Trigg County’s Olivia Noffsinger drives in the Lady Wildcats’ loss to Calloway County on Friday night.

Despite falling 51-43 to Calloway County, the Trigg County Wildcats looked night and day Friday night compared to Jan. 5 in Elkton.

Trigg looked more poised offensively and more confident defensively. Head coach Cory Coble is just happy to see the team he is used to seeing back on the floor competing.

“The team I saw on Tuesday — I almost feel like I couldn’t be mad during the game because it was almost like I didn’t know what I was watching,” Coble said. “We come out (Friday night) and here’s my team again. Dede (Barbee) and Iyanna (Grubbs) and Liv (Noffsinger) do great on their guards who are exceptional. Then on offense we’re moving the ball, we’re confidently taking it to the rack.

“We’re still learning, we’re still taking bad shots, we’re still making passes that we shouldn’t make. But overall, we’re two games into a 30-game season.”

The Lady Wildcats held a good Calloway County offense led by Elle Carson and Skylar Waller to just 15 points in the first half.

However, the Lady Lakers put it together in the final 16 minutes, scoring 36 second-half points to escape Cadiz with the win.

Waller and Carson combined for 36 total points, 24 of which came in the second half. Coble said a mix of the Lady Lakers executing and the Lady Wildcats making defensive mistakes led to the big second half from the road team.

“It’s Calloway executing offensively and our inability to handle a screen.” Coble said. “They have two exceptional guards who have run a ball screen offense the entire time. But at the same time, when you get to a certain level where we’re at, there’s a small thing that separates each team from one another and it’s not being able to execute those things on the defensive end and a couple bad things on the offense end. But hopefully at the end of the season, all of those things are tied up.”

Barbee and Kinizah Grubbs stepped into the lineup in the loss, both for different reasons. Coble said both played well for being given the opportunity to start on Friday night.

“Some of it is personnel,” he said. “Olivia has dealt with a bad back and I didn’t want her guarding Waller or Carson. You put (Dede) out there and she does a great job. Kinizah comes out and she’s like our one bright star on Tuesday so we’re rewarding her effort. She comes out and she gives you the same thing again. She’s playing on a partially torn ACL and I’m trying to limit her minutes. Imagine if she could play more at this point. It’s a good thing to see.”

There is a long season ahead and a lot of learning for Coble and his bunch to do. However, it all starts with the basics and Coble plans to hone in on those to make sure they are able to play at the highest level come the end of the season.

“I think a big part of it is we need to get back to a fundamental level,” he said. “When the basics look good, everything else plays well. When the basics look bad, nothing else has a chance.”

Editor’s note: Bryan Edwards is the Kentucky New Era Sports Editor.

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