The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats lost their first 13th District game, 65-50, of the season against the Logan County Lady Cougars, the defending 13th District Tournament champions.
"Logan County is a pretty good basketball team with five senior starters and we have our team with five freshman that plays a lot of minutes," Lady Cats head coach Lex Lindsey said. "We had some fumbly fingers with the basketball and the Van Zant twins have the quickest hands of any pair of girls' guards I have ever seen. We can't simulate that in practice. We talked about it. We have to get that in game experience with that."
The Lady Cats took the lead throughout most of the 1st Quarter as freshman Hadley Turner scored six points with senior Evyn McCutchen adding four. The Lady Cougars held the lead late as the senior Van Zant twins, Paige and Peyton combined for 11 of the team's 14 points. McCutchen's basket late in the quarter gave Franklin-Simpson a 15-14 lead at the end of one.
Freshman Ashanti Johnson scored four points with two points scored each by junior Alera Barbee, Turner and freshman Conleigh Wilson. But Logan County took control of the game in the 2nd Quarter with 3-pointers from the Van Zant twins and senior Addy White. The trio scored 17 of their 21 points for a 35-25 lead at halftime.
Paige Van Zant's 3-pointer extended the Lady Cougars' lead to 13-38-25 early in the 3rd Quarter. The Lady Cats responded with five points from Turner and four from junior Kate Norwood for a 9-0 run to trail 38-34. Logan County made a run of their own with six points from the Van Zants and a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter by junior Abby Hinton for a 50-41 lead.
Franklin-Simpson's Norwood scored six points in the 4th Quarter but Logan County senior Kennedy Nichols gained momentum as she scored seven points and helped outscore the Lady Cats 15-9 to claim the 65-50 13th District victory.
"We settled for jump shots early. We hit a couple early and started feeling good about our shooting. And all of a sudden we start missing shots and they get some run outs," Lindsey said. "They deserve it and tonight, they were better than we were. We played hard and I was proud of our effort. We got to get to the rim, catch passes, share the basketball and run both sides of the floor to open things up defensively. It's a good learning experience and we'll be better the next time we play them."
Kate Norwood scored a game high of 17 points with Hadley Turner pouting in 16 for the Lady Cats.
"Hadley (Turner) is going to be a good one and she will get better and better," Lindsey said. "Alera (Barbee) could not get going and I believe that Kennedy (Nichols) had a lot to do with that. She's something down low, a load to handle. Alera is a finesse player and Kennedy had a body on her and she just locked her down."
The Van Zant twins led the way for the Lady Cougars as Peyton also scored a game high of
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17 points with Paige adding 15.
"It was a hard fought win," Peyton Van Zant said. "1st Quarter was kind of slow. We were nervous because it was out first district game. I said at the start of the second that need to play our game and play better defense."
"Huge win for us. Everyone wants to win their district game, especially against us," Paige Van Zant said. "They were right there with us in the first but once we start the second, we had to get it together so let's go. We started to play a 2-3 zone to make them shoot instead of driving and we did that. In the third, I was able to make some shots to keep us going."
Kennedy Nichols and Addy White each scored 10 points.
We had to come out and battle," Kennedy Nichols said. "We were able to keep the lead, play good defense. But coach (Finley Baird) wasn't pleased with us because we didn't rebound well. She and the coaches got onto us about that and we didn't execute our plays very well. We tried to play transition but we didn't execute as well as we should have."
The Lady Cats will host back-to-back games at the F-S Gym on Friday and Saturday. Both games are JV/Varsity doubleheaders, as they will host the Warren Central Lady Dragons on Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. and the LaRue County Lady Hawks beginning at 3 p.m.
1220 WFKN Franklin radio will broadcast the game on Friday night at around 7:15 p.m. and on Saturday afternoon at around 4:15 p.m. Both games will be streamed on the Internet on www.franklinfavorite.com and click on "WFKN" in the blue toolbar. Then click on the WFKN sports tab and press the play button.
F-S 15 10 16 9 50
LC 14 21 15 15 65
F-S (50) Norwood 17, Turner 16, McCutchen 6, Barbee 5,
Johnson 4, Wilson 2
LC (65) Peyton Van Zant 17, Paige Van Zant 15,
Nichols 10, White 10, Hinton 7, Christian 6