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For the first time since 1993, the 30th District will crown a new girls’ basketball tournament champ.
The Lady Rockets fell, 42-38, to Spencer County in the district’s first round Wednesday. The loss will keep Shelby County from playing in next week’s 8th Region Tournament for the first time since at least 1974, when the program was just beginning.
“I guess it just wasn’t meant to be,” SCHS Coach Sally Zimmerman said. “We missed some easy shots down low that were timely, that I thought could’ve helped us.”
Shelby held Spencer to four points in the opening quarter and just 17 in the first half, but the Lady Rockets shot just 17 percent in the first half and trailed 17-14 at the break.
The girls cut that lead to one, 24-23, with less than one minute to go in the third but could get no closer.
Coming into the game Zimmerman said a key would be shutting down Spencer’s Kenisha Marshall.
And the Lady Rockets did just that for most of the game. Going into the fourth quarter Marshall had just two points, but her six points consecutive points to start the fourth gave Spencer it’s largest lead of the game, 32-23. Marshall scored nine of her team-high 11 points in the fourth.
“I thought we did a pretty good job on her,” Zimmerman said. “Instead of her, it was a few others that we didn’t expect to score.”
After going scoreless in the first meeting, Spencer’s Sydney Spencer, Ashley Wiley and McKenzie Smith combined to scored 17 points, more than 13 points more than three combined to average this season.
Smith hit Spencer County’s only two 3-pointers after making only 10 in 22 games this season.
“They had a couple of unsuspecting scorers that we didn’t see coming,” Zimmerman said. “I’m sure they knew we would try to pack it in and stop Marshall, so they worked those other girls to shoot.”
Taylor Shaw hit two 3-pointers and Dee Dee Davis added another for the Lady Rockets in the game’s final 71 seconds, but Spencer hit six of eight free throws during the final 63 seconds to hold on for the victory.
Zimmerman said the loss didn’t dampen her thoughts on the team.
“I thought they did everything we asked them to this week in preparation for Spencer County,” she said. “We struggled shooting, and that’s what really hurt us. And we didn’t get any calls all night.”
There was a large disparity in fouls in the game. Spencer County shot 18 free throws to Shelby’s three, and in the second half Shelby was called for 10 fouls, compared to just two for Spencer County.
The Lady Bears will now face Anderson County in the district championship tonight, and both teams will advance to the 8th Region Tournament next week at South Oldham.
Girls' 8th Region Tournament
The Girls’ 8th Region Tournament will begin Monday at South Oldham High School. Though the region draw will not be held until Saturday, the teams that will play in the tournament have been decided. The top two teams from each district advance. The championship games for each district are:
29th District – Oldham County vs. South Oldham, tonight
30th District – Spencer County vs. Anderson County, tonight
31st District – Carroll County vs. Owen County, tonight
32nd District – Simon Kenton vs. Walton Verona,(Thursday night)