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The Grant County High School girls' basketball team does not need any reminders about how big this week is for them and their hopes of attaining a high seed in the 32nd District Tournament.
"We have to play hard in two big district games. It's a huge week for us," senior Bethany Hopperton said.
Darrell Guffey's squad entered this week with a 5-12 overall, 1-3 district record following losses last week to Pendleton County and Spencer County.
Against Pendleton County, the Lady Braves fell behind 15-2 after the first quarter en route to a 49-28 loss. Shayna Lockard led the way for Grant County with 14, while Tyanna Workman chipped in with four, Sarah Johnson scored three and both Salena McIntosh and Tlonna Robbins added two.
Against Spencer County, Grant County held an early 11-6 lead, but lost 43-37 despite getting 10 points each from Johnson and Lockard.
"Shayna has really been playing well. She is scoring well and bringing a lot of energy to our team," Guffey said
The record is not indicative of how Grant County has played this season, according to Guffey, as the Lady Braves have endured several bouts with illness and injuries, including the loss of junior point guard Candace Gorby, who has been lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). As a result of Gorby's injury, senior Sarah Johnson will assume the point guard duties.
"The attitude is still good. We are practicing and playing hard, and we are getting better. We have been in a lot of games this season, but we need to get over the hump and win a close game. It's been a while since we've been able to win a close game," Guffey said.
The loss of Gorby is "tough," according to Guffey.
"Replacing her is tough, but Sarah has done a good job. Candace gave us a lot of minutes and was a competitor. It will be a tough void to fill," Guffey said.
In addition to Gorby's injury, the Lady Braves have had a player out with mono and another battling an illness, but Guffey believes the tough stretch will make his team better.
This week, Grant County will have two opportunities to post much-needed victories as they travel to district foe Walton-Verona on Tuesday and Williamstown on Friday. Tipoff Friday is at 7:30 p.m.
"It is a huge week for us. If we can go out and play well, a lot of the past games will be forgotten about," Guffey said.