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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
Following a 68-59 win over Boyle County last week, the Commanderettes visited Garrard County, where they lost 72-49. But in spite of that loss, the Commanderettes had bigger fish to fry last Friday in the top-ranked Marion County Lady Knights.
Washington County head girls’ basketball coach Bernard Smalley knew the odds were stacked against his squad. Although they lost 73-27 to the Lady Knights, Smalley said he saw a lot a positive things during that game.
“I thought our 6-5 center Ange Umulisa showed some good signs. She got a lot of minutes,” Smalley said. “And our sophomore point guard Shay Yocum plays hard every single game.”
The Lady Knights built a 17-5 lead in the first quarter and outscored WC 21-7 in the second, to lead 38-12 at the half.
Marion doubled up the Commanderettes 20-10 in the third and put 15 on the board to WC’s five in the fourth.
By the time the dust had settled, Marion County showed why they are one of the teams expected to go to the state tournament this year.
Smalley is looking for some senior leadership to take hold as district play began this week with a contest against Nelson County Tuesday and Bethlehem this Friday.
“My senior point guard Morgan Burton is showing a lot of improvement,” he said. “Right now she’s playing up to her potential. You want your point guard to be like a coach and there were some times last year when we didn’t see eye-to-eye. So far this year, she’s done everything that I’ve asked of her.”
No matter what the score is at the end of the game or what the record reflects, Smalley just wants to emphasize to his players that he just expects them to play hard.
“Our kids played hard for 32 minutes,” he said. “They didn’t quit, even though we were down by 40 points. We just kept playing, and that’s what it’s going to take.”
See this week's issue of The Springfield Sun for the whole story.