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Morgan Turner and the Meade County Lady Waves weren’t shooting the ball the way they’re accustomed to against the Central Hardin Lady Bruins on Friday. Shots they usually made were bouncing off the rim and even wide-open looks weren’t falling.
Though the Lady Waves were struggling from the field, the Lady Bruins couldn’t keep up. Meade County turned a seven-point lead into a double-digit advantage in the second quarter and eventually cruised, 70-31.
“It’s hard to say what was going on. Some nights are like that,” said Lady Waves coach Josh Hurt. “I think maybe we were trying too hard. It was senior night and we wanted to do our best for our three seniors. I think sometimes you put more pressure on your shoulders than you’re used to.”
The Lady Waves (19-9) made just six field goals in the first half – an uncharacteristic start for a team which was looking for its eighth win in nine games.
Meade County finished 18-of-52 (34.6 percent) from the field, but the Lady Waves would rather have an off-night now and not in the 11th District or 3rd Region tournaments.
“I was very frustrated with myself for not hitting those easy shots inside that I usually hit,” said Meade County sophomore guard Morgan Turner, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds, but was 4-of-14 overall and 2-of-7 from the arc. “Everyone was missing shots they usually hit. But we powered through it, thank goodness. It’s better to be off tonight than in the district.”
Hurt figured his team was due for a night like this. And like Turner, he’s glad it happened before the postseason begins.
“We had some looks that were so open that it might of have scared us, and I don’t mean that in a negative sense,” Hurt said. “We had some looks that we normally make. We were a bit discombobulated on offense, but we were able to get it done on defense.
“Overall, we’ll take it,” he added. “I think it’s good to get it out of our system because you can’t shoot the ball the way we’ve been shooting it every night. Tonight was the night we weren’t able to make it. So be it. We were able to win the game and now we need to get hot again going into district and regional play.”
Junior guard Raley Johnson led Meade County with 17 points but was just 3-of-9 from the field.
Before the game, the Lady Waves honored their three seniors – forward Megan Aebersold, guard Alexis Greco and center Maya Luney – and all three were a factor. Aebersold scored 12 points, Greco had 11 points and Luney added nine points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
“Megan dominated the first part of the game, and then Maya was dominant on the glass,” Hurt said. “They each had one segment of the game where they played extremely well. Those kids won one game as freshmen. They’ve gutted it out and they’ve worked exceptionally hard, and they’re a big reason we’re sitting at 19-9.”
Greco scored all of her points in the fourth quarter. She drained three 3-pointers before capping her run with a layup to make it 68-30 with less than a minute to go.
“She got hot in a hurry,” Hurt said. “Alexis is a tremendous player. She has meant a lot to our team. It was fun watching her get hot like that. When she gets hot, she’s dangerous and she’s someone we can count on.”
Junior guard Aislynn Barnes led Central Hardin (5-22) with eight points and 10 rebounds, while eighth-grade guard Mariah Helton scored seven. Sophomore forward Autumn Jaggers chipped in with six points and six rebounds.
The Lady Bruins stayed with the Lady Waves in the first quarter as they trailed 12-5. But Meade County turned the game into a rout in the second, building a 33-10 lead by halftime.
MEADE COUNTY 70, CENTRAL HARDIN 31
Central Hardin 5 5 9 12—31
Meade County 12 21 15 22—70
Central Hardin (5-22)
Aislynn Barnes 8, Mariah Helton 7, Autumn Jaggers 6, Ellen Nichols 3, Melanie Humphrey 2, Shelby Maggard 2, Caynan Powell 2, Emily Kerr 1. FG: 12-46. FT: 4-15. 3-pointers: 3-12 (Helton 2-4, Nichols 1-1, Barnes 0-3, Mikaela Worth 0-2, Maggard 0-1, Kerr 0-1). Rebs: 28 (Barnes 10, Jaggers 6). Assists: 2 (Barnes 1, Maggard 1). Steals: 2 (Humphrey 1, Maggard 1).
Meade County (19-9)
Raley Johnson 17, Morgan Turner 15, Megan Aebersold 12, Alexis Greco 11, Maya Luney 9, Elissa Youart 3, Ellie DeVries 2, Kelsey Sutton 1. FG: 18-52. FT: 26-38. 3-pointers: 8-24 (Turner 2-7, Johnson 3-6, Greco 3-5, Sutton 0-3, Addi Lynch 0-1, Katelyn Cucino 0-1, Autumn Bruner 0-1). Rebs: 34 (Luney 13, Turner 12). Assists: 11 (Luney 3, Johnson 2, Turner 2). Steals: 10 (Four with 2).
UP NEXT: Meade County plays Frederick Fraize at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 11th District Tournament semifinals at Hancock County. Central Hardin plays Fort Knox at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 17th District Tournament quarterfinal at North Hardin.
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.