The Trigg County Lady Wildcats entered Thursday night’s game on a five-game losing streak and were looking for some momentum going into the Fifth District Tournament next week.
However, a strong third quarter from the Crittenden County Lady Rockets kept them from getting back on track defeating Trigg 58-50 in Wildcat Gym.
The game was tied at 27 at the half and the Lady Wildcats opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run, looking poised to bust the game open.
However, Crittenden County, particularly sophomore Taylor Guess, had something to say about that.
Guess scored 11 points in the third quarter and helped the Lady Rockets finish the third period on a 21-4 run to take a 48-38 lead into the final quarter.
She wasn’t done there either. In the fourth, Guess scored all but two of her team’s points en route to a 28-point, 10 rebound performance.
Trigg County head coach Cory Coble said he felt like his team came out and started the second half well, but a couple of missed layups really set the tone.
“We started the third quarter out in that 2-3 zone and I thought it was effective early,” Coble said. “We started to get a little fatigued, the zone doesn’t get set, we start getting a little off on our rotations then we had to get back into man because they had some people making some shots. Their role players stepped up a lot. I’ve said it all along, that (Jaelyn) Duncan girl is the most underrated player on that roster.
“The biggest thing is that fatigue factor. When it sets in, it sets in hard. Momentum has a lot to do with it too. We miss a couple of layups, they make a couple of layups and we kind of get down and we’ve been fighting that resiliency factor all year. Hopefully, it kicks in for the district tournament.”
For his team, Coble said they have to make those shots in order to give themselves a chance to win games.
“I think we missed seven layups in the second half,” he said. “I’m not talking back to the basket post moves, I mean a layup. We are not an extraordinarily great team. We’re not Louisville Butler or a team like that. We have got to make these shots and play really well to beat these teams. Crittenden is really good. Lyon is good. For us to beat these teams, we have to play well.”
Along with missing layups, the free throw line wasn’t kind to the Lady Wildcats either.
Trigg shot 5-of-17 from the charity stripe and at one point missed 11 out of 12 free throws.
If there was a bright spot for Trigg in the loss, it was Marleigh Reynolds.
The junior kept the Lady Wildcats in the game, scoring 20 points, with 12 of those coming in the second half.
Coble said Reynolds has come along in the back stretch of the season.
“It’s not just (Thursday night), it’s the last three weeks,” Coble said. “Something kicked in. We actually sat her at the beginning of the season. She felt like she was playing well but she wasn’t meeting my expectations. … She’s had a great last three weeks.
“The thing that’s not talked about is she is our best communicator. She can direct traffic (and) call out screens. She just does a lot for our team. With the things that you do see, there are things you don’t that are really important.”
The Lady Wildcats will need to put the game behind them and prepare to put the season on the line next week, as they play Lyon County in the semifinals of the Fifth District Tournament on Tuesday.
With a trip to the Second Region Tournament on the line on Tuesday, Coble said his team needs to hit the reset and be ready to put it all on the line next week.
“Of all years, this year you have to press the reset button right away,” he said. “I told them in the locker room, ‘It’s either believe or leave. If you believe we can win it again then stay, if you don’t then leave. This isn’t the place for you.’ We talk about the layups and we talk about the free throws, it’s almost encouraging. You lose by that and you’re missing layups and free throws. … We’re going to be fine.”
CRITTENDEN COUNTY 58, TRIGG COUNTY 50
14 13 21 10 — 58
15 12 11 12 — 50
CC: Taylor Guess 28 (10 rebounds), Jaelyn Duncan 16, Chandler Moss 9 (9 rebounds), Riley Smith 3, Lilly Perryman 2
TC: Marleigh Reynolds 20, Adri Phillips 10 (7 rebounds), Iyanna Grubbs 10, Olivia Noffsinger 5, Kara Hyde 3, Kinizah Grubbs 2