa Ramer fought through flu like symptoms for an eight point, six rebound and two steal night. Stacey Leckbee and Amanda Woods scored six KCHS points each. Katie Ausmus and Amber Ausmus scored three points each. Caley Palmer added one Knox County field goal.