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GIRLS' PREP HOOPS: Busy Elizabethtown doesn't lose its focus against Central Hardin (12/22)

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By Ryan O'Gara

The Elizabethtown Lady Panthers are intent on improving every time they take the floor, no matter the circumstances.

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With their 17th District opener sandwiched between a holiday tournament at Lexington Catholic, it would have been easy for the Lady Panthers to lose focus.

Elizabethtown, however, did no such thing Friday night against the Central Hardin Lady Bruins.

The Lady Panthers opened the game with a 19-0 run and led by as many as 50 in rolling to a 76-28 win over the Lady Bruins at Bruin Gym, Elizabethtown’s 15th straight win in the series.

“We’re just focusing on getting better,” said Elizabethtown senior guard Kinsey Mudd, who scored 17 points off the bench. “We won the first half, but we didn’t play very well; we didn’t do what we needed to do. We came out in the second half, and we improved.”

It was the second leg of a five games in five days stretch for the Lady Panthers, who are competing in the Republic Bank Classic through Tuesday.

“All wins are good,” Elizabethtown coach Tim Mudd said. “That’s the way I look at it.”

Elizabethtown junior guard Darien Huff scored 13 points, while sophomore forward Erin Boley added 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

Ten Lady Panthers scored as Elizabethtown shot 50 percent (25-of-50) from the floor. They also had a 41-24 rebounding advantage.

“The problem (for us) is that they have someone at all five positions,” Central Hardin coach Kristina Covington said. “On any given night, one of them could be their star. They’re a good team, no doubt about it.”

Boley, who played just 15 minutes, scored off an out-of-bounds play less than a minute in and then converted off an offensive rebound. Huff scored six of Elizabethtown’s next eight points, and junior center Reauna Cleaver (10 points, six rebounds) scored six of the last seven in the game-opening run.

Central Hardin (0-5, 0-2), which shot 0-of-14 in the first quarter and 24 percent (9-of-37) for the game, didn’t score until freshman guard Mariah Helton split a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left in the first quarter.

“We’ve been working on a few different zone defenses in practice and ran them like we were supposed to,” Kinsey Mudd said.

After Helton knocked down a 3-pointer 19 seconds into the second quarter, the Lady Panthers went on a 16-0 run which spanned 3:40 and took a 37-8 lead into halftime.

Boley’s two free throws with 4:55 left in the third quarter put Elizabethtown up 47-12 and started the continuous clock before Mudd canned three 3-pointers in the final 1:27 of the third quarter for a 40-point lead.

“We had some ball reversal,” Tim Mudd said. “The first half, we weren’t getting any ball reversal.

“I’m still learning a bit about this team, so we’re trying to do a few different things, and we were able to work on some stuff. Credit Central Hardin though, their kids played hard.”

While the Lady Bruins struggled from inside the arc, they did drain 5 of their 13 3-point attempts. Helton hit two and finished with seven points, freshman reserve Johnna Langford made two and freshman Emily Kerr also knocked one down.

Junior forward Melanie Humphrey led the Lady Bruins with nine points and six rebounds, while junior forward Autumn Jaggers also pulled down six boards. Sophomore guard Caynan Powell handed out four assists.

“Win or lose, we walk with our heads up,” Covington said. “We don’t put our tails on us like puppy dogs, and we get better from it.

“People are going to see we got beat by 50 or so points and say we got beat, but as a team, we had a victory. Scoreboard-wise and game-wise, we didn’t; effort-wise, teamwork-wise, we won.”

UP NEXT: Elizabethtown plays Louisville Mercy at 3:30 p.m. today in the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic. Central Hardin plays Louisville Moore at 4 p.m. today in the consolation bracket semifinals in the Vision First Holiday Classic at Bullitt East.

Ryan O’Gara can be reached at 270-505-1754 or rogara@thenewsenterprise.com.

 

ELIZABETHTOWN76

CENTRAL HARDIN28

Elizabethtown          19  1819    20—76

Central Hardin           1    7   8    12—28

TEAM STATISTICS

Team                    FG      FT     R     TP

Elizabethtown     25-51  21-30    41     76

Central Hardin      9-37    5-15    20     28

ELIZABETHTOWN

Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Huff                   6-11      1-1      5     13

Bowling                1-2      1-1      3      3

Warden                1-2      0-0      2      2

Boley                 4-10      2-2      9     10

Cleaver                4-5      2-4      6     10

Mudd                   5-8      3-4      0     17

Stinson                2-5      5-8      2      9

Pfeiffer                 1-3      2-4      5      5

Thomas                0-3      5-6      4      5

Deaton                 0-1      0-0      1      0

Knight                  1-1      0-0      0      2

Team                                       4

CENTRAL HARDIN

Player                  FG      FT      R    TP

Barnes                 0-7      0-2      2      0

Helton                  2-5      1-2      1      7

Powell                  0-2      0-0      1      0

Humphrey             3-6      3-4      6      9

Jaggers                0-2      1-2      6      1

Zaehringer            0-4      0-3      0      0

Krupinski              0-3      0-0      1      0

Worth                   0-1      0-0      1      0

Kerr                     1-2      0-0      0      3

Cross                  1-1      0-2      0      2

Langford              2-3      0-0      1      6

Wilson                  0-0      0-0      0      0

Team                                       1

3-POINTERS:

ELIZABETHTOWN (5-14): Kinsey Mudd 4-7, Toni Pfeiffer 1-2, Erin Boley 0-2, Darien Huff 0-1, Rachel Warden 0-1, Jada Stinson 0-1.

CENTRAL HARDIN (5-13): Johnna Langford 2-3, Mariah Helton 2-5, Emily Kerr 1-1, Aislynn Barnes 0-2, Caynan Powell 0-1, Mikaela Worth 0-1.

ASSISTS:

ELIZABETHTOWN (16): Livie Bowling 4, Erin Boley 3, Toni Pfeiffer 2, Jada Stinson 2, Rachel Warden 2, Reauna Cleaver 1, Darien Huff 1, Taylor Thomas 1.

CENTRAL HARDIN (7): Caynan Powell 4, Mariah Helton 1, Autumn Jaggers 1, Jasmine Zaehringer 1.