Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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March 7, 2010

Bruising battle for 3-peat

Lady Vikings celebrate victory over East Carter

MOREHEAD--Late in Saturday’s Girls 16th Region basketball championship game, Rowan County’s Kaitlyn Muncy and Jenna Kiser crashed to the floor and came up hurting.

Their pained expressions didn’t last for long.

The Lady Vikings won their school-record third consecutive regional title 46-34 in one of the most rough-and-tumble finals in tournament history.

Muncy, a senior guard, received the Best Defensive Player award and said she couldn’t recall being part of a more physical contest.

“Coming into the game, coach (Scott Tackett) said we had Ninth Region officials for the game and that they were going to let us play,’’ Muncy said. “He was right.’’

Neither team backed down, but Rowan County’s defense proved to be the difference in the lowest-scoring 16th Region girls’ title game of the modern era. The Lady Vikings came up with 23 East Carter turnovers and limited the Lady Raiders to 30-percent shooting from the field.

"East Carter is a physical team,’’ said Muncy, who had three of Rowan County’s 13 steals. “We have played against them since the sixth grade. I knew the more aggressive team was going to win the game.’’

After the final horn sounded, Muncy and tournament Most Valuable Player Natasha Kissinger hugged and fell to the floor in jubilation. After all, what was one more tumble after a bruising battle.

Rowan County became only the region’s second girls’ basketball team to accomplish a three-peat. West Carter won five in a row beginning in 1998.

“It’s awesome,’’ Muncy said. “I don’t know how to explain it. When people look back in 20 years, they will remember our names around here. That’s pretty special.’’

Rowan County fans couldn’t have agreed more.

“To go to the state tournament three times in a row is almost unheard of,’’ said Mary Duff, a teacher’s aide at McBrayer Elementary School in Morehead. “Scott does a great job.’’

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