By DAVID GRAVELY SWT Sports Editor
Pressure is a tough thing to deal with sometimes, and Saturday it caused the Lady Cougar basketball team more than a few problems as they fell to visiting Floyd County by a final score of 61-36.
How tough was the Floyd County full court press? The Lady Cougar basketball team didn’t cross the half court line until the clock read 5:12 in the first quarter.
“Floyd is top ranked in the state, and better this year than last year’s State Championship team,” said Lady Cougar Head Coach Jason Grubb.
Despite the slow start, the Lady Cougars made up ground quickly and only trailed 21-18 at the end of the first quarter. The halftime score was 43-35, but could have been closer if not for some missed shots by Pulaski County.
Floyd came out of the locker room to start the second half with a reenergized defensive effort, holding the Lady Cougars to just 11 points to take a 68-46 lead into the final quarter. The fourth quarter saw more of the same, with Pulaski County being outscored 17-9 for the final score of 85-55.
Despite the final score, there were some bright spots for the Lady Cougars. Chelsea Golden hit 4-of-4 3-point shot attempts, and she and teammate Meredith Mitchell ended up with a team and game high 14 points. Maegan Memitt added 9 points and played tough under the basket. Tianna Crockett added 5 points. Kennedi Hart played a very physical game, scoring 4 points before tweaking her ankle late in the second quarter. Moriah Hinton added 4 points as well, and Hannah Hancock added 3 points. Freshman Ratchell Greer came in off the bench to provide some quality minutes and 2 points.
Floyd County was led by the combination of Ragon Wiseman and Amanda Holandsworth who scored 13 points each. They were followed by Carley Lytton and Hannah Belshan who scored 12 points each.
“We led for a while in the second quarter, and were down 35-40 just before halftime,” said Coach Grubb. I was pleased with our effort. We played very hard, rebounded well, and ran the court well in offense when we handled their pressure. When Kennedi tweaked her ankle it caused us issues. It was much more challenging to break the press after that. They got hot in the third quarter, connecting on outside shots and scoring in transition. We couldn’t consistently handle their pressure and score.”
The loss drops Pulaski County to 2-10 overall and 1-4 in district play.
In JV action the Lady Cougars fell 62-34. While it was still a loss, the younger Lady Cougars did show an improvement over the first meetings 61-8 loss.
Hellen Counts led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 11 points. Rakia Mattox followed up with 9 points and Savannah Coffey with 7 points. Amanda Alley added 3 points, Laney Cox added 2 points, and Karlie Thompson and Michelle Hernandez scored 1 point each. Floyd County was led by E. Quesenberry with 13 points and M. Thompson with 11 points.
The Lady Cougars will host Christiansburg tonight, and then travel to Salem on Friday. Game time for JV action is set for 5:30, with the varsity contest getting started at 7 p.m.