Commanderettes finish strong in Campbellsville tourney

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By Brandon Mattingly


Washington County vs. Barren County
55-50 Washington County
When: Saturday, Dec. 22
Where: Campbellsville High School
Key players: WCHS - Jennifer Keene, Riquel Logan
Game highlights: The Commanderette basketball team got back to their winning ways on days two and three of the Food Pantry Holiday Classic at Campbellsville High School last weekend. After suffering a loss to Mercer County (6-4) on the opening day, Washington County (6-4) bounced back for a pair of wins, including a five-point victory over Barren County (4-6) on the final day of the tournament.

The Commanderettes led 13-9 after the first quarter, before erupting for a 24-point second quarter on their way to a 37-20 lead late in the first half.

The Trojanettes didn’t go away, however, taking advantage of WC foul trouble to trim five points off the lead before halftime. Barren County kept that momentum going in the third quarter, scoring nine more unanswered points for a 14-0 run, before the Commanderettes were able to weather the rally.

“Normally, when we get smacked in the mouth, we don’t smack back,” said Washington County Head Coach Bernard Smalley, “but we got some big buckets by (Riquel) Logan, (Taylor) Eldridge and (Lexi) Thompson.”

Washington County showed resiliency, clinging to a five-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Turner returned from foul trouble with her team leading by four points with four minutes left in the game and helped guide the Commanderettes to the win.

“We were able to keep our composure and hold on,” Smalley said. “I thought that night we grew up a little bit. We played four quarters and didn’t take one off. Even though (Barren County) had a 14-0 run, we kept our composure all the way through.”

Junior Jennifer Keene had a big game for WC with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Logan (3-of-5 from three-point range) and senior Kenya Turner added 13 points each. Freshman point guard Nic Brizendine added five points and seven assists in the win.

The Commanderettes are now 5-2 in their last seven games, including three district wins.

Washington County @ Campbellsville
53-47 Washington County
When: Friday, Dec. 21
Where: Campbellsville High School
Key players:
WCHS - Kenya Turner, Jennifer Keene CHS - Heather Watson
Game highlights: Washington County’s first win in the classic at Campbellsville High School came against the host Lady Eagles (4-8), and while Smalley wasn’t as impressed with his team’s effort as he would be in the following day’s win over Barren County, his team started to figure out how to take the advantage late in the game.

“I thought Campbellsville came out and outplayed us for 28 minutes out of 32,” Smalley said. “Our kids started going inside, which is our strength. They put a box-and-one on Brizendine and that put the ball in the hands of Thompson, Eldridge and Logan, and they did a good job of getting the ball inside to Turner.”

Campbellsville took an 11-8 lead after the first quarter, and maintained that three-point advantage at halftime, 23-20. They were led to a halftime advantage by senior Heather Watkins, who scored a team-high 25 points with four three-pointers on the game.

The Commanderettes, however, started turning things around in the second half by pounding the ball inside. Turner posted a game-high 31 points and 15 rebounds on her way to helping WC to a four-point lead entering the fourth quarter, which they were eventually able to push to six for the final margin.

Keene recorded another double-double with 10 points and 11 assists, while Logan added four points and eight assists.

The Commanderettes will be back on the hardwood on Friday at Bethlehem (3-3), before heading to Marion County (11-0) on Saturday.