A staggeringly slow start put the Lady Raiders in a hole they could never climb out of Monday night as the Corbin Lady Redhounds cruised to a 90-55 win at McCreary Central.
Early turnovers – 9 in the first 6 minutes – kept the Lady Raiders off the scoreboard until Brooke Sluder sank a jumper with 1:58 left in the first quarter.
But the damage was done as Corbin jumped to a 17-0 lead before the basket and McCreary spent the rest of the game playing catch up.
It was a frustrating quarter for McCreary Coach Todd Waters as he burned three full time-outs in the period, trying to rally his team out of their early-game funk.
The Lady Raiders did manage to shake off the slow start, and actually outscored Corbin in the second quarter, but were not able to overcome their early deficit and trailed the entire game.
Lady Raiders’ Coach Todd Waters said it wasn’t the first time he had to use all his full time outs in the first quarter in his career, but he believes the move finally paid off.
“We finally started playing better at the end of the first quarter,” he said. “And we actually outplayed them in the second quarter, gained some ground. We were right with them in the third, but we got in foul trouble in the fourth and they pulled away. They got about 20 rebounds in the fourth quarter and we only got four, so that’s a big difference.”
The loss, McCreary’s third to open the season, highlights what Coach Waters says in the biggest weakness of the team, and the major area of focus they will work on moving forward.
“We have to learn how to guard people,” he said. “We’re not a good zone team, not good at man-to-man, and we’re not good at trapping or the press. All that has to be fixed. It is going to take a lot. We are way behind defensively.”
As for the offense, without their all-time leading scorer, Kaylee Cotton, who will be out until after Christmas, Waters says the team is finally learning to rely on each other to put points on the board rather than wait for Cotton’s return.
“Offensively, with Kaylee being out, it is going to be a struggle,” he admits. But, Brooke Stephens played good last night, Brooke Sluder started to show aggressiveness and Liz Anderson stepped up off the bench.”
“We are starting to realize we don’t have Kaylee to throw the ball to, and that’s a good thing.”
“We are about where I thought we would be at this point, though I thought we would have a win in these first three games.”
The Lady Raiders will spend the next three weeks playing in holiday tournaments: This weekend at the Asbury University High School Basketball Shootout, next week at the Chain Rock Classic in Pineville and after Christmas at the Citizens National Bank Classic in West Jessamine.
They will finally return to their home court on January 8, when they host Southwestern for the first meeting of the two squads this season.
22 19 22 27 -90
7 21 16 11 -55
B. Stephens -13, Welchel -11,
A. Anderson -10,
L. Anderson -8,
B. Sluder -8,