GIRLS' 17 DISTRICT BASKETBALL: Lady Trojans beat John Hardin in semis (02/26)

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By Chuck Jones



By CHUCK JONES cjones@thenewsenterprise.com RADCLIFF — Sophomore RaeChaun Edwards is in her third season with the North Hardin girls’ program, but some of the things she does still amaze the Lady Trojan coaching staff. Edwards had some of those moments Wednesday night as she scored 22 points to lead the Lady Trojans to a 77-36 rout of the John Hardin Lady Bulldogs in the Girls’ 17th District Tournament semifinals at North Hardin’s Ron Bevars Gymnasium. “Rae does things you don’t coach,” North Hardin coach James Slaven said. “The voting for the all-region team came out and she received 14-of-16 votes. I’d like to know who the two were that didn’t vote for her and send them a copy of this game. She’s special. She makes plays that you just go wow and tonight was another wow moment.” The 5-foot-4 Edwards made 10 of her 17 shots from the field. She recorded seven steals, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists. Edwards scored eight points in the first quarter as North Hardin raced out to a 21-5 lead. “I wanted to come out and play hard because this is the tournament,” Edwards said. “This is your one shot. It’s win or go home and we didn’t want any upsets. We came out ready to play and I think we left it all on the floor.” With the win, the Lady Trojans (24-4) advance to the championship game for the third consecutive year and they will meet the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers (26-2) once again on Friday night at 7. Elizabethtown downed Central Hardin, 54-31 in the other semifinal game. “We know we’re going to region so we can relax,” Edwards said. “But we still want to win. It’s on our home court and we don’t want E’town or Central cutting down our nets.” If Edwards gets the help she did Wednesday night, the Lady Trojans could be celebrating their first district title since 2005. Junior Destiny Bramblett had 10 points and eight rebounds and the North Hardin bench produced 33 points. Junior Lexi Taft scored 12 points, senior Sarah Anderson nine and junior Michelle Mosley eight to go along with seven rebounds. Taft and Anderson combined to hit 7-of-11 3-pointers. “We’ve just been getting our work done in practice and getting ready to play this game,” Taft said. “Our bench has been working hard. We have to because we go against our starters.” John Hardin finished the season 6-21 and Coach Bryan Todd said the Lady Bulldogs will enter next season in much better shape than this one. Emily Hammond was the team’s lone senior. “We’ve already done it,” Todd said when asked what the team needs to do to improve next season. “We never once used inexperience as an excuse this year. We’ve got some experience now. That’s what we needed. The girls played hard all year long and they did tonight for 32 minutes. “I’ve already challenged the girls and they know what we need to do,” he added. “We need to get stronger, we need to shoot the ball better and we need to handle pressure better. We’ll be more experienced to do so next year.” After a Hammond 3-pointer from the right baseline cut the Lady Trojan lead to two, North Hardin reeled off 14 consecutive points, including six from Edwards, to build a 19-3 lead. North Hardin had a 12-0 run to the start the second quarter as Edwards and eighth-grader Chanel Roberts combined for 10 points to stretch the margin to 33-5 with 6:07 left. The Lady Trojans led 52-18 at halftime and it swelled to as many as 43 in the second half. Chuck Jones can be reached at 505-1759