Well, if you thought Day One of the girls state tournament was exciting, day number two was even better for the WYMT coverage area teams.
In the first game Belfry faced Scott County. Going in to the game, no one thought Belfry had a chance to do anything. Early on, Belfry was living up to what everyone thought they would do as they came out cold and found themselves down 12-4 and then again 20-9 during the first quarter to finish off the quarter trailing 22-13.
The second quarter was much of the same as Belfry found themselves down 30-17 with 4:20 left in the stanza, to only bring it to within 6 points with 1:31 left in the second. At the half, the Lady Pirates trailed 34-26. But at this point in the game, it was more than what they could ask for as they were still in the game.
Now, on Wednesday, I ran into the Belfry team up in the stands and Alexis Howard along with Amy McCoy told me about how nervous they were about the game and how happy they were just to be in state. Well, at some point in the third quarter, they were not just happy to be there, they now thought they could win the game when they pulled within four points with 4:34 left making the score 36-32.
However, Scott County would again pull away until the six minute mark in the 4th quarter. That is when a three from Jackelyn Stack made the game 54-51. After this point in the game, Scott County had to play keep away to stop Belfry from getting anymore momentum. Scott County would go on to win the game 65-54.
For Belfry, the usual suspects were on their game. J.J. Bevins finished with 24 points, Amy McCoy dropped 12 points, however, Alexis Howard only had two points on the night.
But just like the previous night with Clay County, a freshman stepped up and made here presence felt. Jackelyn Stack finished the night with 10 points and led her team in the 4th quarter getting them back in the game and within striking distance. Stack, who only had 4 points all postseason, none of which came in the final two games of the 15th region tournament, found her stride as she was 4 of 6 from the floor including 2 of 3 from behind the arc, both of which came in the 4th quarter.
Even though the Belfry Lady Pirates did not come out on top, they should still feel like winners with their performance in state. Keep in mind the last time Belfry made it to state was back in 1999.
Before I get to the second game, I have to say that several members of the media, since the upset of Mercy over Marion County, and the win for Boone County over Bowling Green, everyone was predicting both Mercy and Boone County to meet in the finals.
My only problem with that thought process was, those predictions were made before 6:30pm central time which was the scheduled tip for the first round game for the Lady Rockets of Rockcastle County as they took on Murray.
Now, I have seen the Lady Rockets many times this season and I have said that they are one of the more solid and technically sound teams in the WYMT coverage area. Well, from the beginning of the game, the Lady Rockets were out to send a huge message to the rest of the state.
Under six minutes in to the game, Rockcastle was already up 17-0 and was in complete control of this ballgame. The Lady Rockets left little doubt as to who the superior team in this match-up was. Those seemed to be the perfect words at the time when I sat down to watch the game. I said they would leave little doubt and they did just that. Army signee Jackie Alexander led the Lady Rockets with 20 points as Sara Hammond followed behind her with 17 points. Angie Lawrence had a shortened night and finished with 9 points.
As I watched this game and watched Rock pull further and further away, I started to really feel for these girls. The last time they were at state, they had to deal with a down to the wire finish that was decided on free throws. So to actually see head coach Chrysti Noble have the chance to empty her bench and get valuable playing time to those that don't see much time and get them experience on the state level was nice to see.
Now, let me get back to the predictions that were being thrown around by members of the media. Everyone is waiting to see what will happen in the Henderson County / Mercy game, but do not count out the Clay County Lady Tigers. This is a team that has been at the state level time in and time again, so these girls know what it is like to compete on the floor here in Bowling Green. If they could come away with the win over Rowan County, anything is possible.
But, I wanted to leave you all with one final note. Consider this. After the first round was completed, even with a double overtime game between Clark County and Ohio County, Clay County and Rockcastle County are one and two for most point scored in an opening round game this year with 70 and 69 respectively.