The Mercer County Lady Titans ran into a big problem as they fell 79-38 to the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers in the first round of the KHSAA State Tournament Wednesday, March 11.
Elizabethtown’s Erin Boley and Reauna Cleaver both stand over 6 feet tall. Boley, who was just named the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, has recently signed to play college basketball at Notre Dame, while Cleaver signed to play collegiately at Louisiana Tech.
“They are just so big and long. It is hard to pass, it is hard to see and you are only going to get one shot and that is it,” said Mercer County Head Coach Chris Souder.
The Lady Panthers were also ranked as the number one team in the state, number seven in the nation and hadn’t lost a game in the state of Kentucky prior to the game.
Even though the Lady Titans were undersized, they refused to back down as they jumped out to a lead early in the game.
“We had been talking all week, there is no pressure, no stress, we are going to come out and have a good time. We weren’t scared, I knew we weren’t going to be scared,” said Souder, who made his first appearance in the state tournament since 2003.
After the Lady Panthers opened the scoring in the first quarter on two free-throws, the Lady Titans took the lead as senior Heidi Huffman hit a three-pointer to put Mercer County ahead 3-2.
Mercer County held a 6-4 lead until the five minute mark in the first quarter, when Elizabethtown’s Cleaver tied it back up with two free-throws.
From that point on, the Lady Panthers used their size to cause problems for the Lady Titans.
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