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Jaguars evade Lady Knights

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By Nick Schrager

The Marion County Lady Knights rehashed old history with the Mercy Academy Jaguars on Feb. 19. The Lady Knights lost 56-51 on their own turf and the game marks the end of their regular season.

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“[I’m] very proud of the way we played all year overall,” Epps said. “We had some highs and some lows, but overall it was a good year. We got better at some areas that we struggled with early, but still have a high ceiling in the future.”

It was all the makings for a good fight. Going in, both teams had similar records. The Lady Knights (13-14) had come off of a 55-26 victory against the Hart County Raiders. The Jaguars (13-12) were coming off a 56-53 win against the Southwestern Warriors (21-5).

But only one could come out on top, and it came down to a handful of points. 

The first quarter would see a flurry of three-point field goals. 

The Lady Knights scored first when senior guard Evelyn Taylor nailed a two-pointer on an assist from freshman point guard Haeli Howard.

After the Lady Knights allowed the Jaguars to put three on the board, senior forward Colleen Rakes would answer with a three-pointer of her own. 

Back and forth play would lead to Marion County freshman guard Kaylee Wheatley adding three more to take the lead.

The Lady Knights would end the first quarter leading 16-15.

Mercy took the lead in the second quarter and would end the first half ahead 31-27.

A free throw by senior center Alexus Calhoun opened the third frame. She would score again on a turnover forced by senior guard Timera Burton. 

Burton would score a three-pointer to tie the game, 33-33. However, the Jaguars would slow the Lady Knights’ efforts and hold the lead. 

Two failed drives by the Lady Knights would end the quarter 41-35.

Another turnover made by Burton in the final period would allow for Taylor score.

Both Howard and Calhoun would add to their efforts and bring the team within striking distance. 

The Jaguars would finish the game by adding a free throw to their score.

Epps said the difference between the Lady Knights and their opponents were free throws. The Jaguars made 19 of 23 free throws and the Lady Knights hit 9 of 23. 

The Lady Knights opened the postseason Tuesday evening (after press time) against the Campbellsville Lady Eagles (3-23) in the first round of the 20th District Tournament.

The winner of that game will play in the championship game at 7 p.m. Feb 28 against the winner of the Adair County/Taylor County game.