In a season filled with injuries and illness that have depleted the Henry County Lady Cats roster, more bad news came Friday afternoon.
As the team prepared to travel to Northern Kentucky to take on the Cooper Lady Jaguars, they learned that leading scorer Cheyenne Clark was out for the season with a stress fracture in her foot.
The Lady Cats would have to face Cooper with yet another restructured starting lineup with only about five hours notice. Clark’s absence was keenly felt, as the Lady Cats fell 64-23
The Lady Cats played hard and determined but didn’t have the offensive firepower without Clark to hang with the Lady Jaguars. The Lady Cats hung tough in the first period, trailing just 17-10, but the Jags began to play a variety of pressure and trapping defenses in the second period, pulling away for a 41-point win.
“We were playing pretty well during the first period but we had three straight turnovers to begin the second period and never recovered,” Henry coach Todd Gilley said.
The Lady Jaguars used a full court press, 3/4-court trap and a half-court trap defense to force turnovers. The Lady Cats had 20 turnovers in the final three quarters.
“I think the biggest thing is the kids being able to adjust,” Gilley said. “The kids hurt for her and on the court it’s very difficult because the roles of every player change and we had no time to work on adjustments.”
Trimble Co. 73,
Coming off two straight wins, the Lady Cats hoped to keep momentum going in their final home game of the season on Feb. 12.
But the Trimble County Lady Raiders had too much firepower and ran away with a 73-36 victory.
The game started brightly for the Lady Cats as Cheyenne Clark scored the first two points of the game on a drive into traffic with 6:30 left in the opening period. It was the Lady Cats’ only lead of the game. The Raiders answered immediately with a 3-pointer and a runner from the wing to go up 5-2, before Clark hit two free throws to close the gap to one point.
The Raiders pushed the lead out to 15-5 with about 3 minutes to go in the period before Ashley Craigmyle scored inside to cut the lead to 8 points. Trimble County then took advantage of Lady Cats miscues to finish the period on a 7-0 run to go up 22-7.
“I thought we were in the game midway through the first period when we made some critical errors,” Gilley said. “We have to make sure we do simple fundamental things like block out and get back on defense which we did not do tonight.”
The Lady Cats righted the ship in the second and third periods and were outscored by 6 points in each of those periods, but the damage had already been done in that first-period Raider’s spurt.
Paige Black of the Raiders dominated by scoring 12 of her game-high 31 points to lead Trimble County to 19 final period points while Henry County managed just nine.
Gilley found a silver lining in the game. “I thought Ashten Pennington’s legs showed signs of really coming along,” he said. “People don’t realize how much she’s had to fight through with her legs (two knee surgeries in the last two years). It shows how much she wants to be out there and how much she loves playing the game.”