ESPNKY

Monroe wins first district title since 2011; Barren qualifies for region

By JAMES BROWN
ESPNKY.com

Two teams entered the Girls’ 15th District Tournament title game Thursday night in search to quench their championship droughts. Monroe County had not won a district tournament title since 2011, while Barren County had not won one since 2009.

The Lady Falcons ended their dry spell, beating the host Trojanettes, 58-48.

“I’m very proud of this team,” Monroe County head coach Dwayne Murray said after the game at Barren County High School. “I thought we had a little bit of a letdown tonight, but we persevered and came out and won by 10 points.”

In two regular season meetings with Barren County, the Lady Falcons had won by 20 and 28 points. They didn’t lead by more than 15, and that was with 41.7 seconds left in the game.

“I was proud of the girls the way they bounced back in the fourth quarter. I mean, it could have been a 20-point game, but it wasn’t,” Barren County head coach Piper Lindsey said.

The game swung in Monroe’s favor in the third quarter.

“We had a man-press going on. We got a lot of turnovers off that in the second half. We held them to four points in the third quarter,” Murray said.

The Lady Falcons held a two-point lead at halftime, 27-25, and both teams failed to score for more than two minutes at the start of the third period.

With 5:20 left in the quarter, Monroe ran a play where forward Ashlee McGeorge passed to guard Reagan Turner on a cut to the basket. She hit the layup. After a Barren County turnover, McGeorge converted a 3-point play to give her team 32-25 lead with 5:06 left in the third.

Elizabeth Bertram responded for Barren with a layup, but Monroe scored the next six points in the game to lead by 11 points, 38-27, with 2:33 left in the third quarter.

“We had a little talk at halftime about our offensive strategy and our defensive strategy about what we wanted to do,” Murray said.

“In the third quarter, they picked it up a little bit and we didn’t take care of the basketball,” Lindsey said. “They scored in transition, which is something they do very well.”

The Trojanettes finished the game with 25 turnovers, which led to 26 points for the Lady Falcons.

Turner led all scorers with 25 points and she had six rebounds. McGeorge added 12 points and Ashley Gearlds scored 10, including four during the decisive third-quarter run.

Bertram led Barren County with 18 points and Bailey Pedigo added 13.

“The first half was excellent,” Lindsey said. “We did get down early and I think three or four weeks ago we would have folded … but we didn’t. We battled back.”

Monroe took an early 5-0 lead in the game with a jumper by Lauren Hammer and a 3-point play by Turner.

McKenzie England responded with a basket for Barren. Turner scored again for Monroe and Kelsey Johnson added a free throw and the Lady Falcons led 8-2 two minutes and 36 seconds into the game.

The Trojanettes responded with an 11-5 run and tied the game at 13-all on a layup by Bertram with 1:55 left in the first period. A minute later, Mallory Pedigo hit a pair of free throws to give Barren its first lead of the game.

The game remained within five points from there until Monroe went on its 13-4 run in the third quarter.

Both teams have qualified for the Girls’ Fourth Region Tournament that begins next week at E.A. Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky University.

SCORE BY QUARTER
Monroe 15 12 13 18 = 58
Barren 15 10 4 19 = 48

SCORING
Monroe: R. Turner, 25; A. McGeorge, 12; A. Gearlds, 10; K. Johnson, 5; L. Hammer, 4; C. Bybee, 2.
Barren: E. Bertram, 18; B. Pedigo, 13; M. England, 8; M. Pedigo, 6; O. Poynter, 3.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Ashley Gearlds – Monroe
Ashley McGeorge – Monroe
Reagan Turner – Monroe
Mallory Pedigo – Barren
Olivia Poynter – Barren
Kaylyn Hale – Glasgow
RaeAnn Stafford – Allen

ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
MVP – Elli Bartley – Glasgow
Sarah Sutton – Allen
Mason Towery – Allen
Sydney Day – Allen
Olivia Poynter – Barren
Elizabeth Bertram – Barren
Amanda Lee – Glasgow
Ashlee McGeorge – Monroe
Kelsey Johnson – Monroe
Reagan Turner – Monroe

ACADEMIC TEAM
ReaAnn Stafford – Allen
Hadleigh Hammer – Barren
Elli Bartley – Glasgow
Claire Bybee – Monroe

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