Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 18, 2013

Raceland girls get past rival Greenup

Lady Rams attack, charge back in 2nd

Matt Fultz
For The Independent

RACELAND — Like all coaches, Raceland’s Randy Vanderhoof and his staff made some adjustments to the game plan at halftime.  

And while the change in X’s and O’s seemed to be very effective as the Lady Rams’ offense was much more efficient in the second 16 minutes, the longtime coach said his players were the ones who made the biggest adjustment — in their attitudes.

“Give our kids a lot of credit. In the second half, they really started believing in themselves,” he said. “They started believing that they could put the ball on the floor and make plays going to the basket.”

As a result of the Lady Ram attacks on the basket, Raceland shot an impressive 16-of-25 in the second half erase a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat 63rd District rival Greenup County, 76-68, at Raceland-Worthington High School on Tuesday.

Raceland (3-2) scored 11 of the second half’s first 13 points to completely erase the Greenup County halftime lead.

First-year Lady Musketeers coach Anthony Gordon said his team just had too many defensive lapses in the third quarter, which saw Raceland outscore Greenup County 26-10.

“We just had too many defensive letdowns in the third quarter,” he said. “Whether we were out of position and had to foul or we just got tired, I just can’t put my finger on it.”

While Raceland was able to make some adjustments on the fly, Greenup County’s aggressive defense was never quite able to adjust the referees’ whistles, which resulted in 35 fouls for the Lady Musketeers.

The two teams combined for 60 fouls and 93 free throws.

“You have to adjust (to the referees),” he said. “It has been like this all year so we should know by now that the officials are going to call it a little extra tight.”

As a result of the fouls, Raceland went to the charity stripe 60 times. They made 33.

While the percentage wasn’t great, Vanderhoof thinks there are some positives from his team’s performance at the free-throw line.

“I know it doesn’t look like it, but we practice them all the time,” he said. “But we did hit some free throws when the game was tight in the second half, so that is what we are going to try and build on.”

Lacee Penix was excellent from the line for the Lady Rams, connecting on 11 of her 14 attempts as part of her team-high 20 points.

Raceland also got some impressive contributions off of the bench in the second half. Ashton Sipps and Emily Bryant combined to score 22 in their reserve roles.

“Ashton has been coming in and really running the floor well for us,” Vanderhoof said of Sipps, who had 13 points to go along with four rebounds. “Some of the things that the coaches are working with her on are really starting to sink in.”

Greenup County (3-2) was led in scoring by Sydney Webb’s 22 points. Micah Leslie chipped in with 15 points as well.