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North Hardin coach Chris Corder loves how Morgan Barrick has transformed over the past two games.
It’s got him – and her teammates – gushing.
With senior forward Chanel Roberts in first-quarter foul trouble at 17th District rival Central Hardin, the Lady Trojans turned to their other starting senior forward inside. Barrick scored six of her 14 points in the opening period as North Hardin rolled to a 77-29 win Thursday night.
Barrick finished 4-of-6 from the field and 6-of-10 from the foul line, but did more than just put the ball in the hoop. Just ask junior guard Domeneque Taft.
“Morgan controlled the ball pretty good like a guard tonight,” Taft said. “She was working hard tonight – scoring, handling the ball, finishing, knocking down free throws.”
North Hardin (18-4, 4-1 district) won its fourth straight heading into Saturday’s game against district leader Elizabethtown (15-5, 6-0).
With Barrick starting to blossom, it could provide some dividends. But she credits her teammates with her last two strong performances.
“Well, sometimes you just have to step up. Today, this game, last game, those are those games,” said Barrick, who also had four rebounds. “A lot of gym time – been going over and over and over again. In practice, they’re (my teammates) starting to work harder against us and it’s making it easier to do it in a game. Well, my teammates are starting to work harder and it makes it harder on me so it’s more realistic like the game.”
Barrick didn’t have much of a problem finding a groove against the Lady Bruins (2-18, 1-6).
When Roberts picked up her second foul with 3:04 left in the first quarter, Barrick took control. With North Hardin up 12-3, she scored four of the team’s next six points – making back-to-back inside baskets off assists from Taft and junior guard Kiera Jones. She helped pushed North Hardin’s lead to 24-5 after the first quarter and added four more points in the second.
This is what Corder has been waiting for.
“The thing about Morgan, she’s just finally figured out how to score. She’s knocking down free throws. She finishes well around the basket,” he said. “She’s gotten a little confidence – and that’s always been the biggest thing. She just didn’t have any confidence. She’d didn’t think she could score.”
After sitting on the bench for the entire second quarter, Roberts, who scored a game-high 21 points, dominated the second half. She scored 14 in the final two periods, including 12 straight from the 1:22 mark of the third quarter to the 7:37 mark of the fourth. Sophomore guard Zakayshia Pass finished with 11 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Taft scored 10.
Central Hardin, which lost its fourth straight, dug itself a hole with 13 first-quarter turnovers and finished with 26 overall.
“Their pressure hurt us,” Lady Bruins coach Kristina Covington said. “And I think their defensive pressure jumping off the gun, pressuring us off the tip all around took us mentally out of the game.”
Eighth-grade guard Mariah Helton led Central Hardin with eight points, while sophomore guard Shelby Maggard and freshman guard Caynan Powell each scored four.
UP NEXT: North Hardin hosts Elizabethtown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Central Hardin plays at Thomas Nelson at 6 p.m. Saturday.
John Groth can be reached at (270) 505-1754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.