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Saturday night, the Marion County Lady Knights varsity girls’ basketball team traveled to Mercy Academy to play the DuPont Manual Lady Crimsons in the RAATZ Fence Classic. Marion County was able to keep pace with Manual in the early going, but the Lady Crimsons showed why they are the No. 1 ranked team in Kentucky, defeating the Lady Knights by a score of 56-45.
The first three minutes of the game were very close, with neither team leading by more than three points. Manual went on an 8-0 run to grab the lead away from Marion County and expanded their lead to seven points, at 12-5 with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Makayla Epps scored seven of her game high 18 points in this period, but the Lady Knights still trailed by five points at the end of the frame.
The Lady Knights had a strong showing in the second quarter, only being outscored by three points. Marion County cut the lead to three points, the closest they would be for the rest of the night, within the first 20 seconds of the second period. DuPont Manual then went on a 14-4 run to lead by 13 points, at 28-15 with 2:50 remaining until halftime. However, the Lady Knights finished the second quarter on a 9-4 run of their own, drawing within eight points, with a halftime score of 32-24.
The Lady Knights’ offense struggled in the third quarter, managing only a field goal and three free throws for a total of five points in the period. Manual’s intense defensive pressure forced Marion County into several turnovers, which allowed the lead to expand to 17 points at the end of the frame, with a score of 46-29.
As the fourth quarter began, the Lady Knights attempted to chip away at the lead, but weren’t successful. The Lady Crimsons were able to maintain a double digit lead throughout the period, with the largest lead being 18 points at 55-37 with 1:03 remaining in the game. Marion County finished the game on an 8-1 run, capped off by five points by junior Tessa Simpson in less than a minute, but ended up losing by 11 points with a final score of 56-45.
“We didn’t have the intensity to compete with a team like Manual,” Head Coach Trent Milby said. “Hopefully, we will get another shot at them.”
Marion County 9 15 5 16 - 45
DuPont Manual 14 18 14 10 - 56
DuPont Manual (14-4): Mechael Guess 17, Nicole Lauterbach 8, April Wilson 8, Leasia Wright 8, Kayla Styles 4, Destony Curry 2, Raven Hester 1
Marion County (12-4): Makayla Epps 18, Bre Elder 6, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 6, Patrice Tonge 6, Tessa Simpson 5, Coco May 2, Shakila Goodin 2