Starting the basketball season 3-0 if it includes opening 1-0 in district play is what the LaRue County Hawkis and Lady Hawks are hoping for tonight at home when Hart County visits.

In the 18th District this season, there only will be a three-game district slate instead of the typical six-game schedule, adding more importance for seeding right off the bat.

“.... each game is very important for seeding,” Hawks’ head coach Paul Childress said.

Hart County already is 1-0 district play and is 2-1 overall. Green County hasn’t opened district play yet, but is 4-1 overall. Caverna is 0-1 in district.

A win tonight by the Raiders, 2-1, would position them to finish no worse than second in the district.

“Hart is much improved and has a very talented sophomore class with also a couple of transfers that have made them better,” Childress said.

Senior guard Devin Roten and sophomore guard Ethan Devore have started the season strong, combining for 40 points a game. Roten is averaging 23 points a game and the pair have combined for 13 of Hart County’s 25 made 3-pointers.

“Our district will be a dogfight for that No. 1 seed,” Childress said. “Fortunately, we host Hart and Green at our place and play Caverna on their home court. I feel good about our team. If these guys keep working and buying in to the process, I think we can keep getting better and better.”

The Hawks so far have featured a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring between 8 and 11.5 points per game. Senior point guard Jeremiah Belton leads the way at 11.5.

“We are changing our style of play a little this year, becoming more up-tempo and trying to play a little faster,” Childress said. “Our offense has changed and so it will take some games to improve execution and become comfortable with how we want to play. These guys have a desire to get better each game and compete with every opponent we play.”

Gametime is 8:45 p.m.

LADY HAWKS ROLLING. LaRue County will try and take the first step toward winning a regular-season district title when they open the home season at 7 p.m.

The Lady Raiders own a district win over Caverna and are 3-1.

Junior Kelly Sturgeon leads the Hart County offense at 20 points a game, while freshman Dea Bradley adds 17.2 points a game and junior Riley Adcock 11.8.

“In our first two games we used our speed and athleticism to our advantage, however. Hart County matches up with us well in that area,” first-year Lady Hawks’ head coach Danielle Brown said. “It is going to be super important for our post players to establish their presence inside so that it opens up the outside for our shooters.”

Maleah English, a junior center, has scored 10 points in each of LaRue’s opening games.

Sophomore forward Natalie Gentry is averaging 12 a game and senior guard Katelyn Eads 11.5.

“... the girls have been working hard everyday to get better and it showed in our first two games,” Brown said. “We have talked a lot over the last two days about not getting content with those two wins, that we know we still have a lot of room for growth and to do that we have to continue to push one another in practice.

“ ... We have talked to the girls about how important these district games are because we are only playing each team once, so we have to make a statement in those games; we can’t wait around for the second game, because there isn’t one this year.”

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com

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