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After a high scoring but close first quarter, the Marion County Lady Knights pulled away and defeated Taylor County by 23 points Friday night, homecoming night, with a final score of 61-38. Three Lady Knights scored in double figures to lead the Lady Knights, with sophomore Makayla Epps leading the way with a game high 17 points.
In the first quarter, the two teams traded baskets until the score was 6-5 in favor of the Lady Cardinals, which proved to be their last lead of the night. Marion County went on an 11-2 run over a two minute stretch to hold a 16-8 advantage with 3:20 remaining in the frame. Taylor County finished the period by outscoring the Lady Knights 7-4, to trail by only five with a score of 20-15. During the first quarter, only one foul was committed by both teams, a rare occurrence in high school basketball.
It wasn’t until the 7:03 mark of the second quarter that Marion County was whistled for a foul. After the foul, the Lady Cardinals scored the next four points to draw them to within three points with a score of 22-19 and 5:38 showing on the clock. After that point the Marion County defensive pressure increased and only allowed the Lady Cardinals to score two more points during the remainder of the frame. The Lady Knights went into the lockeroom on an 11-2 run and held a lead of 12 points with a score of 33-21.
The third quarter would prove to be a key period for the Lady Knights as they began to distance themselves from their opponent. Marion County was able to double up Taylor County, outscoring them 14-7 in this frame. The Lady Cardinals were able to connect on five free throws but only one field goal, as the lead grew to 19 points on two separate occasions. Epps added eight of her game high 17 points helping the Lady Knights hold a 47-28 lead at the end of three quarters.
In the final period the defensive pressure applied by the Lady Knights forced the Lady Cardinals into seven of their 30 turnovers in the game. A free throw by Junior Bre Elder gave her double digit points with ten, something she had not accomplished since January 28 against Mercy in the L.I.T. Head Coach Trent Milby elected to bring Elder off the bench in an effort to break her slump. Five different players would score for Marion County in the final frame aiding them to a 23 point victory with a final score of 61-38.
“Our defense is good in stretches,” Head Coach Trent Milby said after the Lady Knights gave up 15 first quarter points to the Lady Cardinals but only allowed 23 during the remainder of the game.
Marion County 20 13 14 14 - 61
Taylor County 15 6 7 10 - 38
Marion County (15-6): Makayla Epps 17, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 16, Bre Elder 10, Alexus Calhoun 6, Tessa Simpson 6, Logan Powell 4, Emily Fenwick 2
Taylor County (13-8): Hope Wigginton 14, Mercedes Cox 11, Elizabeth Thomas 6, Haley Wright 3, Hannah Howard 2, Shelby Johnson 2