By Ben Hanneman
In her first three games this season Maegan Memitt has come this close to having a big game.
Last Tuesday night against Carroll County, the Lady Cougars junior post player broke through with a career- and game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds against another top-10 area team on what is shaping up to be a brutal 2012-13 schedule.
And while the performance was all but swallowed up in a fourth-straight loss – this time 48-36 – her breakout game was not lost on Coach Jason Grubb, nor on her teammates.
“I had challenged her in practice for about a week and a half to get open and get the good shot. She’s an intense player and had really worked hard. Looking at the lineups we were going to face I knew she was going to have sort of a coming out party soon. She’s not a big post player, but I knew she had potential. Her shots were just not dropping,”
They certainly dropped against Carroll County, to the tune of seven-for-12 to be exact.
Unfortunately, the Lady Cougars couldn’t muster much help as a team offensively. Kennedi Hart added eight points on three of five field goals, but the rest of the team made just three of 32 attempts. Pulaski managed just four points in the first quarter.
“Early on we missed a lot of shots. We had good shot selection. We just didn’t shoot well,” Grubb said.
The Cougars made up for it on the defensive end. They held the Cavaliers, who lost to Floyd County by only five points, to just 10 in the second, 14 in the third and 11 in the fourth. Pulaski actually won the second quarter 12-10, but couldn’t quite crack Carroll County’s defense in the fourth, mainly because of age.
“They (the Cavs) have a lot of experience coming back and they play really good basketball,” Grubb said. “But we played some really tough defense and outrebounded them. We were focused on that because we had given up too many before.”
Along with Memitt’s 11 rebounds – which gave her perhaps her first double-double maybe ever – Chelsie Golden pulled down eight rebounds, Meredith Mitchell reeled in seven and Jordan Chrisley added six rebounds.
Despite coming up just four field goals shy, Grubb praised his team’s intensity once again.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge. But all around this was the best effort of the year to date,” Grubb said.
The Cougars have a few days to recuperate and work on not turning the ball over. They had 29 against the Cavaliers. Beginning Thursday, December 20 Pulaski begins a stretch in which they will play five games in nine days, including a holiday tournament against larger schools.
But Grubb is confident the Cougars will hold their own through the stretch.
“It’s not really any tougher than the one we just had,” Grubb said. “We’re playing teams that were picked to win their district and we’ve got a really good attitude as a team right now. They realize what they can do and they realize that these games are preparing us for the district schedule. Our rebounding has improved. Our defense has improved and our offensive execution has improved. As long as we keep that up we’ll be fine.”