Lady Dawgs back in region play

 

PLAYING DEFENSE-Clay County's Tristan Watson plays defense against Jackson County's Laken Leonard down the sideline in the District 7-A tournament semifinal. Jackson County topped the Lady Dawgs 52-38 in the game, with Leonard scoring 29 points. (Staff photo by Kevin Donaldson)

PLAYING DEFENSE-Clay County's Tristan Watson plays defense against Jackson County's Laken Leonard down the sideline in the District 7-A tournament semifinal. Jackson County topped the Lady Dawgs 52-38 in the game, with Leonard scoring 29 points. (Staff photo by Kevin Donaldson)

LIVINGSTON-The Clay County Lady Bulldogs punched their ticket to regional play for the first time in three seasons here last week, topping Monterey in the opening round of the District 7-A tournament.

The CCHS girls fell to second seed Jackson County in the semifinals on Thursday, putting the Lady Bulldogs in the consolation game, which took place after the newspaper deadline on Monday. 

Clay County was set to face Pickett County for third place Monday night. The Lady Bobcats fell to top-seeded and unbeaten Clarkrange in the other girls semifinal last Thursday. 

Regional play is scheduled to begin Friday night at the higher-seeded team’s home site. Regional semifinals and finals will be held this year at Watertown High School. 

FIRST ROUND

Lady Dawgs………….56

Monterey……………….44

The Lady Bulldogs got off to another slow start offensively, scoring two points in the first quarter for the second time in three games, but made up for it with a 23-point third quarter that put them in control. 

Monterey led 8-2 after the first quarter, but CCHS came back to take the lead at the half and clinch a spot in regional play with a solid, 40-point second half. 

Clay County got its first lead of the game at the 3:28 mark of the second period, as Monterey went cold from the field. The Lady Wildcats had only one field goal in the quarter, and the Lady Bulldogs warmed up a bit to take a 16-14 lead at intermission.

CCHS took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Monterey 23-9 in a quarter that saw the Lady Wildcats have almost as many turnovers (seven) as points. Clay County led 39-23 after three.

Monterey scored eight straight in the fourth to cut the lead to 12, and they inched to within 10 at one point, but CCHS held the Lady Wildcats off to get their 19th win of the season. 

Free throws played a big factor in the contest for the Lady Dawgs, as they connected on 21 of 29 foul shots for the game. Junior Sarah Ogletree, who led the Clay scoring with 14, hit six of six from the line in the fourth quarter.

Ogletree, who also had a pair of three-pointers, led a very balanced scoring attack. Kayla Kimes, Tristan Watson and Sydney Roach added 10 points, while Amelia Kirk had 8. Rachel Burnette and Emma Ogletree each had two points. 

SEMIFINAL

Jackson County…….52

Lady Dawgs………….38

The CCHS girls dug themselves a hole they could never quite dig out of with a 10-point first half, despite a significant rally at one point after halftime.

Both teams got off to a slow start. Jackson County led 9-6 after one, and both teams went almost three minutes before notching a bucket in the second period. Jackson County led 12-6 with 5:09 left in the second period and closed the quarter with a 10-4 run that put them up by 12 (22-10) at the half. Kirk had all six of her points in the first half, with Kimes and Burnette each adding two points.

The lead quickly reached 14 in the third quarter before a Kerr three-pointer launched a 13-5 run for the Lady Bulldogs to close the period. Burnette had six of her team-high 12 points during the stretch, while Watson and Roach each contributed two points.  The score was 29-23 after three.

Another basket by Burnette to open the fourth quarter cut the lead to the slimmest margin (29-25) since the second stanza. Jackson County regained their bearings, though, and scored eight straight points to regain control of the game. The closest the Lady Dawgs could get the rest of the way was 39-32 after a Kimes three-pointer. 

Miss Basketball nominee Laken Leonard rebounded from a 10-point performance against the Lady Dawgs late in the season with a 29-point outburst for Jackson County.  It was the 23rd win of the season for the Lady Blue Devils. 

In addition to Burnette’s dozen points, Roach added eight, Kimes seven, Kirk six, Kerr three and Watson two.