Washington County vs. Marion County
Score: 70-19 Marion County
When: Saturday, Feb. 2
Where: Washington County High School
Key players: WCHS - Kenya Turner MCHS - Makayla Epps
Game highlights: As far as bad starts go, the Commanderettes (10-10) will have a tough time topping Saturday’s matchup with top-ranked Marion County (27-0) on their way to a 70-19 defeat.
The undefeated Lady Knights, who’ve posted an average margin of victory of 34.6 this season, ended the game early by scoring the first 31 points and never allowing the Commanderettes to get settled in the first half.
“Marion is No. 1 in the state and No. 6 in the nation and I feel like they’re going to run the table and go 39-0. The last team to do that was Marshall County in ‘82,” said Washington County Head Coach Bernard Smalley. “It’s disappointing though. You’ve got to be competitive and come to play, and I just thought our kids were intimidated.”
Senior Makayla Epps led the way for Marion County, hounding the WC guards and turning several steals into layups in the first quarter. A steal and a layup by senior Logan Powell at the end of the first quarter pushed the lead over 30 out of the gate.
The Commanderettes got their first points on a jumper by freshman Taylor Eldridge. Marion County reeled off nine more points before Washington County’s next basket, a runner in the lane by freshman Nic Brizendine. The Lady Knights led 46-4 at the half.
“(Marion County) Coach (Trent) Milby didn’t play his two superstars (Epps and senior Kyvin Goodin-Rogers) in the second half at all and it could have been worse,” Smalley said. “We didn’t compete when their top guns were in there and you’ve got to compete no matter who’s in there.”
With the MC regulars resting, the Commanderettes settled down a bit on offense in the third quarter, including a driving basket for Brizendine, a short jumper for junior Riquel Logan and a driving dish from Eldridge to senior Kenya Turner for two. Washington County, however, was unable to draw closer the rest of the way.
Turner led the Commanderettes with eight points. Brizendine added five, while Logan, Eldridge and junior Jennifer Keene had two a piece. Epps was the lone player in double figures, leading Marion County with 18 points.
Washington County vs. Campbellsville
Score: 70-34 Washington County
When: Tuesday, Jan. 29
Where: Washington County High School
Key players: WCHS - Riquel Logan, Kenya Turner
Game highlights: Washington County had a much different outcome last Tuesday, when they hosted Campbellsville (6-16) and sent the Lady Eagles packing, 70-34.
The Commanderettes got off to a hot start, 11-0, before Campbellsville stormed back to make the score 15-14 WC after one quarter. That’s when Washington County took control.
“We jumped out of the gate really well and they came right back, but in the second quarter we put up 29 points and that was the best quarter we’ve played probably all year,” Smalley said.
The Commanderettes outscored Campbellsville 29-7 in the second quarter to take complete control of the game and they never looked back. WC was led by Logan, who buried five three-pointers on her way to a game-high 17 points.
“Lately, we’ve been trying to run our break and our guards are hitting shots, which is opening it up for our inside kids,” Smalley said. “Riquel shot the lights out (on Tuesday). Typically, when she hits one or two, she’s going to bury three or four in a row and she did an excellent job.”
Washington County kept it up in the second half, outscoring the Lady Eagles 17-8 in the third quarter for a 61-29 lead, before coasting to an easy win in the fourth.
Smalley also commended Brizendine’s play at point, as she came up with 13 points and five assists. Turner had 12 points to go with 14 rebounds, with Keene adding eight points and 14 boards. Freshman Lexi Thompson led the Commanderettes on defense with five steals, with Logan adding three.
The Commanderettes visited Taylor County (3-16) on Tuesday after press time and will have a rematch in Campbellsville on Thursday at 6 p.m. They’ll host Thomas Nelson (3-18) in the final regular season district matchup on Friday at 6 p.m.