There is one word that has been echoed amongst the Mercer County Lady Titans basketball team all season: Diddle.
Diddle is referring to E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, where the Girls KHSAA Basketball State Tournament is held each year.
After a 12-year hiatus, Mercer County is heading back there after beating the Southwestern Lady Warriors 63-52 in the 12th Region Championship Sunday afternoon.
After being tied at 46-all with 4:28 remaining in the game, the Lady Titans went on a 17-6 run to claim the title.
The first three quarters were much closer than the last.
Things didn’t look good for the Lady Titans early as they got behind 4-0, and freshman Seygan Robins, who averages a team-high 14.3 points per game, picked up her second foul just 2:08 into the first quarter.
“I didn’t really say anything to the team. They know to step up. You don’t really have to say much with this bunch,” said Mercer County Head Coach Chris Souder. “It might have been a blessing in disguise because Seygan had a real tough and taxing game yesterday, so this gave her a chance to rest.”
With the star freshman out of the game, it was a sophomore who stepped up and put the team on her back.
Lyric Houston, who averages 9.3 points per game for the Lady Titans, scored eight of her 16 points in the first quarter to help lead Mercer to an 18-14 advantage.
“I knew I had to be ready to play because yesterday (versus Lincoln County in the semifinal) I didn’t play very well. It was a big game, and when Seygan got those two early fouls I knew I had to pick it up,” said Houston.
The second quarter was much like the first as the Lady Titans struggled at the start, before they regained their composure to close it out strong.
Southwestern started the quarter on a 9-3 run to jump out in front, 23-21, with 3:48 remaining in the quarter.
“We weren’t getting enough ball pressure during the second quarter,” said Souder.