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The Grant County Lady Braves have been a streaky team all season.
They started their season with a win, but followed that with several losses. The Lady Braves used the Grant County Invitational to kick-start their success, reeling off four wins in a row. But following losses to Simon Kenton and Pendleton County, Grant County finds themselves on the down slope again.
The Lady Braves lost to Pendleton County 60-48 on Jan. 12.
“We came out the first quarter and played hard, played well.” coach Darrell Guffey said. “We made some shots. Overall looking back, we played pretty well. We scored 48 points and that should be enough to win. Our defense just wasn’t quite as good. They did some good things, exposing things we’ve struggled with. They controlled everything we tried to do and that’s hard to accept in our home gym in a game like that.”
The Lady Braves kept pace with the Lady Wildcats in the first quarter, relying on scores by Amber Cope, Shayna Lockard, Brittany Hearn and Dawn Plunkett for a 16-16 tie after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Grant County started to turn the ball over, but Pendleton County didn’t capitalize until late in the quarter, taking a 31-23 lead. Candace Gorby cut into the lead with a three pointer before the half, but Pendleton County still held onto a 31-26 lead at the half.
Pendleton County started to get offensive rebounds, keeping possessions alive and getting to the foul line. The Lady Wildcats were aided by missed free throws by Grant County and entered the final quarter with a 44-36 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Pendleton County made 12 free throws that eventually built a lead that was too great for the Lady Braves to overcome.
“We had 15 turnovers in the first half and five in the second half,” Guffey said. “We got better. It’s a case where we have a couple turnovers late in the second quarter that stuck out and got us. We dug ourselves a hole with turnovers in the first half and we just couldn’t climb back out of it. They’re a pretty good basketball team.”
The Lady Braves outscored Pendleton County 42-33, but the Lady Wildcats scored 27 points from the free throw line.
“We’ve got to do a better job guarding,” Guffey said. “We’re not really big or tremendously athletic. We’ve got to be in position at all times. We’re struggling getting into the right position. We’ve got to continue to work and get better.”
“It was a rough game,” Gorby said. “We didn’t execute well on offense and it was just not a good night for the whole team overall. We had unnecessary turnovers. It could have been better. We need to work hard in practice and pick up our defense. We made a few mistakes that we’ve learned from. A few of our players realize what they need to work on. Our drive to win has kind of fallen a little bit just because we’ve had so many losses, but these next few days in practice should be better. We get more consistent with practice.”