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PREP BASKETBALL: Central Hardin Lady Bruins open district play against red-hot John Hardin (12/10)

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By John Groth

Four 17th District teams have already started district play.

The Central Hardin Lady Bruins become the final one tonight.

The John Hardin Lady Bulldogs (4-1, 0-1 district) visit the Lady Bruins (1-5) for a 7:30 tip-off at Terry Buckles Court in Cecilia.

The Lady Bulldogs have won three straight, knocking off Louisville Holy Cross by nine Saturday in the Run-N-Shoot Classic at Louisville DuPont Manual, rallying from a 17-point third-quarter deficit Thursday to defeat Adair County by three and dropping Washington County on Monday by 13. Junior guards Zacchea Small and Tajah Haley have notched double figures in two of the past three games. 

John Hardin coach Bryan Todd said his team played its best defensive game to date Saturday, going man-to-man the entire game.

“Our on-the-ball defense was much better. We’re getting in the passing lanes a bit more. We’ve still got a little work to do on defense. We’re really focused on right now,” Todd said. “Our blocking out has to get better. Since the Elizabethtown game, that’s what we’ve been focused on and taking a little bit better care of the basketball. Other than the first quarter against E’town, we’ve done a better job of taking care of the basketball.”

Central Hardin has lost four straight, including a 56-35 defeat to Shelbyville Collins on Saturday. The Lady Bruins shot just 28 percent from the field and missed all 12 of their 3-pointers.

Central Hardin also suffered a 45-44 home loss to 5th Region rival Bardstown on Thursday after getting blown out by Bowling Green and Breckinridge County.

First-year coach Kristina Covington thinks teamwork is the key. 

“We need to have an overall team effort. One girl can’t do it by herself. When I say team effort, I mean all five girls on the court, seven on the bench and including the three coaches,” Covington said. “I don’t care if it’s one point, 10 points, 30 points – I don’t care. A win is a win. Our goal is to go in at home and beat John Hardin as a team.”

John Hardin has won its last two meetings against Central Hardin, taking both last season after losing 22 straight to the Lady Bruins.

“I know they’ll play hard. I know the girls at Central Hardin. I teach them every day in class,” Todd said. “I know they’re gritty and play hard and will be ready to play. I guarantee they’ll play hard every second and we’ve got to match that.”

In other girls’ action tonight, the Fort Knox Lady Eagles (1-4) travel to Taylor County (0-4) for a matchup at 6. Fort Knox is coming off its third straight loss, falling 27-21 on Saturday to North Oldham.

The teams haven’t met since 2007, and the Lady Cardinals have won the last four meetings. Fort Knox last defeated Taylor County, 44-40 on Feb. 28, 2003. 

On the boys’ side, Grayson County (2-2) visits Elizabethtown (1-2) at 8 tonight. The Panthers have lost all three meetings in the last 10 years, the last coming in a 51-47 defeat in 2008.

Grayson County has alternated losses and wins – falling to Butler County and Central Hardin, while beating Daviess County and Edmonson County.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have dropped two straight, with an eight-point loss to Bowling Green and a seven-point loss to Central Hardin on Friday.

John Groth can be reached at (270) 505-1754 or jgroth@thenewsenterprise.com