Rough exit at Regional
BUCKNER, Ky. - Just 10 minutes into Carroll County’s girls Eighth Region basketball tournament opener against powerful Anderson County, the Lady Bearcats were exponentially better than the Panthers. Anderson, 25-7 and champion of the 30th District, had reeled off the first 17 points of the game and outscored Carroll County 30-3 with 6:00 left in the first half. It didn’t get much better for the Lady Panthers the rest of the way as the Bearcats ousted Carroll from the postseason 56-20 in a game that featured a running clock for much of the second half. “Anderson County has a really nice team. They did a really nice job with their press and we did not do a very good job of handling their pressure half-court,” Carroll head coach Paul Stone said. “We did not make the plays we needed to get the ball in the basket. We missed some good looks at the basket.” Anderson pressed the Panthers from end line to end line and harassed Carroll’s ball-handlers non-stop. It was a withering display of defense that took Carroll out of its offense, led to several turnovers and just as many runout baskets for the Bearcats. Carroll went the first 6:30 of the game without scoring until reserve Andrea Searcy finally hit a bucket to break up the shutout 17-2. Anderson led 24-2 at the end of the first quarter and then limited Carroll to a Taylor Napier free throw over the first five minutes of the second quarter until Abby Evans scored on a drive to the basket that made it 32-5 with 3:02 left in the first half. Carroll managed just a pair of Haley Dermon free throws the rest of the first half and Anderson went into the intermission leading 41-7 and already threatening to trigger the running clock that begins once a team is 35 points down. Anderson then did just that on the first basket of the third quarter when the bigger Bearcats pulled down five offensive rebounds on one possession before Tiffany Riley finally stuck in the putback for a 43-7 cushion. “They were bigger than I expected them to be,” Stone said. “They do not have their heights listed online but they were a lot bigger than I expected them to be and they were very athletic and very well coached.” Once the running clock started the game wound down quickly and with Anderson and Carroll substituting heavily the Panthers started finding the basket more often and played with the Bearcats the rest of the way. “Hats off to them for being good sports. They could have beat us as bad as they wanted to. But (Anderson coach Clay Birdwhistell) called off the dogs, which is very professional of him,” Stone said. “You hate to see a running clock in the second half - and that was the first time this year that’s happened to us tonight ... Every game we’ve played this year with the exception of one has been very competitive until tonight. It’s kind of a bad way to end the season but I had a lot of fun coaching this year. They’re a great bunch of girls, we had three awesome seniors and the girls played together as a group. They were really fun and we got better as the year went on until tonight. I thought we really improved down the stretch.” Searcy ended up leading the Panthers with seven points but seven of the 13 girls Stone played scored. However, it was a tough night for Carroll’s top scorer Abigail Aulbach, who failed to score, and Carroll’s tandem senior point guards - Dermon and Jenna Richmond - faced withering pressure. According to Stone, the Panthers will miss their three seniors - Dermon, Richmond and Taylor Napier - but the team has a strong nucleus coming back. “I think the future is bright. You’ve still got Aulbach, Evans, (Amelia) Napier, Searcy and (Hannah) McCarty,” Stone said. “Five of your top eight are back. “They just need to figure out the point guard position. Next year we need a point guard,” Stone said noting that although neither was a true point guard, Dermon and Richmond held the position down “by committee” this season. “They’ve got everything else they need but they’ve got to figure out who’s going to be the point guard. Will it be one of the younger girls on the bench or will it be somebody coming up? I don’t know. They’ve got the core of the team coming back and they’ve got the chance to be competitive again.” Stone said there were some high points in the season, too. “We beat Gallatin for the first time in about six and a half years, we beat Williamstown twice this year for the first time in the same amount of time. So we had some milestones,” he said. “I’m very proud of the last five years to be either the two or three seed every year in the district and not the four or the five. We’ve stayed very competitive in the district and we’ve done a good job - the girls have - of being competitive and playing hard.” As for this year’s regional, count Stone as one who thinks Anderson has the tools to go a long way despite having to now face No. 10 Simon Kenton in the semifinals on Friday. Simon Kenton, champions of the 32nd District, rolled over Oldham County 66-41 in Monday’s first quarterfinal as junior forward Shelby Harmeyer hit seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points that also put her over 1,000 points in her career. “I’m voting for Anderson but that first game on Friday ought to be a good one with Simon versus Anderson,” Stone said. “And I expect the second one should be Trimble versus Owen.” To do that defending regional champion Trimble County must get by Grant County in tonight’s second quarterfinal and Owen County must survive Spencer County in the first quarterfinal. --- GIRLS 8TH REGION TOURNAMENT Monday’s Quarterfinals at Buckner, Ky. ANDERSON CO. 56, CARROLL CO. 20 CARROLL CO. 2 5 5 8 - 20 ANDERSON CO. 24 17 9 6 - 56 CARROLL CO (12-19) - Searcy 7, (c)A. Napier 4, (g)Dermon 2, (g)Evans 2, Tuttle 2, Wilson 2, T. Napier 1, (f)Aulbach 0, (g)Richmond 0, McCarty 0, Poe 0, Tillett 0, Osbourne 0. ANDERSON CO. (25-7) - (g)Rogers 13, (g)Harley 11, (g) Ruble 7, Riley 6, (f)Sims 5, Satterly 5, (c)Boblitt 3, Brown 2, Mason 2, Chesser 1, Dearinger 1, Smith 0, Beasley 0, McGregor 0. 3-Point Goals - Carroll Co. 1 (Searcy 1), Anderson Co. 4 (Harley 1, Ruble 1, Rogers 1, Satterly 1). Total Fouls - Carroll Co. 10, Anderson Co. 13. Free Throws - Carroll Co. 5-8, Anderson Co. 6-11. Fouled Out - None.