17TH DISTRICT GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Central Hardin pulls away from Fort Knox (02/20)

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By Chuck Jones

Coaches like to say everything looks better when the ball is going in the basket and that certainly was the case for Central Hardin Lady Bruins on Tuesday night.


The Lady Bruins shot only 32.9 percent from the field, but they still managed to pull away for a 64-44 victory over the Fort Knox Lady Eagles in the Girls’ 17th District Tournament quarterfinal at North Hardin’s Ron Bevars Gymnasium.

“I think we came out and worked really hard, but we just couldn’t get it going,” Central Hardin coach Kristina Covington said. “We were executing. We did a good shot of executing. We just need to figure out a way to get the lid off the top (of the rim). But it doesn’t matter how good or how bad we played. The most important thing is we walked away with a ‘W.’”

Central Hardin (6-22) advances to Wednesday’s semifinals, when it has a 6 p.m. date with top-seeded Elizabethtown (20-7). The Lady Panthers swept the regular-season series by 57 and 45 points.

“I told them to enjoy the win tonight,” Covington said. “We’ll come back in tomorrow and get ready for E’town.”

Fort Knox (1-27) saw its season come to a close. The Lady Eagles led on two occasions in the first quarter, but Central Hardin pulled away in the second quarter.

Leading 15-14, sophomore Melanie Humphrey made back-to-back layups and junior Aislynn Barnes drained a 3-point to push the lead to 22-14 with 5:42 remaining before halftime.

After a layup by Fort Knox sophomore Brenna Stephenson, sophomore Autumn Jaggers scored four straight points and junior Shelby Maggard had a putback to stretch the lead to 28-16 with 2:04 left.

“Our teamwork got us going,” said Humphrey, who had 15 points and seven rebounds. “We picked each other up and we stayed positive.”

Barnes said her team also picked up its defensive intensity, which led to outscoring the Lady Eagles, 18-4.

“I think we weren’t playing timid,” said Barnes, who had 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals. “I think we were at first. We started talking and communicating with each other. When you’re playing like that, you’re going to play better.”

The Lady Bruins shot just 26-of-79 from the field, including going 3-for-18 from behind 3-point line. Despite the off night, Humphrey said Covington had a simple message for the Lady Bruins.

“Just keep shooting,” Humphrey said. “We know they’re going to start falling and that’s going to put us up more.”

Central Hardin opened the scored half with an 11-0 run to build a 44-18 lead with 5:42 remaining. Barnes scored three points, while senior Decarai Anderson, eighth-grader Mariah Helton, Maggard and Humphrey each had a basket. The Lady Bruins led by 18 or more the rest of the game.

“As a team, we were encouraging each other and trying to stay positive,” Barnes said. “It was more about working as a team than anything we were doing individually. We knew we would get it going eventually, but we had to keep working together.”

Jaggers came off the bench to post a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Maggard pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds and handed out four assists.

Fort Knox was led by Stephenson, who scored a game-high 20 points. Freshman Brianna Smith had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.

The Lady Eagles shot 32.6 percent from the field, but couldn’t overcome 34 turnovers and Central Hardin’s 34 offensive rebounds.

Chuck Jonescan be reached at (270) 505-1759 or cjones@thenewsenterprise.com.





FortKnox                14    415    11—44

Central Hardin         15  1819    12—64


Team                    FG      FT     R     TP

FortKnox           14-43  16-31    40     44

Central Hardin    26-79    9-25    65     64


Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Wynder               2-12      3-6      4      7

Stephenson        7-13    6-11      6     20

Braham                0-2      0-0      2      0

Rice                     0-3      0-0      5      0

Smith                   5-7    4-10     13     14

Archie                  0-1      0-0      0      0

Kelley                  0-4      1-2      1      1

Jones                  0-1      2-2      4      2

Team                                       5


Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Barnes               7-14      4-8     10     19

Helton                3-12      0-1      1      7

Humphrey           7-11      1-4      7     15

Maggard               3-9      0-1     12      6

Anderson              1-4      0-1      6      2

Worth                   1-3      0-2      2      3

Nichols                 0-1      0-0      0      0

Powell                  0-5      1-4      4      1

Cross                  0-2      0-0      0      0

Jaggers                4-8      2-2     10     10

Kerr                     0-1      0-0      0      0

Zaehringer            0-4      0-0      1      0

Krupinski              0-5      1-2      7      1

Team                                       5

3-POINTERS: FORT KNOX (0-3): Bianca Kelley 0-2, Christina Rice 0-1. CENTRAL HARDIN (3-18): Makaela Worth 1-3, Aislynn Barnes 1-4, Mariah Helton 1-6, Shelby Maggard 0-2, Ellen Nichols 0-1, Emily Kerr 0-1, Jasmine Zaehringer 0-1. ASSISTS: FORT KNOX (4): Taiesha Wynder 2, Brenna Stephenson 1, Christina Rice 1. CENTRAL HARDIN (15): Aislynn Barnes 5, Mariah Helton 4, Shelby Maggard 4, Jasmine Zaehringer 2.