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LEBANON — Because she plays alongside two NCAA Division-I signees who are considered five-star recruits by several ranking services, Marion County senior forward Logan Powell tends to get overshadowed playing for the top-ranked Lady Knights.
But for the second time in as many meetings against the Lady Panthers, the Norfolk State signee showed she’s a legitimate star in her own right.
After scoring a game-high 19 points in Marion County’s 5th Region Tournament final win last year against the Lady Panthers, Powell matched that output again Thursday night as the homestanding Lady Knights pulled away from Elizabethtown, 73-43.
“Logan’s definitely a Division-I player,” said Marion County coach Trent Milby, whose team has won 34 straight games against region foes dating to a 55-46 home loss to Elizabethtown on Feb. 3, 2011. “Logan gets caught in the shadows, but she can shoot, score, put the ball on the floor and rebounds. She’s a big part of our team.”
So are the other four members of Marion County’s starting five.
Senior point guard Makayla Epps, daughter of former University of Kentucky star Anthony Epps and a Kentucky signee, scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting while adding nine rebounds (co-game high with Elizabethtown freshman forward Erin Boley), five assists (game-high) and five steals (game-high). Senior center Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, a Kentucky signee and a daughter of former Louisville and Hart County standout Tick Rogers, overcame a rough shooting night (2-of-8) to finishing with seven points, six rebounds and three blocks. Junior forward Alexus Calhoun added 12 points and five rebounds and senior guard Patrice Tonge had nine points, four rebounds and two steals.
“They give us a bunch of match-up problems,” said Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd. “But we should give them some problems, too, but we’re not taking advantage of them. Powell has to defend one of our guards on the opposite end and we didn’t drive on her.”
While Elizabethtown (16-6) was able to rebound right with the taller Lady Knights (25-0), Elizabethtown’s problems came with ball handling and shooting. The Lady Panthers turned it over 23 times and made just 15-of-51 shots from the floor. Meanwhile, Marion County used 10 offensive rebounds and 15 fewer turnovers to attempt 13 more shots and make nearly twice as many (28-15).
“As crazy as it sounds based on the score, we did a lot of good things,” Mudd said. “I wasn’t disappointed with our shots. I thought we got some good looks and got the ball to the people who we wanted to shoot. We put up 51 shots, but we just didn’t make enough of them.”
Marion County made enough, though, especially in a dazzling 7-minute span covering the third and fourth quarters in which the Lady Knights went on a 20-0 run, converting 10-of-17 trips down the floor.
The run started after Elizabethtown had cut its deficit to 47-37, its smallest deficit in the final 21:55. With Elizabethtown on an 8-0 run, Milby called a timeout to settle down his team and try a defensive tactic.
“We usually play zone, but he told us to be ready to come out and play some man,” said Goodin-Rogers.
Elizabethtown committed six turnovers in its final eight possessions of the third quarter following that timeout with every point in Marion County’s 10-0 run to close the quarter coming off turnovers.
“That’s the sign of a championship team,” Mudd said. “Once he hit them in the face, they came back and smacked us upside the head. That why they are who they are and that’s why they’re a very good team.”
That very good team kept pummeling the Lady Panthers, turning their once shaky lead into a pair of 32-point advantages. The Lady Knights forced other players to beat them as Elizabethtown’s starters failed to make a field goal in the final 12:12.
“Once we got it down to 10, they made a run which just knocked us down,” said Boley, who was the only Lady Panthers in double-figures with 13. “We didn’t do a very good job of keeping our composure.”
If Elizabethtown does a good job this month, Goodin-Rogers is certain the teams will meet again in the postseason for the fifth straight year.
“I’m sure we’ll see them again in the region final because they’re really good,” said Goodin-Rogers, a fixture in the lineup along with Epps since the two were in middle school. “They remind us a lot of ourselves when we were young like them. They’re young, but they’re always ready to play.”
MARIONCOUNTY 73, ELIZABETHTOWN 43
Elizabethtown 12 15 10 6—43
Marion County 21 21 15 16—73
Erin Boley 13, Reauna Cleaver 8, Alexis Powell 6, Anna Bowling 5, Darien Huff 5, Livie Bowling 4, Rachel Warden 2. FG: 15-51. FT: 10-13. 3-pointers: 3-10 (Boley 1-3, A. Bowling 1-2, Huff 1-2, Warden 0-2, L. Bowling 0-1). Rebs: 39 (Boley 9, Cleaver 8). Assists: 8 (L. Bowling 3, Warden 3). Steals: 6 (Huff 2).
Makayla Epps 22, Logan Powell 19, Alexus Calhoun 12, Patrice Tonge 9, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 7, Haeli Howard 4. FG: 28-64. FT: 12-16. 3-pointers: 5-18 (Powell 2-6, Goodin-Rogers 1-4, Epps 2-3, Howard 0-3, Tonge 0-2). Rebs: 35 (Epps 9, Goodin-Rogers 6, Powell 6). Assists: 13 (Epps 5). Steals: 12 (Epps 5).
UP NEXT: Elizabethtown plays at Fort Knox at 6 p.m. today in the first game of a girl-boy doubleheader.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or firstname.lastname@example.org