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The Marion County Lady Knights tested their fortitude against a schedule that would make most teams squirm last week and came away with quality wins.
Playing four games in five days, the Lady Knights toppled tough region teams Hart County (14-9) and North Hardin (21-4) on the road, held off a tough Green County (21-6) team at home, dusted border rival Washington County (5-16) and almost knocked off Mercy (16-6), a top team in the state.
"We really started playing good this last week," Head Coach Trent Milby said. "I don't know if they're just enjoying playing more instead of practicing. I think they enjoy playing. They've been doing better as far as being ready to play."
Marion County 63, Green County 50
The Lady Knights ended the week on a good note, knocking off a pesky Green County team.
The Lady Knights led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter but Green County closed the gap before the final horn.
"We started out slow and missed a lot of shots we normally make," Milby said. "We looked up and we're only down two after the first quarter. We were turning the ball over against medium pressure but they got going in the second and third quarter and built a 20-point lead. They played good defense on (Micah) Jones and tried to make somebody else step up."
Makayla Epps led the Lady Knights with 17 points. Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Bre Elder had 10 points apiece.
Green 10 14 11 15 - 50
Marion 8 22 16 17 - 63
Marion County - Makayla Epps 17, Bre Elder 10, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 10, Brooke Roberts 9, Andrea King 9, Dee Johnson 6, Alyson King 2.
Marion County 68, Washington County 42
"I thought we were sluggish but that's expected," Milby said. "They caught on and played good defense and made some easy baskets. We wanted to get out of there with a win and move on."
The Lady Knights led 12-2 after the first quarter and never looked back.
Andrea King led the Lady Knights with 14 points. Dee Johnson had 11 points.
Marion 12 14 17 25 - 68
Washington 2 9 14 17 - 42
Marion County - Andrea King 14, Dee Johnson 11, Alyson King 9, Shakila Goodin 8, Brooke Roberts 7, Ann Taylor Medley 6, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 6, Ann Morgan Reynolds 3, Makayla Epps 2, Bre Elder 2.
Marion County 69, North Hardin 61
The Lady Knights knocked off the Lady Trojans on the road. North Hardin is a top 10-ranked team in the state.
"We played good, instead of missing those easy shots we made them. We made them against North Hardin and missed them against Mercy," Milby said.
The Lady Knights took a big step in preparing themselves for the Fifth Region tournament by knocking off the highly touted Lady Trojans.
A huge second quarter for the Lady Knights would prove crucial in their road victory. They outscored the Lady Trojans 25-8 going into the half. North Hardin Head Coach James Slaven sat his starters for three minutes during the crucial quarter.
Makayla Epps led all scorers with 25 points. Dee Johnson added 15 points while Bre Elder chipped in 10 points.
Marion 8 25 16 20 - 69
North Hardin 16 8 20 17 - 61
Marion County - Makayla Epps 25, Dee Johnson 15, Bre Elder 10, Andrea King 8, Alyson King 4, Bre Elder 4, Shakila Goodin 3.
Mercy 58, Marion County 56
"We lead almost the whole game. Missed some lay-ups and shots we don't normally miss. We couldn't catch them in the last two or three minutes of the game," Milby said.
The Lady Knights missed an opportunity to make some noise on the state level by knocking off a prestigious team from Louisville. The game surely left their names in the mouths of spectators as they almost knocked off a top ranked squad.
Makayla Epps led the Lady Knights with 19 points. Bre Elder added 12 points for the Lady Knights.
Mercy's Therese Montano scorched the Lady Knights for 25 points. Montano is a top ranked player in the state.
Marion 15 14 8 19 - 56
Mercy 14 10 13 21 - 58
Marion County - Makayla Epps 19, Bre Elder 12, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 8, Dee Johnson 7, Brooke Roberts 7, Andrea King 3.
Marion County 66, Hart County 58
"We played well. We were up 23 points after three quarters. They hit five threes to cut it down. We ended up with a good win at a tough place to win," Milby said.
Makayla Epps led all scorers with 15 points. Bre Elder added 13 and Dee Johnson had 12.
Marion 17 19 24 6 - 66
Hart 14 17 6 21 - 58
Marion County - Makayla Epps 15, Bre Elder 13, Dee Johnson 12, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 9, Andrea King 6, Alyson King 5, Emily Fenwick 4, Brooke Roberts 2.