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Defense powers Titans in romps

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Tough week awaits them

By Josh Cook

The Oldham County Christmas Tournament was very merry for the Collins girls’ basketball team.

The Titans went 3-0 in the round robin in Buckner. They capped it off by beating the host Colonels, 59-31, last Thursday night and Bethlehem, 59-24, last Friday.

“I’m very proud of them,” said Collins Coach Phillip Conder, whose team was 11-2 and had won eight of its last nine games heading into Tuesday’s night game against 8th Region rival South Oldham. 

 

Collins 59, Oldham County 31

The Titans built a 24-15 halftime lead, then broke the game open in the third quarter, when they clobbered the Colonels, 17-2.

“I thought we did a good job defensively,” said Conder, whose team also held Oldham (5-7 after the loss) to five first-period points and forced 26 turnovers.

Senior guard Leeara Cardwell scored a game-high 23 points. She hit 9 of 22 from the field, including 7 of 14 from 2-point range, and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. She also grabbed seven rebounds and recorded five steals.

Junior forward Aaliyah Wells added 11 points and 16 rebounds, and junior forward Jessie Buckmaster added 10 points and five rebounds off the bench. Senior forward Becca Mouser chipped in with nine points and six rebounds for the Titans, who grabbed 43 rebounds, including 21 on the offensive end. By comparison, the Colonels had just 14 rebounds, including one offensive.

“We’re doing a great job on the boards right now,” Conder said.

He also praised the defense of junior guard Bailey Rankin, who helped hold Oldham County sophomore guard Ashley McMurtrey to 11 points.

“Bailey did a great job on her, she only had seven against Bailey and she averages about twenty,” Conder said.

 

Collins 59, Bethlehem 24

The Titans wrapped up a perfect Oldham County Christmas Tournament, in which they allowed their opponents only 32 points per game.

After leading by only four, 16-12, at the end of the first quarter, Collins outscored the Banshees, 43-12, the rest of the way.

“The second, third and fourth quarter we pretty much shut them down,” Conder said. “I thought we played pretty well.”

Bethlehem (1-11 after the loss) shot just 21.7 percent (10-for-46) from the field, while the Titans shot 52.5 percent (21-for-40).

Once again Cardwell led in scoring with 22. She hit 8 for 14 from the field and 3 of 6 from the foul line. She also dished out six assists in 29 minutes.

Meanwhile Wells added 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in 22 minutes. Mouser chipped in with seven points and six rebounds for Collins, which out-rebounded the Banshees, 28-24, and forced them into 23 turnovers. 

The Titans, who hosted South Oldham on Tuesday night, play at Presentation Academy at 7:30 tonight. They host 30th District rival Anderson County at 6 p.m. Friday, then Woodford County at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re going to run the gauntlet,” Conder said of his team’s upcoming schedule.