The loss ended the Lady Wildcats’ season with a 10-13 record and prevented a potential repeat as district champs. The Lady Lyons went on to defeat the host Lady Rockets on a buzzer-beater Friday.
Those teams advanced to the 2nd Region Tournament this week at Webster County, where Lyon was eliminated by the host Monday and Crittenden was set to play Tuesday against region-favorite Christian County (results unavailable at press time).
“We’re right on the breaking point of being a really good basketball team and being the 10-win team we are right now,” Trigg head coach Amy Breckel said after the loss to Lyon. “We’ve got to play together more, play as many games in the summer as we can.”
Neither team scored until Ashley Matlock put Trigg ahead nearly three minutes into the contest. Rachel Rhodes scored the next four points for Lyon, but Audrey Futrell and Morgan Parker combined on a 5-0 run that put Trigg ahead 7-4.
The Lady Lyons used a 10-4 spurt to jump ahead by three. Parker and Futrell teamed again for the next two baskets to give Trigg a 15-14 advantage, but Lyon answered both baskets and led 18-15 at halftime.
After Brooke Kearney hit a three-pointer to open the third quarter, Lyon went on a short 6-1 run to take the largest lead of the night at 24-19.
Trigg scored nine of the next 12 points and retook the lead on a basket by Matlock with seven minutes left, but the Lady ‘Cats only scored one more point on a free throw by Futrell with 3:28 left. Rhodes scored again with 1:55 left to put Lyon ahead, and neither team scored again until a free throw by Aubrey Riggs with 1.7 seconds on the clock.
“Three or four times, we had an opportunity to take the lead,” Breckel said. “We just couldn’t knock down free throws again. We did everything we needed to do except knock down shots. When it gets to tournament time, you’ve got to knock down shots.”
The Lady ‘Cats had the ball with 6.9 seconds left and a chance to score, but Matlock was whistled for charging on the ensuing play.
Trigg missed three free throws in the final 18 seconds of the game.
“It’s amazing; the kids will hit free throws in practice so they won’t have to run wind sprints,” Breckel said. “Nothing worked at the line tonight. That’s an individual skill. We can shoot them at practice, but that’s something they’ve got to take on their shoulders. We haven’t been there the last half of the season. That could have helped us pick up some close wins.”
Trigg faced a 3-2 zone from Lyon’s defense for most of the game and struggled to find quality shots.
“We worked on getting the ball to the dead area, and the kids did it very well in practice,” Breckel said. “It’s the difference between practice intensity and game intensity. It needs to be game-like at every practice this time of year, and I guess we just didn’t have that.”
Futrell led Trigg with nine points, and Matlock had six.
Briefly, the Lady ‘Cats had strong options in the post. Parker finished with eight points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, but foul trouble limited her playing time.
“The referees get on Morgan a lot,” Breckel said. “We want her to get physical, but when they start talking to her about it, it gets in her head about what she can and can’t do. She picked up those fouls early and we had to sit her, and that broke her streak a little bit.”
Rachel Want finished with only three points but was able to generate scoring chances in the second half – she just wasn’t the benefactor of any breaks, Breckel said.
“[Want] got bumped quite a bit under the basket and couldn’t get a foul call,” Breckel said. “You don’t want to blame it on the refs, but I thought she should have gotten a couple more calls there.”
Allison West, Lyon’s best threat from the perimeter, scored a game-high 13 points but was limited to only nine field goal attempts by a solid Trigg defense.
“We switched our defense a lot tonight, and that’s something that we haven’t done a lot this year,” Breckel said. “We had to throw some different things at them. We had some plays where we missed defensive assignments and left her open, and she’s going to knock shots down when she’s open.”
Trigg loses only one senior, Futrell, and is set to return six seniors and a solid group of underclassmen next season. However, the story is similar for district foes Lyon, Crittenden and Livingston Central, Breckel said.
“This is a very competitive district,” Breckel said. “It’s going to come down to who has the most growth and who works the hardest. I think we need to play some more teams within our region. We’ve got to reach up there to get better and see how far we’re going to grow.”