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Late PC 3-pointer shocks Carroll County

Oops … They did it again!

 

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

Valentine’s Day isn’t until February, but Friday night at the Cougar Den junior Maddie Ratcliff broke a bunch of hearts.

 

For the second time in a week the Pulaski County Lady Cougar basketball team shocked a highly ranked opponent, this time earning a 37-36 win over Carroll County. This win came after a game that was back-and-forth the entire evening.

 

Ratcliff inbounded a ball along the baseline to freshman Taryn Blankenship and faded out to beyond the arch. Blankenship passed the ball back to Ratcliff, who faked a jumper to get a Carroll County player away, then stroked a three-pointer from in front of the Lady Cougar bench to give Pulaski County a one-point lead with just over 12 seconds remaining in the game.

 

Carroll County inbounded the ball and moved it to half court before calling a timeout with five seconds remaining, but the Lady Cougar defense denied them a shot and held on for the win.

 

“Yeah, that was exactly how we planned on finishing up the game. Just like we drew it up,” laughed Lady Cougar Head Coach Bradley Sutphin. “No, we sent the ball in to Taryn and thought she might get a shot, but when she realized she was covered up she sent it back out. We were looking for either Ally Fleenor or Alaina Akers to take the shot, but our girls reacted very well with the short amount of time left and Maddie drained it. What a game! The fact that they were able to communicate like that shows how far we’re coming. I can’t tell you how proud I am of these girls.”

 

The game started slowly as both teams had trouble finding the basket. Carroll County held on to a slim 6-5 lead at the end of the first period. That one-point lead remained at halftime, with both teams scoring 12 each in the second period to move the score to 18-17.

 

The Lady Cougars outscored the Cavs 12-8 in the third period to hold a 29-26 lead heading into the final period.

 

“What can you say about Carroll County that hasn’t already been said,” Sutphin remarked. “They are a very solid program with great coaching and they have some really good players. The Region 4D title usually runs through them. Knowing that we’ll likely see them again, we needed this win to boost our confidence. There is still a lot of basketball to be played this season, so we just need to keep focused on each game as they come. Our younger players need to continue to develop every game.”

 

Ratcliff led the way in scoring for the Lady Cougars with 14 points. The junior added a rebound a rebound and a steal. Freshman Ally Fleenor added 13 points, six steals and a block. Akers scored six points and had three steals and an assist. Blankenship scored four points, had eight rebounds and an assist. Freshman Erin Russell added two rebounds and a steal. Senior Alicia Noble had a rebound, an assist and a steal. Junior Hannah Walson earned five rebounds and two steals.

 

Madi Dalton led the Lady Cavaliers with a team and game high 17 points.

 

With the win the Lady Cougars move to 4-2 on the season.

 

The Lady Cougar junior varsity team also earned a victory, avenging their only loss of the season by defeating the young Lady Cavs 49-28. Pulaski County outscored Carroll County in every period.

 

Eighth-grader Keslyn Secrist led the Lady Cougars with a team and game high 18 points. Fellow eighth-grader Paige Huff kicked in 13 points. The final eighth-grader on the JV team, Tori Vest, scored nine points. Freshman Sierra McDaniel scored five. Freshman Hailey Capps and sophomore Aubrey O’Dell added two points each.

 

Ashton Richardson led Carroll County with 10 points.

 

With the win the Lady Cougar JV team moves to 5-1 on the season. Their loss to Carroll County was in the first game of the season.

 

The Lady Cougars are set to travel to Hidden Valley tonight to take on the Titans. JV action will begin at 5:30 followed by the varsity contest at 7 p.m.

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