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The Henry County Lady Cats were facing long odds when they met up with the Lady Wildcats of Gallatin County in the 31st district tournament semifinals Friday.
Gallatin County came in as one of the winningest teams in the 8th Region. The Lady Cats came in without leading scorer Cheyenne Clark and with two one-sided losses to Gallatin on the season.
But the Lady Cats came in with the hope for a David and Goliath-like upset.
“We knew it was an uphill battle when we went in,” Coach Todd Gilley said. “Our kids were mentally ready to play. We had two good days of practice going into the game.”
The Lady Cats showed a lot of heart and determination but just didn’t have the firepower, and fell to Gallatin 51-21
The Lady Cats had trouble with Gallatin’s pressure defense early as the Lady Wildcats pressed on made baskets and misses. They used both full and ¾-court presses to turn the Lady Cats over frequently in the first quarter. Henry County found themselves down 20 points going into the second period.
Gallatin County called off the press in the second quarter and the Cats still had trouble scoring but the Lady Wildcats didn’t get as many easy buckets and added just 5 points to their lead going into halftime.
In the third period the Lady Cats got 12 points on offense, which was their highest output of the game. Going into the final period Gallatin led 47-14.
The Lady Cats held Gallatin to 4 points in the final period while scoring 7 themselves to set the final margin at 30 points.
Gilley was proud of the team’s effort and determination.
“Our kids worked extremely hard the whole game,” he said. “I thought the game showed what kind of kids we have. No matter what has happened, they have played really hard and with pride for Henry County High School.”
Sydney Abrams led the Lady Cats with 6 points followed by Colleen Coomes and Ashley Craigmyle with 4 points each. Ashton Pennington contributed 3 points, Rachel Vegh had 2, and Shelby Abrams and Kim Barmore had 1 each.
Gilley reserved special praise for his departing seniors, Shelby and Sydney Abrams.
“These two seniors have been a joy to coach. There is nothing I could ask them that they wouldn’t try to do. They cared more about their teammates than about themselves.”
The Lady Cats’ injury and illness-plagued season ends with a 10-20 record that does not reflect the team’s effort or attitude.
Gallatin County went on to win the district title against Owen County by a score of 43-36 on Saturday night. Their record stands at 27-5.