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Ivy Brown admitted she didn’t have the best game of her career in a loss to the North Hardin Lady Trojans.
The LaRue County junior guard only scored 10 points as the Lady Hawks saw their three-game winning streak snapped. She made up for it in a big way Friday against visiting 18th District rival Caverna.
Brown scored 30 points and had 10 rebounds, four steals and two assists to lead the Lady Hawks to a 60-22 win over the Lady Colonels.
“I just had a really bad game Tuesday and I didn’t want that to happen again,” Brown said. “I came out ready to play tonight. My teammates passed the ball really well tonight and we played great.”
Brown was the driving force in the first half, scoring 12 points to help LaRue County turn a 3-2 deficit into a 32-8 halftime lead.
“She picked her game up,” LaRue County coach Travis Wootton said. “She struggled against North and she does what good players do and she bounced back.”
So did the Lady Hawks (4-1, 2-0 district).
They cranked up the defensive intensity and forced Caverna (4-4, 1-1) into 14 first-half turnovers.
“We played horrible in the North Hardin game, so we came to practice and were determined to change it,” said sophomore guard Alexis Brewer. “We actually played defense and didn’t let them make good passes.”
Coming off the loss to North Hardin, Wootton made defense a priority in practice Wednesday and Thursday. It showed. LaRue County forced 20 turnovers overall and held Caverna to two points in the third quarter.
“We worked on it a lot in practice the last two days,” Wootton said. “We’re just learning to be a little more physical. North Hardin pushed us around, so that was definitely a point of emphasis.”
The Lady Colonels, who won three straight games to start the season, simply couldn’t keep up.
They struggled in all phases of the game, going 9-for-41 from the field, 0-for-7 from beyond the arc and 4-of-14 from the free-throw line.
“Caverna had been playing good basketball coming in,” Wootton said. “They had played some good, solid teams already this season.”
LaRue County pushed its lead to 52-10 going to the fourth quarter, invoking the running clock mercy-rule when Brewer scored on consecutive possessions.
“We just wanted to keep our heads in it,” Brown said. “We wanted to stay up and have a big lead, and we did.”
Not only did the Lady Hawks play better defensively, they also had pretty balanced scoring. Brewer chipped in with 13 points and four assists, while junior center Alley Evans added nine points and six rebounds.
Senior forward Alisha Durbin had a solid all-around game, finishing with six points, six rebounds and a game-best four blocks.
LaRue County was 21-of-43 from the field, including 4-of-9 beyond the arc.
Brewer said the Lady Hawks wanted the rest of the 5th Region teams to know one loss wasn’t going to derail their season.
“We had to send a message, and we did, that we’re for real,” she said. “At least we’re trying to.”
LARUE COUNTY 60, CAVERNA 22
Caverna 3 5 2 12—22
LaRue County 16 16 20 8—60
Caverna (4-4, 1-1)
Ciara Waggoner 8, Reagan Kingrey 6, Madison Faulkner 4, Kiara Kirk 2, Andrea Davis 2. FG: 9-41. FT: 4-14. 3-pointers: 0-8 (Davis 0-4, Faulkner 0-3, Madison Perry 0-1). Rebs: 21 (Kingrey 10, Faulkner 4). Assists: 1 (Faulkner 1). Steals: 6 (Waggoner 5, Giuliana Petrrucci 1).
LaRue County (4-1, 2-0)
Ivy Brown 30, Alexis Brewer 13, Alley Evans 9, Alisha Durbin 6, Miranda Hornback 2. FG: 21-43. FT: 14-17. 3-pointers: 4-9 (Brown 2-6, Brewer 2-2, Kristina Durbin 0-1). Rebs: 31 (Brown 10, Brewer 6, Evans 6). Assists: 12 (Brewer 4, Haley Holt 4). Steals: 10 (Brown 4, Evans 4).
UP NEXT: LaRue County plays Campbell County at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday in the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic.
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.