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GREENSBURG— With her team needing someone to take the pressure off stars Ivy Brown and Alexis Brewer on Wednesday night, Haley Holt stepped up and delivered.
The LaRue County senior forward scored all 11 of her points in the final 13 minutes as the 18th District Tournament champion Lady Hawks exacted a bit of revenge by holding off the 20th District runner-up Adair County Lady Indians, 60-57 in the second quarterfinal of the Girls’ 5th Region Basketball Tournament at Green County.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Holt said. “I guess I realized it could be my last game ever, so I better step it up.”
Sunday afternoon could be her last game as the Lady Hawks take on the Nelson County Lady Cardinals in the 2 p.m. semifinal. Nelson County advanced by rallying past North Hardin in Wednesday’s early semifinal, 62-56.
But Holt thinks she has at least two more games.
“I don’t think we should overlook them since we beat them the last time,” Holt said of beating the Lady Cardinals in the regular season. “But I also think you could see us playing in the region final if we play our best.”
Adair County, which beat LaRue County in the regular season, keyed on containing Brown and Brewer. Brown buried three 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with a double-double (team-high 24 points, team-best 10 rebounds). Brewer was more than a solid complement, adding 23 points, four rebounds, two steals and a game-high eight assists.
But it was the huge game from Holt which led the Lady Hawks. Especially when they only had four players score and used an iron-woman game plan, barely going to the bench for breathers.
“She was a big-time scorer for us tonight,” Brown said. “They were keying on me and Alexis and she stepped up and played big. Those 11 points were huge.”
Holt’s output followed a trend of other players besides Brown and Brewer contributing in the postseason. Senior center Alisha Durbin had nine rebounds and three blocks in the district semifinals, while junior forward Alley Evans had eight points and seven rebounds to help the Lady Hawks secure their second district title in three years.
“I’ve said before that when we have a third scorer, we become that much better. And one of the three always steps up at the right time,” said LaRue County coach Travis Wootton. “Haley is a confidence player and when she plays with that confidence, she’s a good, solid player.”
LaRue County was anything from good and solid down the stretch. Brewer hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Lady Hawks their largest least at 54-44 with 3:35 remaining in the game.
Adair County converted on each of its next four possessions, the final of that stretch being a 3-pointer from senior guard Katie Keltner to pull her team within 55-52 with 1:40 remaining.
“It was a case of silly turnovers and silly fouls and bam, they’re suddenly within two or three,” Wootton said. “But luckily we got out of here with the win.”
Brown scored her team’s final five points, but she also had three turnovers and missed a free throw in the last 30 seconds to help Adair County stay within striking distance.
“We lost our focus for a little bit and in a game like this, we have to keep our composure and make plays,” Brown said. “I myself had a couple of stupid turnovers, but we found a way to win.”
Junior guard Kassidi Taylor air balled a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left which would have given Adair County the lead.
Coming out of a timeout in the final 10 seconds, Keltner missed a would-be tying 3 and the ball went out of bounds. Brewer threw the ball downcourt and Adair County senior guard Mercedes Cox wrestled the ball away from Brown, but Cox’s desperation heave was far short and wouldn’t have counted since it was after the buzzer.
“I was pretty confident we would pull it out at the end,” Holt said. “We wanted it that much.”
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adair County 14 1313 17—57
LaRue County 20 1015 15—60
Team FG FT R TP
AdairCounty 16-44 17-25 27 57
LaRueCounty 19-35 17-27 18 60
Player FG FT R TP
K. Keltner 8-16 7-10 7 28
A. Keltner 0-3 0-2 5 0
Owens 3-6 1-2 3 8
Cox 4-8 8-9 6 17
Taylor 1-10 0-0 5 3
Peck 0-1 0-0 0 0
Smock 0-0 0-0 4 0
Turner 0-0 1-2 0 1
Player FG FT R TP
Holt 4-10 3-5 1 11
Brown 8-10 5-7 10 24
Evans 1-5 0-0 3 2
Brewer 6-11 9-16 4 23
Durbin 0-0 0-0 0 0
3-POINTERS: ADAIR COUNTY (8-21): Katie Keltner 5-10, Kassidi Taylor 1-5, Mercedes Cox 1-4, Beth Owens 1-2. LARUE COUNTY (5-11): Alexis Brewer 3-5, Ivy Brown 3-4, Haley Holt 0-2. ASSISTS: ADAIR COUNTY (2): Alex Keltner 1, Beth Owens 1. LARUE COUNTY (17): Alexis Brewer 8, Ivy Brown 3, Alisha Durbin 3, Haley Holt 3.