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MUNFORDVILLE – LaRue County junior forward Ivy Brown was on a mission Friday night and sent the Hart County Lady Raiders a message.
She’s not letting them get in the way of the Lady Hawks’ 18th District title quest this year.
Brown scored 17 of her game-high 26 points in the first quarter as visiting LaRue County routed the Lady Raiders, 74-39.
Hart County ended the Lady Hawks’ 2011-12 season, beating them in the district tournament semifinals. Brown got some revenge Friday – and hopes for more again down the road.
Brown scored her team’s first nine points before the Lady Hawks (3-0, 1-0 district) went on a 13-0 run and jumped out to a 22-4 advantage in the first 6 minutes. Brown added eight points during the spurt and finished the quarter 7-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range – all coming from the left corner.
“I was just trying to play the game. You know they’re a district rival. You always want to send a message. That’s what the coaches told us to do – send a message to not only our district but our region,” said Brown, who went 10-of-17 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range. “It was my night to hit I guess. Everybody has an off night and everybody has a night when they hit and I guess tonight was the night.”
After Friday, the Lady Hawks are 3-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season while the Lady Raiders (0-4, 0-3) haven’t opened the season on this long a losing streak in more than 16 years.
LaRue County forced Hart County into 13 turnovers in the opening period – including eight in the first 4 minutes. The Lady Hawks pressured the halfcourt line and with freshman point guard Kelci Adcock out with a bruised bone in her left, non-shooting hand, the Lady Raiders struggled moving the ball upcourt.
Adcock is the team’s primary ballhandler and Lady Raiders coach John Burd said it affected them a little. Hart County committed 16 of its its 29 turnovers in the first half. LaRue County also used its size advantage with 6-foot-2 senior forward Alisha Durbin, 6-1 junior center Alley Evans and the 6-foot Brown to dominate the glass. The Lady Hawks outrebounded Hart County, 50-29, as sophomore forward/center Christessica Priddy (6-1) is Hart County’s only player taller than 5-8, and attempted as many free throw (41) as the Lady Raiders attempted field goals.
“When they seen that we wasn’t attacking the basket, they intensified it up higher,” Burd said. “But yeah, we turned the ball over, we give up 24 offensive rebounds, you have turnovers and you send them to the line 40 times, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
That it was.
LaRue County pushed its advantage to 41-23 at halftime and made it balloon in the third quarter. Leading by 24 points, the Lady Hawks went on a 12-0 run to take a 63-27 lead. Brown and junior guard Alexis Brewer scored four points each during the outburst.
Brewer finished with 12 points, while senior forward Haley Holt and Durbin added 11 each. Evans had nine points and nine rebounds. Holt and Brown just missed out on double-doubles, recording eight rebounds apiece.
LaRue County coach Travis Wootton was impressed with Brown’s aggressive play early on.
“I think she probably remembered that district game last year. She was on a mission early. You could see it in her eyes. They had to go to a triangle-n’-two against her and Alexis. That slowed them down a little bit, but that’s where Alisha and Alley and Haley has got to really step their game up, and Miranda (Hornback),” he said. “Whenever teams do that, and I thought for the most part, they didn’t make a lot of shots, but they did get to the free-throw line. They attacked and did a good job of that.”
Freshman guard Shanda Bradley led Hart County with nine points, while junior guard Amy Puckett added eight. Priddy finished with six points.
It was Hart County’s worst loss in more than a half decade since suffering an 86-50 defeat to North Hardin on Nov. 27, 2006 – when current LaRue County assistant Tommy Adams was the Lady Raiders’ coach.
But Brown said the victory doesn’t make up for everything just yet.
“When we cut down the nets, that’s when it’s going to make up for it,” she said.
LARUE COUNTY 74, HART COUNTY 39
LaRue County 22 19 22 11—74
Hart County 9 14 10 6—39
LaRue County (3-0, 1-0)
Ivy Brown 26, Alexis Brewer 12, Haley Holt 11, Alisha Durbin 11, Alley Evans 9, Shaila Winston 2, Kaylee Bush 2, Miranda Hornback 1. FG: 23-76. FT: 24-41. 3-pointers: 4-6 (Brown 4-5, Kristina Durbin 0-1). Rebs: 50 (Evans 9, Holt 8, Brown 8). Assists: 14 (Brewer 6). Steals: 20 (Brewer 6, Brown 4).
Hart County (0-4, 0-3)
Shanda Bradley 9, Amy Puckett 8, Christessica Priddy 6, Charity Burd 5, Rachel Bunnell 4, McHailey Bruton 3, Laura Croghan 2, Hannah Burton 2. FG: 13-41. FT: 6-8. 3-pointers: 7-14 (Bradley 3-3, Puckett 2-3, Burton 1-1, Bruton 1-1, Burd 1-7). Rebs: 50 (Bunnell 6). Assists: 11 (Burd 4, Priddy 3, Croghan 3). Steals: 4 (Bradley 1, Bunnell 1, Burd 1, Croghan 1).
UP NEXT: LaRue County hosts North Hardin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
John Groth can be reached at (270) 505-175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.