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A technical foul late in the fourth quarter nearly allowed the visiting Meade County Lady Waves to make one more run against the North Hardin Lady Trojans.
Tamiah Stanford wasn’t about to let it happen.
The freshman guard gave the Lady Trojans a big boost in the final 2 minutes as she scored their last nine points, lifting them to a 54-43 win Tuesday at Ron Bevars Gymnasium.
“If we could ever get her to be as aggressive in the first and second quarters like she is in the third and fourth, there’s no telling how many she could score,” North Hardin coach Chris Corder said of Stanford, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals. “She did a good job. Her future’s very bright. She’s so athletic and she does a lot of good things for us.”
Like pick up the slack when three teammates – senior forwards Chanel Roberts and Brianna Edmunds and junior guard Kiera Jones – fouled out in the fourth quarter.
But Stanford outscored the Lady Waves (18-9), 9-5 in the final 2:11, helping North Hardin (22-6) win for the eighth time in 10 games.
“Tamiah as an asset to the team and we need her to start finishing and creating plays like she did tonight,” said Roberts, who led the Lady Trojans with 22 points, seven rebounds and three steals. “I was proud of her.”
The burst was too much for the Lady Waves to overcome. They had pulled within 45-38 when sophomore guard Morgan Turner hit 1-of-2 technical foul shots with 2:20 remaining.
“She made some big free throws,” Meade County coach Josh Hurt said of Stanford, who was 9-of-15 from the foul line, including going 5-of-9 in the final 1:44. “She got away from us a couple of times. Our goal wasn’t to press, but you’re down 10 or 12 and you’ve kind of got to pick your poison at that point. She beat us on the deep ball a couple of times and we’ll live with that. She played a really nice game for them.”
The Lady Waves played well early on.
Turner and junior guard Raley Johnson combined to hit Meade County’s first three 3-pointers as the Lady Waves built a 9-0 lead in the opening 2 minutes.
Corder burned a timeout with 5:55 left in the first, and the Lady Trojans responded with a 12-2 run to close the quarter. Roberts hit a layup and, after Johnson hit 2-of-3 free throws, drained a 3 from the wing. Junior guard Domeneque Taft followed with a 3 and Edmunds scored on a putback before Roberts scored again to make it 12-11.
“We felt pretty good, but we knew there were 31 minutes left,” Hurt said. “We weren’t gonna beat them 9-0, so we knew we had to keep playing. Chanel is a great player and hit a couple of big shots and Taft hit a 3, and all of a sudden you’ve got a game. That’s what we expected.”
The score was tied twice and the lead changed three times in the second period. The Lady Waves built a 23-19 lead with 3 minutes remaining, but Taft buried a 3 to trim the lead to 23-22 at halftime.
Roberts helped North Hardin take control in the third. She scored 13 points and the Lady Trojans took a 37-27 advantage going to the fourth.
“She missed some easy shots and she rushed some things when we probably didn’t need to be rushing,” Corder said. “But she’s so aggressive. It’s hard to tell someone who scores like she does to not be aggressive. She just goes out and has a great game. She played pretty good defense. She got in foul trouble and sat most of the second quarter, but that’s just what she does.”
The Lady Trojans also clamped down on Turner, who scored 21 points, and Johnson in the third. They limited the duo to four points in the period.
“Morgan Barrick plays very good defense,” Roberts said. “It just came down to our defense. And Tamiah guarded Raley very well. They both played awesome on defense.”
Corder said he was proud of his team for cranking up the defensive pressure on Turner, who’s considered one of the state’s top players.
“She’s going to going to get her points, but we wanted to make her earn them,” he said. “We were physical with her and it was a long game because we were physical. We had three players foul out and they had a couple foul out. It was just one of those games, but this type of game is one you need going into tournament time. You never know when you’re going to have one of these games.”
Even though the Lady Waves saw their seven-game winning streak snapped, Hurt said this is the type of game they need at this time of the year.
“It was a physical game, but I thought it was a good tune-up for the district tournament,” he said. “I thought we played hard and kept fighting. When they got up by 10, we didn’t give up. We kept battling. If we make a couple more free throws and a couple baskets, we’re right in it. I thought we scrapped and clawed. They’re a nice team. I’m not discouraged about it.”
NORTH HARDIN 54, MEADE COUNTY 43
Meade County 11 12 4 16—43
North Hardin 12 10 15 17—54
Meade County (18-9)
Morgan Turner 21, Raley Johnson 7, Addi Lynch 6, Maya Luney 5, Kelsey Sutton 2, Megan Aebersold 2. FG: 10-34. FT: 19-28. 3-pointers: 4-12 (Turner 3-5, Johnson 1-3, Lynch 0-1, Sutton 0-3). Rebs: 29 (Turner 13, Luney 7). Assists: 7 (Lynch 3, Luney 2). Steals: 8 (Lynch 3, Cucino 2).
North Hardin (22-6)
Chanel Roberts 22, Tamiah Stanford 13, Domeneque Taft 9, Brianna Edmunds 4, Morgan Barrick 4, Zakayshia Pass 2. FG: 18-52. FT: 14-25. 3-pointers: 4-13 (Taft 3-8, Roberts 1-2, Kiera Jones 0-3). Rebs: 27 (Roberts 7, Edmunds 7). Assists: 9 (Jones 4, Taft 2, Barrick 2). Steals: 7 (Roberts 3, Stanford 2).
UP NEXT: North Hardin plays at Bardstown at 6 p.m. Friday. Meade County hosts Central Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or email@example.com.