Owen County explodes past Lady Colts

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018

By Clinton Riddle

For The Jessamine Journal

The West Jessamine Colts had their hands full when the Owen County Lady Rebels paid them a visit, last Wednesday.

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West never had more than a two-point lead during the 69-38 drubbing, suffering their sixth loss of the season against a physically-dominant Owen County lineup.

The Colts were held to single-digit scores in the second and fourth quarters (five and seven, respectively), while the Lady Rebels came very close to putting twenty points on the board during each of the first three quarters.

The Colts were only 2-8 from beyond the arc. Beyond that, they scored only two points outside of the paint, all night.

Madlynn McDonald led the team with 12 points on 5-15 shooting, and pulled down four boards (two offensive).

Natalie Yost was second on the team with seven points and three rebounds, while Alleyse Steinkuhl and Delaysia Thomas scored five each, combining for thirteen rebounds (seven for Steinkuhl, six for Thomas). Haylee Rutherford scored five on only 1-8 shooting, hitting one of the two three-pointers on the night for West, and added two from the free throw line. She also tallied three assists and two of the Colts’ three steals.

Abby Jo Fitch picked up three boards and three assists.

As a team, the Lady Rebels shot 57 percent from the floor, 60 percent from two-point range (2-6 three-pointers), and were a perfect 5-5 from the free-throw line.

Both teams finished with 25 total rebounds, with ten of the Colts’ boards on the offensive end, though they couldn’t take advantage of second-chance shots, and the Colts were physically outmatched under the basket and on the baseline for much of the game.

Despite having lost seven of their first nine games, Coach Chris Begley is aware of the areas in which the team needs to improve, and sounded optimistic that they will be able to grow as the season progresses.

“We’re very young; sophomores and freshmen,” Begley said. “We’re led by one senior (shooting guard Madlynn McDonald), and our junior doesn’t play much (Kariss Palomo Storms). We’re trying to teach them to persevere.”

“We made the schedule a little tougher this year because we wanted to try to push them,” he continued, “and to challenge them. It’s a challenge for me, as well. It hit us a little bit early.”

Coach Begley cited the team’s youth and inexperience as being the primary obstacle they would need to overcome, as well as the team’s ability to push through difficult stretches during games and maintain their intensity. “Learning how to win, that’s something we’re really struggling with, now,” he said. “I still think we’re giving effort (in games), but the games we won back-to-back, we played bad. I thought scheduling those games back to back would help them get ready for the Christmas tournament coming up. I think they struggled with playing back-to-back games.”

He also mentioned the Colts’ ability to match up physically with opposing teams, a problem readily apparent during their loss to Owen County.

“I think the physicality kind of bit them. They definitely weren’t ready for that tonight,” he said.

West has a very tough stretch of games coming up, as they will be on the road until the beginning of January.

“Wayne County and Rockcastle County both are very tough teams,” Begley said. “Rockcastle is really solid, top to bottom. Wayne County’s got a really nice guard; she’ll be hard to stop. Macy Blevins is the real deal.”

The Lady Cards beat the Colts on Friday night, 45-29, for their third win of the season. Blevins finished with 20 points, shooting 10-13 from the free-throw line, and grabbed five rebounds. West’s McDonald scored 14 on 6-13 shooting from the floor, and accounted for five of the team’s seven steals. No other Colt scored more than four points. Aaliyah Edenstrom scored four points, but led the team with six rebounds, while Steinkuhl and Thomas had four each, and Fitch had three of her own.

West was held to only four points in the first and third quarters vs. Wayne County, and never had the lead during the game.

Rockcastle County (4-2) is coming off a 57-38 win vs. Hazard at South Laurel in the Ted Cook Classic. The Lady Rockets face off vs. the Colts (2-7) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17.