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By LARRY SULLIVAN, JR.
Special to The Trimble Banner
The Lady Raiders traveled to Owen County High School Jan. 14 to participate in the 8th Region Class A tournament. The trip home, however was a tough one as the girls fell 32-50.
This has been a rebuilding season for the young Trimble ball club, as the team lost seven seniors from the squad that brought home the 8th region championship last year. Despite some disastrous losses last year, that team came together when it counted to bring home the big win. The current club, which features only three varsity returners, had hoped to bring that same magic to the floor Wednesday night.
The Lady Raiders entered the game with a (1-11) record and a “nothing to lose and everything to gain” mentality. Being young and slightly inexperienced was not the only hurdle the Lady Raiders needed to overcome against the Lady Rebels. The girls were also forced to play without leading scorer and rebounder, junior Forward Macy Mitchell. Mitchell traditionally provides a heavy inside presence for the team, but unfortunately was benched due to an illness.
With the cards stacked against them, the Lady Raiders still hit the hardwood with determination and put up an awesome fight for the win.
“Not having Macy there was bad for us, but also at the same time good. It was good to see where our girls are at right now, not just individually but also as a team. The younger players depend on Macy to do a lot and tonight they all had to depend on each other, which is most definitely good for the future,” head coach Kerrie Stewart said after the game.
In the first quarter the Lady Raiders kept Owen honest and were down by only four, 10-6, when the buzzer sounded. Though Trimble shot the ball only five times in the first period, three members of the team posted two points a piece. Junior guard Katie Callis, sophomore guard Reagan Black, and 8th grade forward Chloe Griffith showed determination and good ball handling, scoring for the team.
At the start of the second quarter, the Lady Raiders managed to pick up the pace and dropped more baskets. Regretfully, so did the host team, which continued to stretch the Rebel lead.
The Lady Raiders were led throughout the quarter by Callis who added 8 points, as the Lady Raiders were outscored 14-10 in the period. Trimble trailed by eight points, going to the locker room at halftime down 24-16.
Returning to the floor, the Lady Raiders managed to match Owen’s third quarter scoring, showing off their defensive prowess. With each team throwing nine points on the board, Trimble was still down by eight, 25-33.
Coming into the final quarter, the girls needed to play as a team if they were to make up the deficit and take the first round win.
It was Lady Rebel freshman guard Gayheart, however, who took charge of the ball and the game. Gayheart put on a gun show with exceptional shooting in the fourth.
Throughout the entire game the Lady Raiders had put several defenders on Gayheart, but couldn’t stop the freshman sensation who scored a game high 26 points, nearly as much as the entire Lady Raiders squad.
Owen County point guard Wainscott only tallied four points, but also contributed to the Trimble loss with an outstanding job breaking down the Raider defense on penetration and kicking the ball out for better shots.
The Lady Raiders were outscored 17-9 in the fourth quarter and fell 32-50 to the Lady Rebels.
The Lady Raiders will take on the Carroll County Lady Panthers tomorrow night at home. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.