The Lady Cougars continued their dominance of the 12th District Thursday evening as they defeated the Edmonson County LadyCats 61-48 to claim their ninth straight district championship.
The Lady Cougars will head into next week’s 3rd Region Tournament at the Owensboro Sportscenter as a district champion, which means they will face a runner-up from either the 9th, 10th or 11th Districts. The draw was scheduled to take place Saturday morning, in Owensboro.
Standout junior Maddie Stewart led the Lady Cougars with 13 points and she made it a double-double night by pulling down 10 rebounds. For her efforts, Stewart was placed on the All-Tournament team and was also named the Tournament MVP.
Joining Stewart on the All-Tournament team were senior Kayla Shull, who finished with 12 points, freshman Grace White, who also had a double-double night with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and sophomore Sarah Pierce, who was outstanding all night and finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and a team-high four steals.
The action was intense from the start and the pace of the game was frantic. There were two ties and four lead changes in the opening period.
Edmonson County senior Madison Rich, who led all scorers in the game with 18 points, hit a 10-footer with 1:13 left in the first quarter to give the LadyCats their largest lead of the night, three points at 12-9.
Jodi Decker buried a three-pointer from the corner to tie things 12-12 with 59 seconds left, then Stewart hit a lay-up off a nice pass from White to give Grayson County a 14-12 lead heading into the second quarter. The Lady Cougars would never trail again.
Rich opened the scoring in the second period to tie things again at 14-14, but Shull answered with a three-pointer to put the Lady Cougars in front to stay, 17-14.
Two Rich free throws at the 6:41 mark made it 19-18 before the Lady Cougars put their stamp on the game. Grayson County forced five straight Edmonson County turnovers, including two Pierce steals, and they reeled off 11 unanswered points to take a 12-point advantage, 30-18 with 4:25 left in the first half.
Stewart hit a lay-up at the 2:13 mark to give the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the first half, 15 points at 36-21. Grayson County led by 14 points at the half, 39-25.
The LadyCats pulled to within 11 points twice in the third quarter, the last time coming with 1:59 remaining when Rich hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 44-33. But the Lady Cougars scored the last seven points of the period and took an 18-point lead, 51-33 into the final period of play.
Allie Horton hit 1-of-2 from the line with 2:33 left to give the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the night, 21 points at 61-40 before the LadyCats closed out things with eight straight to make the final score a bit more respectable.
Eighth-grader Caitlin Simon joined Rich in double figures for the Lady Cats as she finished with 11 points.
Decker finished her night with six points, while eighth-grader Hannah Saltsman had four. Horton closed out her night with three points while Sloane Embry had one to complete the scoring.
Joining the four Lady Cougars on the All-Tournament team were Rich, Simon and Brandi Lindsey, from Edmonson County, Lynsie Clark and Katie Graham, from Butler County, and Kirsten Beatty and Nina Wathen, from Whitesville Trinity.
Shull, Graham, Edmonson’s Paige Carnes, and Whitesville’s Hannah Armes were named to the 12th District All-Academic team. Named to the regular season All-12thDistrict Team were, Shull, Stewart and White, from Grayson County, Rich Lindsey and Carnes, from Edmonson County, Clark and Graham, from Butler County, and Armes and Liza Howard, from Whitesville Trinity.