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CARROLLTON, KY. – With leading scorer Macy Mitchell on the bench nursing a leg injury, the Lady Raiders had trouble finding the basket Wednesday, Jan. 20, and lost 52-24 to rival Carroll County.
“We didn’t know until this morning about midday that we weren’t going to have her,” Head Coach Kerrie Stewart said. “That’s out of your control; but there were things out there on the floor tonight over which we had control, and we could’ve done a better job of.”
The Lady Raiders stumbled out of the gate, turning the ball over seven times in the first quarter, and 22 times total in the game. Fortunately for the Trimble team, the Lady Panthers had problems of their own early on, missing a number of close-range shots. That kept the deficit manageable at 9-2.
Both teams continued to struggle offensively in the second quarter, and Trimble County found themselves down only 18-8 at halftime.
In the third quarter, however, Carroll County broke the game wide open, and outscored Trimble 34-16 in the second half. Sophomore Hannah Devine led the Lady Panthers with 17 points.
“We’ve got to get things done on the offensive end of the floor,” Stewart said. “Our spacing tonight got really bad at times. … We’ve got to learn to trust ourselves and trust each other, run our offense and then create out of that offense when those opportunities develop.”
Because of the short notice, the Lady Raiders were unable to prepare for the game without Mitchell, a senior, in the lineup. Some players suddenly found themselves playing unfamiliar positions, or out on the court more than usual.
“This team that we had on the floor tonight, obviously, is still very young,” Stewart said. “They have opportunities to keep getting better, and that’s what we need to focus on.”
Mitchell, who was named to the Class A All-Tournament team the week before, was expected to be out until yesterday, Jan. 26, when she returns to the doctor, Stewart said. At that point, Mitchell either will be released to return to the court or undergo an MRI.
“It’s very much up in the air right now,” Stewart said. “We’ve got to prepare as though we aren’t going to have her, and then if we do, then that’s a blessing.”
Junior Raegan Black led the team with 15 points against the Lady Panthers, and Stewart said she has the potential to become a “go-to” player.
As they look to finish out the season, Stewart said the team would continue to focus on shooting, rebounding and developing their bench.
“We’ve just got to keep working and get these younger people to develop confidence in themselves and in their teammates. And I think if they do that we’ll have a strong stretch down here at the end.”