Lady Cats defeat Carroll 38-29

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Earn trip to Regional, Fall to Gallatin in finals

By Greg Woods

The Henry County Lady Cats earned their first trip to the 8th Region tournament since 1998 on Feb. 26 with a win against the host Carroll County Lady Panthers in the 31st District Tournament.


The game was a defensive battle with both teams attempting to take away the top scorer from their opponent. In the end the Lady Cats had more firepower from their role players and came away with a nine point win despite leading scorer Cheyenne Clark being held to six points.

For Carroll County center Lauren Moore paced the team with 10 points and Miranda Groseclose had seven but it was not enough as the Lady Panthers scored only 29 points in the game.

The Lady Cats opened the game with a 2-0 lead when Ashton Pennington hit a layup at the 6:30 mark.

Carroll County answered with a layup of their own just 12 seconds later and the teams continued to trade the lead throughout the remainder of the first period with Colleen Coomes hitting a free throw at 1:52 to give the Cats the lead at 10-9 going into the second period.

The Lady Cats dominated their hosts in the second period with smothering defense and outscored the Lady Panthers 9-2 to lead by eight going into the locker room. Carroll County’s only basket of the period came at 4:44 on an inside move by Moore.

The Lady Cats scored the last nine points of the period.

Clark opened the scoring in the second half with a 3-pointer to make it 22-11 but the Lady Panthers got two consecutive baskets on a put back and a 3-pointer to make it 22-16 with 4:40 left in the period.

Clark responded with a layup at 4:06 before Kim Barmore, who led the Cats with 12 points, hit a free throw to restore the lead to nine points.

The teams traded baskets to end the period with the score 27-18 in favor of the Lady Cats.

Barmore opened the fourth period by scoring five straight points to give Henry County a 32-18 lead with 4:21 left.

The Lady Panthers then turned to full court pressure to try and get back in the game and managed to cut the lead to five points at 31-27 with 2:30 left.

The Lady Cats regained control on the next possession when they broke the press and then took 44 seconds off the clock before Pennington was fouled. Pennington hit both free throws with 1:46 to play and from there Carroll County was forced into fouling and taking quick shots. Barmore hit a layup on a run out against the press and Coomes hit two of four free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Cats. Coomes also had several defensive rebounds as Carroll County frantically fought to get back into the game.

Coach Todd Gilley was pleased with how his team approached the game.

“We thought we played extra smart defense,” Gilley said. “We played hard, but more importantly, we played as smart as we’ve played all year. We thought we controlled the boards as well as playing good defense.

“We like to describe that type of game as a grinder game where you grind the entire game until you get what you want.”

Gilley thought his team’s depth played a key role in the game.

“Our bench was very instrumental in this win. We played 10 people in the game and they all contributed something,” he said. “Sophie Hughes was huge coming off the bench and running the offense and taking care of the ball.”

Gilley also had praise for a couple of veteran starters.

“I thought it was probably the most complete game that Kim Barmore has played in her career – offense, defense and rebounding. She was mentally intense the whole game,” Gilley said. “Colleen Coomes was a beast on the boards the whole game and got some really important rebounds down the stretch.”

Gallatin Co. 72 HCHS 40

The Lady Cats fell victim to a great shooting display from Gallatin County’s Hannah Dossett. Dossett hit seven 3-pointers in the 31st District final and her sister Brooke hit three. Many of Hannah’s long-range bombs were from well beyond the 18’8” arc. Autumn Bowen added another 3-pointer to give Gallatin County 11 for the game.

The game started with a drive from Clark to give the Lady Cats their only lead of the game. Gallatin County went on a 17-3 run over the next four minutes and never looked back. At the end of the first period Gallatin County led 25-10.

The offensive barrage did not let up in the second period as Gallatin County struck for 25 more points while holding the Lady Cats to nine points.

The second half saw the teams play more evenly as Gallatin County took their foot off the gas a bit in cruising to a 32-point victory.

Coach Todd Gilley looked at the positives that the team took away from the tournament.

“I’m proud of how our kids’ mentally prepared for this game and I’m proud of their effort,” Gilley said. “I wish for the kids that it would have been a different result. I thought on the night Gallatin was better.

“I thought our effort was wonderful no matter what the score was. Our integrity was outstanding. They were diving on the floor and killing themselves for the team and their school.”

Gilley reserved special praise for senior Kim Barmore who had an excellent tournament.

“Kim gave an effort above and beyond,” Gilley said. “Her growth in the last few weeks as a player has been amazing. Her growth on and off the floor has led to her improvement.”