Through the first three weeks of the season, the Lady Wildcats will have played three games. Next week, they’ll play three games in three days.
“I’ve been running them in practice, but that comes nowhere close to the experience of playing in a real game,” said Lady Wildcat head coach Amy Breckel.
It’s been an odd month for the Lady Wildcats, who have seen very little game action.
Trigg only had one preseason scrimmage, a loss to Ballard Memorial. Their other scrimmage was scheduled in Madisonville the same day a tornado struck Hopkins County and was obviously not rescheduled.
Trigg’s season opener was a week late in the making after Christian Fellowship canceled their game two months ago, causing the Lady Wildcats to open their season last Tuesday at Webster County.
Two other games last week were postponed because of bad weather, leaving the Lady Wildcats with a bad case of cabin fever.
“We’re definitely ready to play against someone else,” Breckel said.
Trigg County will get that chance at their fifth annual tournament next week, playing three games in three days.
The Lady Wildcats will open the tournament Monday at 4:15 p.m. against University Heights, who they have a regular season game against this Friday.
“It should benefit us to play them Friday so we’ll know what we’re up against,” Breckel said.
UHA entered play this week with a 2-2 record and will be making their second appearance in the tournament. The Lady Blazers finished eighth in the 2003 tourney.
Trigg County took two of three games last year from UHA, who finished the season with a 6-16 record.
UHA returns three starters from last year’s team, including 5-9 sophomore Jasmine Coleman and 5-4 sophomore guard Elizabeth Bressler.
The Lady Blazers also have the services of senior guard Beth Chapman, the daughter of head coach Jimmy Chapman, who sat out last year after transferring from Todd County Central.
Trigg County has never lost a first round game in their tournament, beating the Lady Blazers 69-33 in the first round two years ago.
The other upper bracket matchup features a pair of schools making their second appearance in the 12 Games of Christmas.
Reidland, who entered this week with a 2-2 record, will play Fort Campbell, who is 1-3.
The Lady Greyhounds have a solid junior class sandwiched around their lone senior, Hillary Henson.
The 5-9 forward is among the team’s leading scorer in points and rebounds, hauling down nearly nine boards a game.
Twin, 5-foot-6 guards Shelby and Sydney Scillian, also help lead the Reidland offense.
The Lady Greyhounds, who finished seventh in the inaugural tourney in 2001, owns a 51-38 win over UHA in their season opener.
Fort Campbell features one of the top centers in the tournament in Jessica Dorsey.
The 5-10 senior leads a senior-laden squad that finished fourth in the 2002 tournament.
Senior guards India Allen and Toni Heraldsen solidify the backcourt for head coach Richard Hopper, who is in his first season as head coach of the Lady Falcons, who were 9-17 last year.
The first game of the lower bracket features a 7:15 p.m. contest between a pair of past tournament champions – Murray and McLean County.
Murray won the 2003 tournament over Trigg County in their lone appearance.
McLean County was declared the co-champion along with Heath last year after bad weather forced the postponement of the final day of games.
Murray (2-2) suffered a severe blow last week when leading scorer Whitney Sears suffered an ankle injury that may end her season. Sears, a 5-10 senior forward, was averaging 17 points and five rebounds before the injury.
The bulk of the Lady Tigers’ leadership will now fall on the hands of seniors Jordan Huston and Shannon Elias.
Huston is recovering from shoulder surgery just prior to the season.
Murray head coach Rechelle Turner is entering her tenth season as head coach and has now lost her team’s leading scorer due to injury for the third time in four years.
McLean County (2-1) is no stranger to the 12 Games of Christmas, making their third straight appearance in the tourney.
The Lady Cougars return six seniors from last year’s 12-14 team that beat Ballard Memorial and Trigg County last year.
5-3 point guard Celeste Logsdon averaged 20 points last year and will get help from 5-11 senior Courtney Ayer and 5-7 senior Whitney Chandler.
5-11 senior Emily Burden also returns after missing all but two games of last year with a knee injury.
The two teams in the final first round game (8:45 p.m.) of the first round are both making their first appearances at the 12 Games of Christmas.
Metcalfe County of the Fourth Region entered play this week with a 2-3 record, including a 51-44 win over defending region champion Clinton County.
The Lady Hornets return everyone from last year’s 6-19 team and feature no seniors on this year’s roster.
5-7 guard Natalie Bunch and 5-8 sophomore Natalie Boston are among the team leaders for Metcalfe County, who is coached in his second season by Peter DiStefano, who coached LaRue County to over 170 wins in 13 seasons before taking the Metcalfe County job last year.
The Lady Cougars will play Providence, who is off to an 0-3 start.
David Thomas is in his first season of trying to reverse the basketball fortunes at Providence, who won the All-A Region title in 1997, has won just three games the past three years.
Thomas has the entire team back in 2005-06 and is grateful to be playing in the tournament on such short notice.
Hancock County was originally scheduled to play but backed out last month when they realized that the tournament schedule conflicted with their final exam schedule.
“Both brackets have some good games in them, and again, this is a tournament that features 12 games with schools close to the same size,” said Breckel, who added that the tournament has drawn the interest of several larger schools in the state.
Money raised from the tournament helps support the Lady Wildcat basketball program, with Breckel encouraging local fans to attend as many games as possible.