Lady Knights knock off CAL

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By Jesse Osbourne

They're number one. And they've earned it.

This week included two "business as usual" wins in district play for the Marion County High School girl's basketball team and a signature victory over Christian Academy of Louisville. Here's a look at last week's results.

Marion County 54, Christian Academy-Louisville 51

In a highly touted match up of two of the state's best teams, Marion County emerged the winner and just solidified their number one ranking by winning at the Raatz Fence Classic at Mercy Academy in Louisville.

The Lady Knights led by as much as 12 points and only trailed for part of the first quarter in this heavyweight match up featuring two of the best teams in the state and a handful of the state's best players.

Marion County let off the gas a little too early to let CAL back in the game in the final minutes. Freshman Makayla Epps hit three of four free throws down the stretch to keep the Lady Knights ahead. The Lady Centurions missed two three pointers to tie as the clock wound down.

Ms. Basketball candidate Antonita Slaughter had 18 points, the majority of those coming in the second half.

"We had to converge on her. The first half we did a good job and she was more laid back. In the second half she started looking for her shot," Lady Knights Head Coach Trent Milby said.

Epps led all scorers with 22 points and sophomore Bre Elder finished with a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds).

Marion 10 13 12 19 - 54

CAL 9 7 14 21 - 51

Marion County (20-1) - Makayla Epps 22, Brooke Roberts 6, Andrea King 4, Bre Elder 16, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 6

Christian Academy (15-3) - Emily Walden 6, Paige Gardner 2, Antonita Slaughter 18, China Dow 7, Casey Marshall 8, Allison Karst 8

Marion County 75, Taylor County 35

Taylor County was no match for the Lady Knights speed on Friday night at the Roby Dome. The Lady Knights held Taylor County freshman Mercedes Cox to only four points with their tough defense.

Sophomore Bre Elder had 21 points, 10 steals and seven rebounds while knocking on the door of a triple double. Elder looked sharp in all facets of the game including her passing game.

"I think that this is by far the best she's played all year. She's playing really good right now and I expect her to do it the rest of the year," Milby said.

Taylor 4 11 12 8 - 35

Marion 19 17 26 13 - 75

Taylor County (11-8) - Hope Wigginton 14, Marsha Kessler 4, Alanna Claywell 5, Mercedes Cox 4, Elizabeth Thomas 8

Marion County (19-1) - Makayla Epps 20, Brooke Roberts 5, Bre Elder 21, Andrea King 5, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 13, Jassmine Franklin 2, Ann Taylor Medley 5, Patrice Tonge 2, Ann Morgan Reynolds 2

Marion County 78, Adair County 47

The Lady Knights went into Adair County High School on Tuesday of last week and all but locked up the first seed in the district tournament.

"That game was pretty close at the start. (Adair County) was hitting a lot of shots early and shooting the ball well. They kept hanging in there," Milby said. "Patrice Tonge came in and gave us a boost defensively on the press with her long arms. We went up by 15 at halftime, we had a good third quarter and coasted through the fourth."

Tonge, a freshman from St. Augustine, has seen an increase in her playing time recently.

"She's just getting more confident. She's a good defensive player anyway," Milby said. "She's a big boost athletically and on the press."

Marion 18 26 21 13 - 78

Adair 12 15 12 8 - 47

Marion County (18-1) - Makayla Epps 26, Brooke Roberts 7, Bre Elder 19, Andrea King 2, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 9, Jassmine Franklin 7, Emily Fenwick 4, Patrice Tonge 2, Ann Morgan Reynolds 2

Adair County (10-6) - Chelsea Beard 15, McKenzie Martin 10, Chanley Otterson 5, Katie Keltner 7, Hali Wheat 6, Kassidi Taylor 4