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All four area teams which competed in the annual Duke’s Summer Shootout girls’ prep basketball exhibition games left pleased as the event wrapped up Wednesday night.
The Shootout began Monday morning with action in three gyms – Charlie Rawlings Memorial Gymnasium, the auxiliary gym and nearby Panther Academy. The event featured 12 consecutive hours of games Monday and Tuesday and 11 hours of play Wednesday.
Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd, looking exhausted while using a cooler in the concession stand as a makeshift daybed, was pleased with the event.
“It went really well, even though every year is a little bit different,” said Mudd, noting the addition of Panther Academy made things easier logistically instead of having games at T.K. Stone Middle or Morningside Elementary schools. “We’re so fortunate to have it (the Academy) in our district. It is a great facility and is nice to have everything on campus.”
Mudd said the event wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without the help of the Lady Panthers’ players, parents and volunteers or the support of Tony Carter and Dale Keith from Duke’s Sporting Goods, James Mason of Bluegrass Insurance or Best Western for giving out-of-town teams such as Allen County-Scottsville discounted rates.
“They’re just so good to us,” Mudd said of the Lady Panthers’ business friends. “And it takes all of our parents and kids. I tell them all the time that numbers will dictate what you’re able to do.”
Elizabethtown, playing without injured guard Livie Bowling (knee), went 5-0. On Monday, Elizabethtown beat Bullitt East, 47-30 and Allen County-Scottsville, 56-47. The Lady Panthers beat Louisville Assumption, 52-33 on Tuesday and Louisville Butler, 71-48 and Louisville Mercy, 48-38 on Wednesday.
“I think we played great. Now there were a couple of games we got a little tired, but other than that, we’re playing pretty good,” said Elizabethtown guard Darien Huff. “We’re starting to get out and run with the ball. We have speed and we need to use it. And once we started using it, it helped us out.”
John Hardin went 5-1 with its lone loss coming Monday to Allen County-Scottsville. The Lady Bulldogs beat Franklin County on Monday night before beating Bullitt Central and Mercy on Tuesday. The Lady Bulldogs beat Butler and Assumption Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs will be a smaller team this winter with the graduation of Division-II center Michelle Montgomery.
“I feel like we’re playing good as a team. We still have things to figure things out, but every team does,” said John Hardin’s versatile Zacchea Small. “But I think we’re playing well, especially since we’re still adjusting to not having Michelle. I’m going to have to be in the post more, but I’ll do anything I can to help the team out.”
John Hardin was a bit shorthanded as guard Nawdya Fletcher attended, but did not play, as she awaits a new knee brace after tweaking her leg in softball season and again last week at Trimble County. Katria Sanders, who is expected to contend for the starting post spot, is not with the team as she undergoes basic training because she plans to join the National Guard following graduation.
John Hardin is 6-2 and off until next week. The Lady Bulldogs have games Monday and Wednesday in an event at Shelby County and then will play in a shootout next weekend at Carroll County.
“Are we exactly where we want to be?” asked John Hardin coach Bryan Todd. “I hope not, but I’m still pleased with where we are.”
With its annual youth camp this week in Brandenburg, Meade County was a one-day attendee. On Monday, the Lady Waves beat Mercy and Assumption and lost to Franklin-Simpson on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
“We wanted to at least get some games in,” said Meade County coach Josh Hurt. “And we enjoyed it. It’s hard to tell in the summer from a score perspective, but we played three really good teams and that’s what makes their event so good. … It was a lot of fun and it’s always competitive. They run a good show over there.”
Central Hardin went 2-4, beating Louisville Waggener and Green County and losing to Bardstown, Bullitt Central, Franklin-Simpson and Mercy’s B squad.
“Except for today, I’m pretty excited about what we have,” said Central Hardin coach Kristina Covington. “The things we taught and harped on next year, we’re not having to work on this year. … We’re hungry and ready to play and I saw lots of good things that we did these past three days.”
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or email@example.com.