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The Carroll County Lady Panthers revved it up Friday night and completely shut down the Lady Raiders of Trimble County.
It was the first home game of the season for the Lady Panthers; the fans – and the Panthers’ smothering defense were present and accounted for.
Head Coach Randy Mefford said he had written the word “Intensity” on the blackboard in the locker room prior to the game, and it was evident that his team had taken it to heart. The final score saw the Lady Panthers on top, 54-25.
Spreading the defense was the goal, because Mefford’s team is short on height. “We were trying to put a lot of pressure on the ball because we’re not real big,” he said.
That strategy worked, as the CCHS team held the Lady Raiders to 14 points on field goals; the remaining 11 points were earned at the charity stripe.
“Trimble didn’t shoot well, and I hope our defense had something to do with that,” Mefford said.
With a little more than a minute left in the first quarter, Lady Raider Macy Mitchell finally unsealed the Trimble bucket, sinking the first of two free throws.
The Lady Raiders didn’t do much more during the first quarter; that ended with the Lady Panthers holding a crushing 18-4 lead.
The Lady Panthers had a little lull in the second quarter. “We got a little tired, I thought,” Mefford said.
The CCHS team only added 11 more points to the board, but maintained a decisive 29-11 lead as they went to the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Lady Panthers came out as though they were behind; they defended every play, shot well from behind the arc, and stole the ball at every opportunity.
By the end, they outscored the Lady Raiders 18-3, with three treys, going into the fourth 47-14.
The fourth quarter was the only period where the Raiders outscored the Panthers, going 11-7 to bring the final score of 54-25.
Every Lady Panther made it into the game, and nine out of 11 scored.
“It’s good to start the conference season off that way,” Mefford said. “We’re the defending champions of the North Central Kentucky Conference, and we talked about that before the game.”
On Monday, the Lady Panthers traveled up Interstate 71 to play Walton-Verona – always a tough team to beat.
The Carroll visitors won with a nailbiter finish. Freshman starter Hannah Devine scored the game-winner on a driving lay-up, which resulted in a three-point play with 30 seconds left on the clock. The final score was 39-37.