Commodores pull away from Rockets late

-A A +A

23 turnovers plague Shelby

By Josh Cook

The Shelby County girls’ basketball team hung tough against an experienced Tates Creek squad for nearly three quarters Tuesday night.

Eventually, though, the Rockets couldn’t overcome the battle-tested Commodores, falling 72-55 in Lexington.

“We put together two and a half excellent quarters but they just made plays with their talent and experience [at the end],” said Shelby County Coach Mike Sowers, whose team was down by only one point (31-30) at halftime.

The Rockets (3-3) trailed Tates Creek by seven (20-13) at the end of the first quarter before they outscored the Commodores (2-3) 17-11 in the second quarter.

“Creek is solid, and even though they had a losing record going into our game it’s been against the ‘big girls,’” Sowers said, referring to Tates Creek’s losses to Lafayette, Paul Dunbar and Covington Holy Cross.

Shelby County junior forward Nikki Simmons scored seven of her team-high 17 points in the second quarter and sophomore forward Mackenzie Raizor tallied five of her 12 in that period, too.

The Commodores outscored the Rockets 41-25 in the second half, 25-17 in the third period and 16-8 in the fourth.

Tates Creek senior forward Katie Pippen tallied 13 of her game-high 23 points after intermission, including 10 in the third quarter, while senior guard Oney Harrison scored 13 of her 21 points in the final 16 minutes.

“Both Harrison and Pippen are D-I signees and along with [senior guard Lexi] Whaley and [senior forward Dominique] Etling-Turner they are all four-year starters,” Sowers said.

That experience, along with 23 turnovers, was too much for the Rockets to overcome.

“Many of those [turnovers were] unforced. We actually just handed them eight points by turning it over right underneath their basket,” Sowers said. “[But] overall it was a good game for us with many positives to build on.”

Shelby will try to continue that process tonight, when it plays at county-rival Collins at 6 p.m.