Rally keeps Rockets unbeaten in new year

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Balanced 4th quarter key to 5th in a row

By Josh Cook

A fantastic finish propelled the Shelby County girls’ basketball team to its fifth consecutive victory Thursday night.

The Rockets outscored visiting Western Hills, 23-14, in the fourth quarter to rally for a 48-40 triumph in Mike Casey Gymnasium.

“I like that we battled,” Shelby County Coach Mike Sowers said. “We struggled for three quarters and still managed to score twenty-three points in the fourth quarter.”

Each of the Rockets’ five starters scored four points in the final period as Shelby (12-3) improved to 5-0 in the new calendar year.

However the Rockets had a slow liftoff, trailing, 9-7 at the end of the first quarter before falling behind by double figures in the second period.

“The first half they blocked out as good as any team we’ve faced,” Sowers said.

Sowers’ team didn’t panic, though.

“We didn’t freak,” he said. “Every time I talked to them, it worried me a little bit because we’re getting our butts kicked in pretty good, and [in the huddle] it was like we were up twenty points.”

Shelby slowly chipped away at the lead, pulling to two (19-17) at halftime and one (26-25) at the end of the third quarter.

“We executed,” Sowers said.

Junior forward Mackenzie Raizor tallied a team-high 14 points for the Rockets. She had six field goals but was 0-for-6 from the free-throw line as the Rockets struggled there for the second consecutive game. After going 14-for-34 in Monday night’s victory over Jeffersontown, they hit just 11 of 22 against the Wolverines (11-7).

Sophomore forward Justus Martin added nine points, and junior guard Jordan Holt scored eight points off the bench for Shelby.

Western Hills sophomore post player Taylor Slade scored a game-high 16 points.

The Rockets play at Oldham County at 6 tonight in the first half of a girl-boy doubleheader before playing at Madison Central at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and hosting Lexington Christian on Tuesday night.