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Bored out of her mind Friday night, a well-rested Ivy Brown used an unexpected stay on the bench to her advantage against the visiting Green County Lady Dragons.
Sitting the entire second quarter because she picked up two fouls in less than 2 minutes to start the game, the LaRue County junior wing scored her team’s first six points of the second half en route to a game-high 25 points as the Lady Hawks surged to a 63-50 win and into the driver’s seat in the 18th District.
“I was re-energized,” said Brown, who also had four steals, two assists and a game-high 14 rebounds. “I was ready to play and I wanted to use that energy to my advantage.”
With Brown on the bench, the second quarter was nip-and-tuck with nine lead changes and four ties.
“It was boring,” Brown said of her free front-row seat to the second quarter. “It’s hard to watch your team struggle without you, so you just have to sit there and cheer them on and that’s what I tried to do.”
Sophomore guard Alexis Brewer – who finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, a team-high six assists and a game-high five steals – picked up the slack with seven points and two assists in the quarter as the Lady Hawks (9-3, 3-0 district) still managed to pull out a 27-25 halftime lead without Brown.
“We were comfortable enough with the score to leave her out the entire second period,” said LaRue County coach Travis Wootton. “That way she could come back and go at it full tilt in the second half.”
The return of the now-refreshed Brown, plus a slew of turnovers, spelled doom for Green County (7-6, 3-1) in the third quarter. Brown had 12 points in the quarter, the final three points coming off a long shot in front of the Lady Hawks’ bench that pushed their lead to 45-30 with 1:26 left in the period. The shot also came off the Lady Dragons’ 10th turnover of the quarter.
LaRue County crushed Green County on the glass, 37-20, and had one possession in which it grabbed four offensive rebounds.
“We told the girls to not turn the ball over and just get a shot up,” Wootton said. “I would like to tell you differently, but we really didn’t run anything. Our best offense right now is an offensive rebound.”
The Lady Hawks had 28 second-chance points and their first five made field goals were putbacks. They didn’t make a non-putback field goal until the game was 8:48 old on senior forward Haley Holt’s jumper.
“Being tall is an advantage and we have to use that to the best of our ability,” said the 6-foot Brown, whose team was taller than the Lady Dragons at every starting position. “Rebounding is a big key in basketball and we happen to be really good at it.”
LaRue County got a lift from seventh-grade reserve point guard Mallory Williams, who had four points and two rebounds after being called up to the varsity the day before.
“Mallory came in and gave us some big minutes and really helped us out with her ball handling,” Wootton said. “Although we had been working on her in practice to get her ready.”
Green County, which finished with 21 turnovers after recording just seven in the first 16 minutes, got 17 points each from senior guard Rachel Marr and junior guard Kayla Bale. Marr passed out five of her game-high eight assists in the first quarter.
LARUE COUNTY 63, GREEN COUNTY 50
Green County 14 11 10 15—50
LaRue County 13 14 19 17—63
Green County (7-6, 3-1)
Kayla Bale 17, Rachel Marr 17, Laura Houk 5, Hannah Givens 4, Allison Ingram 2, Brianna Scott 2, Chryslee Sherrill 2, Mya Schrembs 1. FG: 17-53. FT: 12-18. 3-pointers: 4-16 (Bale 2-7, Houk 1-4, Marr 1-3, Schrembs 0-2). Rebs: 20 (Givens 4, Scott 4, Sherrill 4). Assists: 11 (Marr 8). Steals: 6 (Marr 3).
LaRue County (9-3, 3-0)
Ivy Brown 25, Alexis Brewer 18, Alisha Durbin 5, Alley Evans 5, Haley Holt 5, Mallory Williams 4, Miranda Hornback 1. FG: 22-49. FT: 18-34. 3-pointers: 1-6 (Brown 1-2, Brewer 0-2, Holt 0-2). Rebs: 37 (Brown 14, Brewer 8). Assists: 9 (Brewer 6). Steals: 11 (Brewer 5, Brown 4).
UP NEXT: LaRue County hosts John Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at (270) 505-1758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.