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In their second holiday tournament of 2011, the Lady Knights of Marion County worked their way through several tough teams to take home the title in the Mercer County/Harrodsburg Tourism Titan Christmas Clash. In the four games of the tournament, the Lady Knights won by a combined 105 points with no game being closer than 14 points.
In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Knights were matched up with the 13th ranked Lady Bulldogs of Dunbar. The game started with both teams showing why they were ranked in the top 15 in the state. Marion County held a five-point lead after one quarter, and expanded their lead to nine points at the half. However, in the second half Marion County came out and outscored Dunbar 26-12 in the third period to begin to put the game away. The Lady Knights went on to win the game by 22 points, 81-59 to advance to the next round of play.
MCHS 18 16 26 21 - 81
PLD 13 12 12 22 - 59
Marion County (9-2): Logan Powell 19, Makayla Epps 14, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 14, Bre Elder 13, Alexus Calhoun 11, Emily Fenwick 6, Patrice Tonge 4
Dunbar (8-4): Jordin Fender 14, Kierra Muhammad 14, Lexus Edwards 12, Indya Raglin 6, Shakeema Jackson 5, Brooke Todd 4, Morgan Kelsey 3, Morgan McEldowney 1
Following the win over Dunbar, the Lady Knights took on the Lady Patriots of Lincoln County. This game was decided early on after Marion County led 19-3 after one quarter and only allowed Lincoln County to score nine first half points. Marion County cruised to the easy win with three players in double-figures led by junior Kyvin Goodin-Rogers with 19 points.
MCHS 19 16 18 10 - 63
LCHS 3 6 18 8 - 35
Marion County (10-2): Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 19, Makayla Epps 13, Bre Elder 10, Patrice Tonge 7, Logan Powell 6, Alexus Calhoun 4, Emily Fenwick 2, Ambrasia Adams 2
Lincoln County (6-5): Emily Fox 16, Sydney Harris 7, Spencer Sims 5, Rachel Spangler 3, Kourtney Belcher 2, Kelsie Honaker 2
The semifinal game for the Lady Knights would come against the Lady Cardinals of Sheldon Clark. Marion County would match their defensive performance in the previous game and hold Sheldon Clark to single-digit points in each of the four quarters. After leading 34-12 at the half, the reserves saw considerable playing time in the second half, and Marion County went on to take the easy 66-25 win to advance to the finals of the tournament.
MCHS 15 19 17 15 - 66
SC 5 7 9 4 - 25
Marion County (11-2): Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 17, Makayla Epps 14, Emily Fenwick 7, Logan Powell 6, Ambrasia Adams 6, Haeli Howard 5, Alexus Calhoun 4, Patrice Tonge 3, Coco May 2, Ashley Bridgewater 2
Sheldon Clark (7-5): Kandice Porter 13, Katelyn Newsome 10, Kelsey Garcia 2
The finals of the tournament would pit the home team, Mercer County, against the Lady Knights. The Lady Titans put up a serious challenge, but the offensive fire power of Marion County took over in the second half. The Lady Knights trailed after the opening quarter, 12-10, but doubled up Mercer County in the second frame to lead 30-22 at the half. In the second half, the Lady Knights offense came to life and kept the Lady Titans playing catch-up throughout the remainder of the game. Marion County would capture the championship by winning 60-46.
Marion Co. 10 20 17 13 - 60
Mercer Co. 12 10 12 12 - 46
Marion County (12-2): Makayla Epps 24, Bre Elder 19, Patrice Tonge 5, Logan Powell 5, Emily Fenwick 2, Alexus Calhoun 2, Haeli Howard 2, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 1
Mercer County (9-3): Cathryn Claunch 17, Savannah Taylor 10, Cawood Dedman 9, Tabby Shewmaker 4, Raegan Freeman 4, Kandace Gosh 2
"We played really good defense during the tournament," Head Coach Trent Milby said. "We gained a lot of confidence in some role players over the holidays, especially Emily Fenwick. We expect her to play an important role down the stretch."
Milby went on to comment on junior Makayla Epps' run at the all-time scoring title at Marion County High School.
"It is a great honor for Makayla," Milby said. "She's a very good scorer and passer of the ball."
The Lady Knights will have a bit of a slow stretch through the middle of the season, but their opponents will be tough ones.
"We play two games in the next two weeks, so we will go back to practice and work on things we need to get better on, and prepare for Lexington Catholic and Manual," Milby said. "Both games will be really tough games that we are looking forward to."
The Lady Knights of Lexington Catholic are ranked 12th in the state, and the Lady Crimsons are 2nd in the state, behind Marion County.
For their efforts in the tournament, senior Bre Elder and junior Kyvin Goodin-Rogers were selected to the all-tournament team. Junior Makayla Epps was also named to the all-tournament team, and was given the most valuable player award for her performance.