Lady Knights grab two key wins

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By Jesse Osbourne

Marion County received two much needed tests last week before entering postseason play this week.

A highly touted match up against Mercy Academy at the Roby Dome brought fans out in droves while a grudge match against Nelson County proved to be a second half slugfest.

The Lady Knights opened up 20th District tournament play on Tuesday against Campbellsville. If they won that game they will play in the finals at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Campbellsville.

Marion County 69, Mercy 53

Freshman Kyvin Goodin-Rogers dominated Mercy with 25 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks while giving the visitors a nightmare match up.

"They didn't have anybody that could match her size down in the paint. We're going to need that down the stretch," Lady Knights Head Coach Trent Milby said.

The rest of the big three went wild as well, with freshman Makayla Epps and Bre Elder scoring 18 points apiece. Senior Jassmine Franklin came up big in the second half with a bucket that would push the lead and give the Lady Knights momentum.

"Her size and athleticism and the way she can rebound and defend will prove to be an asset for us in the regional tournament and hopefully the state tournament," Milby said.

Mercy was without star player Therese Montano who was sitting with an injury.

Still the visitors were able to hang around for two-and-a-half quarters and cut the lead to nine points with five minutes to play but the Lady Knights were too much.

Marion County improved to 8-0 against ranked teams and extended their winning streak to 12 games.

Mercy 15 15 11 12 - 53

Marion 17 16 24 12 - 69

Marion County (27-1) - Makayla Epps 18, Brooke Roberts 5, Bre Elder 18, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 25, Andrea King 1, Jassmine Franklin 2

Mercy (18-7) - Malisa Cruz 11, Lauren Faris 8, Emily Goetz 10, Ellen Sholtes 4, Christine Roush 6, Juliann Miller 8, Whitney Hartlage 6

Marion County 60, Nelson County 57

Nelson County came surging back from an 18-point halftime deficit to give the Lady Knights a scare on the last night of the regular season.

"We just kind of quit playing in the second half," Milby said. "We weren't doing anything right and they got hot and the next thing you know it's a ball game."

Samantha Drake, one of the hottest names in girls' basketball this season, was held to only five points at halftime. She came out of the locker room with a vengeance in the second half, finishing with 27 points.

"We didn't play as good of defense and they started to make shots from the outside so we had to go out on them a little more," Milby said.

The Lady Knights were able to outlast the Lady Cardinals on the effort of Makayla Epps, who finished with 26 points.

"I mean we'll take a win any time but we have to be ready to go. I think we panicked a little bit because we just quit playing defense. You can't stop playing defense because the three point shot can get you any night. All it takes is one night. I think maybe it'll help us refocus and start the second half better each game we play," Milby said.

Nelson 6 10 24 17 - 57

Marion 13 21 11 15 - 60

Marion County (28-1) - Makayla Epps 26, Brooke Roberts 3, Bre Elder 14, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 4, Andrea King 4, Jassmine Franklin 9

Nelson County (15-10) - A.J. Lewis 10, Charity Watson 5, Samantha Drake 27, Ashley Wimsatt 3, Lacy Hagan 12