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Lady Trojans Claim All 'A' Regional Title with Thrilling 52-51 Win Over UHA

 

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WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (1/22/13) - For the second straight year, Webster County basketball fans will pack-up and head to Frankfort this week for another berth in the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic State Tournament. This time it’s the girls’ squad that will represent the maroon-and-gold in the annual event.

The WCHS Lady Trojans secured a spot in the state tourney by breezing past Caldwell County in All “A” Second Region action Friday night and then out-lasting defending regional champion University Heights Academy for the regional title on Saturday night at Crittenden County High School. Webster will take on Louisville Collegiate (7-5) in the opening round of the state tourney Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. (EST) at the Frankfort Convention Center. Collegiate won the Seventh Region title with a 57-35 victory over Kentucky Country Day. The Lady Trojans enter the tourney with the second best record of the field at 16-2.
 
“We don’t know much about them (Collegiate) but we do know that they play in probably the toughest region in the state. We’re definitely looking forward to the challenge,” WCHS head coach Parker McCalister stated.
 
Webster County  52
University Heights 51

Bailey Townsend’s best game of her career couldn’t have come at a better time. The junior forward calmly sank a free throw with one second left in the game to lift the Lady Trojans to victory and a berth in the All “A” State Tournament this week in Frankfort.
 
Townsend led the Lady Trojans with a season-high 13 points along with seven rebounds. One of the those board was the biggest in her life, grabbing a missed shot by Darrian McNary in the final seconds of the game and the score tied at 51-51. Townsend was fouled on the rebound and she canned the first free throw to send the Lady Trojans to the thrilling triumph.
 
“Bailey was just huge in this game. She really stepped up for us and the pressure-packed free throw was just incredible,” noted first-year head coach Parker McCalister.
 
Webster’s win avenges an overtime loss to the Lady Blazers in last year’s title game.
 
The Lady Trojans were clinging to a slim 51-50 lead with 1:28 to go in the game on a lane jumper by Kristen Keeney. UHA’s Denayia Holmes was fouled on a driving shot on their final possession and she was injured on the play. Makenzi Hamby came off the bench to attempt Holmes’ free throws and she drilled one of those freebies to tie the game at 51-all. That set the stage for Townsend’s heroics as the Lady Trojans held the ball for the last 1:37 of the game before. Townsend snared the rebound off a missed shot and was fouled on her putback attempt. The Lady Trojans trailed by as many as seven points in the first half but went on a mini-run late in the second period to close the gap to two by halftime (24-22). A Kolbi Edens 3-pointer at the 6:49 mark of the third quarter put Webster up by one point and it was a see-saw battle from there. Edens and Mariah Herrera both finished with 12 points. McNary added seven points while Keeney scored six points and pulled down four rebounds.
 
Christian Papineau added two points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Macye Davis added six rebounds while Hayleigh Dame hauled in three. Webster was 19-for-68 from the field but did hit 4-of-7 3-pointers. The Lady Trojans managed 10-of-18 from the free throw line but the Lady Blazers nailed 16-of-25 from the charity stripe. Webster held a commanding 43-24 rebounding edge but committed 15 turnovers compared to UHA’s nine.
 
Webster County  66
Caldwell County  34

The Lady Trojans continued their impressive defensive play last Friday night, forcing 21 Caldwell County turnovers in an easy win during the semi-final round of the Second Region All “A” Classic at Crittenden County High School. Webster had blitzed Trigg County in the tourney opener, limiting the Lady Wildcats to just five total points. That success continued on Friday as WCHS raced out to a 23-16 lead in the opening stanza. The lead grew to 33-25 at intermission as the Lady Trojan full-court pressure seemed to be taking its toll on the CCHS squad.
 
Webster first-year head coach Parker McCalister must have had some inspiring words for his squad at halftime as the Lady Trojans’ defensive intensity elevated and held Caldwell scoreless in the third quarter. When that horn sounded, the WC girls had blitzed CCHS with a 22-0 run and put the game totally out of reach.
 
“I’m just really proud of the girls and we look forward to being able to compete at the state level,” McCalister stated.
 
Webster’s one-two punch of Darrian McNary and Mariah Herrera paced WCHS in the win. McNary finished with a game-high 21 points plus seven rebounds while Herrera added 17 points, six rebounds, seven steals and five assists. WC sophomore Kristen Keeney enjoyed her finest game at the varsity level, posting her first career double-double (12 points and 12 rebounds). Bailey Townsend finished with five points and seven boards while Kolbi Edens added four points and four rebounds. Haylee Gibson, Georgia Keeney and Macye Davis all scored two points while Christian Papineau chipped in with one point and six rebounds.
 
Most of Webster’s points came off steals and fast-break opportunities, they hit 27-of-79 attempts from the field and held a gigantic 46-21 rebounding edge. The Lady Trojans continued to struggle at the free throw line, sinking just 10-of-22 attempts from the stripe.

Charlie Hust
Journal Enterprise

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