RACELAND With tournament time approaching for area basketball teams, you can look to one statistic that will impact each game: free-throw shooting.
Such was the case in Raceland on Wednesday night, as the Lady Rams edged Greenup County 52-49 in an impactful 63rd District showdown.
Raceland finished 16-for-19 at the charity stripe, while the Lady Musketeers were 6-for-10 at the line.
With the win, the Lady Rams clinched the three-seed, where they will face Lewis County in the opening round of the district tournament. Greenup County is now the four-seed and will face Russell.
In the victory, Raceland’s top two scorers were also perfect at the free-throw line. Kierston Smith (18 points) went 4-for-4, and Emilee Garvin (16 points) was 8-for-8.
“We shoot free throws really well,” Raceland coach Ron Keeton said. “We work on them a lot, and we’ve been hovering right around 70 percent all year as a team and that was big to get us off to a good start.”
The Lady Musketeers did not attempt a free throw until the 6:45 mark of the fourth quarter, when Lexi Carroll went to the line following an and-1.
Carroll posted a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“In the first half, we struggled to finish around the basket,” Greenup County coach Matt Gilbert said. “We were fading away, and we told them to keep going into the contact and don’t avoid the contact; they’re calling the fouls.”
The Lady Rams jumped out to a 30-21 halftime lead, thanks in large part to 12 first-half points from Garvin — a fitting performance on senior night.
“She’s had a phenomenal year for us,” Keeton said. “With all the number of injuries we’ve had all season, she’s had to do a lot of different things and has been in a lot of different positions, but she’s come up big for us each and every night.”
Raceland led throughout the contest and by as many as 13 points in the second half, but the Lady Musketeers seemed to hover close throughout.
“I’m proud of my kids for how they played,” Gilbert said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game and there was a lot on the line for both teams, and we’re going to battle on from this.
“For them, with it being senior night and everything, you knew they were going to come out with some fire. It takes our girls a little bit to warm up, but we did and we came back out for half of the second quarter, and in the second half we brought some fire.”
Greenup County attempted all 10 of its free throws in the fourth quarter. The Lady Musketeers had an opportunity to tie the game with 27.5 seconds remaining, but hit just one of two free throw attempts.
Raceland (7-15) capitalized as Smith knocked down two free throws with 10.9 seconds to play.
The Lady Musketeers (6-20) had an open look as time expired, with Carroll trying for the tying 3 from the right wing, but her attempt drew nothing but iron.
“That wasn’t exactly how we drew it up, but we got the ball down the floor and we got the shot up,” Gilbert said. “It didn’t go, and that’s the game and that’s how it is.”
RACELAND FG FT REB TP
Hapney 0-1 0-1 0 0
Lute 1-3 1-2 1 4
Garvin 4-13 8-8 2 16
Smith 6-10 4-4 10 18
Maynard 1-3 0-0 2 5
Collins 3-9 3-4 7 9
TOTALS 16-39 16-19 22 52
FG Pct.: 41. FT Pct.: 84.2. 3-point FGs: 4-13 (Smith 2-4, Maynard 1-1, Lute 1-2, Collins 0-3, Garvin 0-2, Hapney 0-1). PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 11.
GREENUP CO. FG FT REB TP
Maynard 3-11 0-0 0 9
Frazier 4-7 1-3 5 10
Gammon 1-2 0-0 3 3
Carroll 7-18 2-3 12 16
Bush 3-3 3-4 6 9
Hannah 1-6 0-0 2 2
Hall 0-1 0-0 0 0
TOTALS 19-38 6-10 29 49
FG Pct.: 50. FT Pct.: 60. 3-point FGs: 5-19 (Maynard 3-10, Gammon 1-2, Frazier 1-3, Carroll 0-3, Hannah 0-1). PF: 15. Fouled out: Gammon. Turnovers: 11.
RACELAND 15 15 14 8 — 52
GREENUP CO. 9 12 13 15 — 49
Officials: PR Stephens, Ken Huddleston, CoSonya Johnson.