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GIRLS' PREP BASKETBALL: Cecil leads Etown to win over John Hardin (01/23)

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By John Groth

Oh Cecil-ia.

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Elizabethtown junior guard Kaylyn Cecil had the John Hardin Lady Bulldogs back on their knees early in the first half.

Her first-quarter scoring outburst, along the Lady Panthers’ stifling defense, lifted Elizabethtown to another 17th District win Saturday night.

Cecil scored nine of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter and senior Natalie Greenwell added 11 points to lead Elizabethtown to a 60-37 win.

Elizabethtown (16-1 overall, 6-0 district) remained unbeaten against John Hardin (11-7, 1-5) and moved its record to 22-0 against the Bulldogs since John Hardin was established in 2001.

“I knew we had to come out early and play hard. I was fired up. I really concentrated and was ready to play since we didn’t play (Friday),” said Cecil, who had 15 of her 18 points in the first half. She finished 7-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. “I was hot and kept going.”

And Elizabethtown players kept feeding her the ball.

Cecil totaled half of her points in the opening 4 minutes. By the 4:58 mark of the first quarter, she had already recorded nine points, hitting two jumpers, a 3-pointer and a free throw and staking Elizabethtown to a 10-5 lead.

Then, the Lady Panthers opened the game up with their defense.

Elizabethtown finished the period on a 12-3 run, going on two 6-0 runs sandwiched in between a Kristin Shonkwiler 3-pointer over the final five minutes. The Lady Panthers led 22-8 at the end of the quarter and 31-13 at halftime and didn’t let the lead slip below double-digits the rest of the game.

Their first-half pressure is what did John Hardin in. The Lady Bulldogs committed 19 first-half turnovers, including 10 in the first quarter. They handled it much better in the second half, turning it over just five times.

“We need to get over our initial nervousness early in the game,” John Hardin coach Bryan Todd said. “ Once we get over that, we’ll be better.”

The Lady Bulldogs’ play points to Todd being right. After that frustrating first quarter, they held the Lady Panthers to just 38 points over the final three periods – including just nine in the second quarter.

Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd was impressed with John Hardin’s defense and he acknowledged it forced players into some uncharastic mistakes.

“Mentally, we’re not much on getting better. We look up at the scoreboard and then let up. We really shouldn’t do that with four seniors,” Mudd said. “At times, we play like freshmen and sophomores.”

As for John Hardin, a sophomore and freshman provided most of the offense for them.

Sophomore Michelle Montgomery finished with a double-double and led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points and 10 rebounds despite battling first-half foul trouble.

Freshman Zacchea Small also received her first start at small forward and scored three points and grabbed seven rebounds. All this after playing in two freshmen and one junior varsity game earlier in Saturday.

“I’m seeing more positive than negative things,” Todd said.  “Michelle Montgomery had a double-double, battled and didn’t play with any fear. Zacchea Small did not play with any fear.”

Up Next: Elizabethtown hosts region rival Nelson County at 7:30 p.m. Monday. John Hardin plays at Louisville Western at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

John Grothcan be reached at (270) 505-1754

ELIZABETHTOWN60

JOHN HARDIN 37

Elizabethtown        22    9     17    12—60

John Hardin            8    5     17    16—37

TEAM STATISTICS

Team                    FG      FT     R     TP

Elizabethtown     20-53  17-28    35     60

John Hardin       10-41  15-20    38     37

ELIZABETHTOWN

Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Gilpin                   1-4      3-4      1      5

Cecil                  7-12      2-3      1     18

Hart                     1-6    3-04      4      5

Greenwell            4-10      2-4      5     11

Luckett                2-6      2-2     11      6

Berrow                 1-3      5-7      2      7

L. Bowling            1-1      0-2      0      2

Powell                  0-1      0-1      1      0

A. Bowling            0-1      0-0      2      0

Bridges                1-3      0-0      1      2

Mudd                   0-2      0-0      0      0

Duwe                   1-2      0-1      1      2

Boley                   0-1      0-0      2      0

Downs                 1-1      0-0      2      2

Team                                       2

JOHN HARDIN

Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Haley                   1-5      5-7      2      7

Shonkwiler            1-8      2-2      1      5

Small                   1-5      1-2      7      3

Jernigan               2-4      2-2      6      6

Montgomery        4-13      3-4     10     11

Cofer                   0-1      2-3      3      2

Hopwood              0-2      0-0      1      0

Dice                     1-3      0-0      2      3

Team                                       4

3-POINTERS: ELIZABETHTOWN (3-15): Tara Gilpin 0-2, Kaylyn Cecil 2-5, Hannah Hart 0-2, Natalie Greenwell 1-4, Jessica Duwe 0-1, Kinsey Mudd 0-1. JOHN HARDIN (2-9): Kristin Shonkwiler 1-4, Michelle Montgomery 01, Tajah Haley 0-1, Ieshia Hopwood 0-1, Aaliyah Dice 1-2. ASSISTS: ELIZABETHTOWN (10): Natalie Greenwell 5, Hannah Hart 2, Anna Bowling 1, Taylor Bridges 1, Adelaide Luckett 1. JOHN HARDIN (2): Kristin Shonkwiler 1, Tajah Haley 1.