Spencer is no pushover

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SCHS girls face Spencer County tonight in district opener

By Todd Martin

On Jan. 5 it came down to 3 seconds and one point.

So when the Lady Rockets (9-16) and Spencer County (13-11) tip off tonight at 6 in the first round of the Girls’ 30th District Tournament at Anderson County, you can expect another close, hard fought game.

“This is the best Spencer County team I’ve seen,” SCHS Coach Sally Zimmerman said. “They have all the tools necessary to do well in the postseason.”

That starts with Spencer County’s Kenisha Marshall in the middle. Marshall averages 17.6 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, and he scored 23 and had 11 rebounds in the first match-up, adding four blocked shots, too.

“We have to have a better feel for where Marshall is this time,” Zimmerman said. “We need to have one or two bodies on her at all times. The big thing we need to do is keep her off the offensive boards. She just seems to know where the ball is going, and she can get it. Instead of us rebounding, we may need to have somebody on her just keeping her off the boards, not necessarily even going for the rebound.”

But Spencer County isn’t a one-man team. Chelsea Gross scored 10 in that earlier game, and Shelby Pfeiffer and Jayme Thomas chipped in nine and eight, respectively.

“Pfeiffer and Thomas can shoot the ball, and Gross can score, too,” Zimmerman said. “We can’t just focus on Marshall, or those three can beat you.”

Zimmerman said she expects another close game, but she thinks a hot-start could quash that.

“We have to come out and set the tone early,” she said. “I think the first and third quarters will have a lot to with this game. We were up 28-22 at the half last time, but we let them back in the game in the third.”

After struggling through the regular season, Zimmerman said the team is ready for the 0-0 record the postseason brings with it.

“I think sometimes when you have a really strong regular season you can get tight in the postseason because anything can happen,” she said. “But when you struggle, you kind of look forward to it, because if you can get on a little bit of a roll, then you can erase a lot of memories. We’re ready to start a new season and move forward.”

The winner of this game will face Anderson County in the championship, and Zimmerman said the Lady ‘Cats are the undoubted favorite.

“If we can play Anderson County in the finals of the district, then we’ll be very, very happy,” she said. “They’re a good team, but if we get to face them, then that means we’ve gotten by a very good Spencer County team.”

Girls’ 30th District Tournament

The Lady Rockets play Spencer County tonight at 6 p.m. The championship game of the 30th District Tournament will be Friday at 6 p.m. All games will be played at Anderson County.