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Lady Trojans Fall to UHA in Regional Semi-Finals

Trojans Basketball Girls 300WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (3/6/13) – Ice-cold shooting in the second half spelled doom for the WCHS Lady Trojans as they fell to University Heights Academy 60-44 in the semi-final round of the Second Region Tournament Monday night at Caldwell County High School. The Lady Blazers, leading 23-21 at halftime, caught fire in the third quarter and blitzed Webster 19-4 in the period. UHA opened the quarter with an 11-0 run and scored on their first seven possessions of the quarter.
 
Le’Onzerrea Grubbs had the hot hand for the Lady Blazers during the streak, scoring 10 points along with a pair of 3-pointers. Heights led by as many as 17 points in the frame. While UHA (23-7) was red-hot, the Lady Trojans couldn’t find the hoop, suffering through one of their worst shooting nights of the season. Webster hit just 23 percent from the field and a frigid 1-for-19 from behind the 3-point arc.
 
Webster did manage a 5-1 run late in the third quarter behind the relentless play of Darrian McNary. She scored all five points in the spurt but UHA used an old-fashioned 3-point play from Demetria Snorton to close out the period with a 46-30 lead. McNary led the Lady Trojans with 20 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She was the only WC player in double figures.
 
As Webster fans have witnessed most of the season, the Lady Trojans showed a great deal of heart in the fourth quarter, continuing to fight and opening the final eight minutes with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 46-35. The momentum jumped to Webster’s end of the floor when Edens drained a 3-pointer from the right side making it 48-38 with 5:50 left in the game. But that would be as close as WCHS could get as no epic comeback was in the cards on this night. At one point in the final three minutes, Webster missed seven straight shots from point-blank range, grabbing offensive rebound after rebound but just couldn’t get the ball to go into the hoop.
 
It was sweet revenge for University Heights as the Lady Trojans had beaten the Hopkinsville school in the finals of the All “A” Classic Regional Tournament back in January.
 
Webster played without head coach Parker McCalister who was sick and ordered by doctors to stay home. Long-time assistant coach Josh Steele took the reins in his absence. Webster finished the season with a very impressive 23-6 record, led by McCalister who was named 2nd Region Coach of the Year by the Coaches’ Association.
 
Mariah Herrera added seven points while senior Kolbi Edens, playing her final game as a Lady Trojan, added five points and six rebounds. Bailey Townsend and Kristen Keeney finished with four points each followed by two points apiece from Macye Davis and Hannah Pritchett.
 
UHA had four players in double figures, led by Denayia Holmes’ 16 points, including 10 in the first half.
 
6-foot-5 center Meg Starling added 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots. She was key in holding the momentum for UHA in the final five minutes, scoring four points and pulling down six rebounds.
 
Webster County 48
Caldwell County 44
 
Survive and advance! That seemed to be the Lady Trojans mentality last Thursday night in the opening game of the Second Region Tournament at Caldwell County High School. It took a furious comeback effort in the closing minutes for the WCHS girls to survive an upset bid by the Lady Tigers, a team they had beaten 66-42 in the final game of the regular season, just one of the two lopsided wins over Caldwell this year. Caldwell County (21-10) led by as many as 10 points in the second half, including a 43-39 advantage with just 1:20 to go.
 
But the Lady Tigers committed three crucial turnovers in the final minute that opened the door for the Webster victory. And while poor free throw shooting has haunted the Lady Trojans all season long, they hit the ‘big ones’ down the stretch Thursday to secure the victory. Trailing 35-27, Webster began its comeback rally with an 8-0 run to open the final eight minutes. Kolbi Edens began the spurt with a steal and layup, followed by a jumper from Mariah Herrera. She then knotted the score at 35-all with a pair of free throws with 5:01 left in the contest.
 
But Caldwell wasn’t going to give in and they went ahead on a pair of free throws by Lele Rodgers with just over a minute to play. Webster hit 3-of-4 free throws on their next two trips to cut the lead to 43-42. Great defensive pressure by Darrian McNary on the ensuing inbounds by the Lady Tigers forced a loose ball and Bailey Townsend grabbed the turnover and fired a pass to McNary for the easy basket, giving Webster a 44-43 lead with 0:38 to go. After another Caldwell turnover, Herrera was fouled and she hit 1-of-2 at the stripe for a 45-43 lead. CC’s Kaitlyn Gilkey answered at the other end with one free throw and 0:17 left to trim the lead to 45-44.
 
That would be as close as the Lady Tigers could get. Another free throw from McNary and then the final two free throws of the game from Kristen Keeney lifted the Lady Trojans to Monday’s semi-final matchup against University Heights Academy.
 
Herrera led WCHS with 17 points, plus six rebounds and three assists. McNary added a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Edens also finished with 11 points. Christian Papineau scored four points along with six rebounds while Keeney added four points and nine boards. Macye Davis completed the scoring with one free throw. Webster held a strong 40-30 rebounding edge and forced 18 CCHS turnovers.
 
It was WC’s poor shooting that almost sent them home for the season. 14-of-66 from the field and just 3-of-18 from the 3-point arc was one of the worst nights of the year for the Lady Trojans. Although fairly clutch down the stretch at the free throw line, Webster hit just 17-of-31 attempts for the game. Caldwell jumped out to a 13-8 lead and held a 23-18 lead at halftime.
 
Charlie Hust
Journal Enterprise

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