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Martin says team still improving

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Lady Warriors drop to 1-8 after Grant Invitational

By Tommie Kendall

Individually, the Eminence Lady Warriors are getting better, coach Carter Martin said after his team took a 28-24 loss to Silver Grove last Monday and a 41-22 loss to Dayton Tuesday to close out the Grant County Invitational.

But as a team, they are still searching for their first win since winning their opener against Louisville Collegiate on Dec. 5. They have now dropped eight straight for a 1-8 start, including four games in the Gallatin Invitational.

“We are getting better, and as long as we keep learning things every game I’m happy,” Martin said.

A few things Martin is trying to shake up is his team’s defense and its ability to break the press with more options at the point guard position. While the Lady Warriors mainly play a zone defense, they are going back and forth between zone and man-to-man at times, which will give opponents more looks. And to help alleviate some of the pressure point guard Rachel Raisor has seen, Candace Wells has moved into more of a point guard position against the press and Keelie Dyson is working on that role as well. The trio joins post players Samantha Congleton and Rachel Metcalfe to form the starting lineup.

Eminence plays against a full-court press a majority of the time. To compensate, Wells takes the ball out, passes it in and usually gets the ball back to bring it up court. Meanwhile, Raisor runs down the court, finds an open spot and gets the ball to set up the offense. This year, Wells plays more of a vital role for the Warriors at breaking the press, rebounding, scoring and defense.

“I honestly think Candace is coming of age and is really maturing,” Martin said of the sophomore who can play every position on the court. “With her and Keelie in the game, it takes pressure off Rachel. They can move the ball around pretty well between the three of them.

“And our inside girls are coming along fine,” Martin added about Congleton and Metcalfe. “They’re more aggressive now, which is showing. We’re all moving along — it’s a process.”

Eminence opened the Grant Invitational with a loss to Newport (40-27) last Friday, then lost to Grant (60-15) on Saturday.

After a day off, the Lady Warriors played their closest game of the four-game invitational against Silver Grove Monday but took a 28-24 loss.

Eminence was in front at the half in a back-and-forth game before Silver Grove took the lead during a third-quarter stretch that Eminence did not score in and held on for the four-point win. The Lady Warriors missed a few crucial shots in the closing minutes that could have reversed the score.

The following day, the Lady Warriors were back in action when they took a 41-22 loss to Dayton. Dayton jumped out to a big 25-0 lead following the lopsided first quarter, while Eminence outscored Dayton 22-16 during the final three quarters in a strange game that saw the tables turn.

“It just took us a while to wake up,” a puzzled Martin said. “Our girls were just asleep that first quarter. You take out that first quarter and this was a good game for us.”

In every game that the Lady Warriors did not play well in this year, Martin said, they had one quarter that they didn’t score. On the flip side, in every game they played well they scored in all four quarters.

“That’s my million-dollar question right now,” he said. “If we can figure out a way to change that, we will be alright.”

After a 10-day break from games, the Lady Warriors will be back in action this Saturday afternoon when they host Spencer County in their first game of the new year. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

E-mail us about this article at sports@hclocal.com.