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Drakeford Scores 19, Helps Mercer Sweep West Jessamine

Photo: Pam Merchant
Junior Anna Drakeford left a West Jessamine defender behind on her way to the basket during Mercer’s 54-40 victory over their district rival.

Casey Roberts
Herald Staff

The Lady Titans (13-11) hot streak continued after defeating West Jessamine (9-10) for the second time in the 2022-2023 regular season. Mercer has now won nine of their last ten games, many in dominant fashion.

When the two squads met in early January the Lady Titans struggled to pull away on the scoreboard in the first half. Mercer actually trailed West Jessamine at the end of the first quarter but managed to battle back to take a narrow one point lead before halftime. Head Coach Hayley Spivey clearly made the proper adjustments as her team controlled the game in the second half. Mercer led by as much as 20 points in the final quarter in route to winning the first matchup 58-46.

The highly anticipated rematch came Tuesday Jan. 24 on West Jessamine’s home floor. The Colts were looking to avenge their previous loss to the Lady Titans and keep pace in the 46th district standings. However, Mercer quickly asserted their dominance on both ends of the floor.

Freshman Teigh Yeast found Junior Jersey McGinnis in transition for a 3-pointer to put the Lady Titans ahead 3-0. The Lady Titans defense was nearly perfect in the first quarter, but did allow West Jessamine’s Kimberly Johnson to score at the 6:20 mark bringing the score to 3-2 in favor of Mercer. Yeast recorded her second assist of the night after finding senior Lindsay Jessie for a mid range jumper.

Jessie’s jumpshot sparked a run that helped Mercer take a 13-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Similarly to their first encounter of the season, West Jessamine would not go away easily. The Colts cut the lead in half after scoring five straight points to begin the second quarter. Sophomore Skylar Webb halted the West Jessamine run with an offensive rebound-put back plus a foul. Webb converted her free throw attempt putting Mercer back ahead 16-8.

West Jessamine knocked down another three-point shot at the 4:35 mark to draw back within five points. After the teams traded empty possessions junior Anna Drakeford scored on a putback layup for her first points of the night. When attacking the West Jessamine zone defense  the Lady Titans showed a great deal of patience and rhythm to their offense. At the 3:30 mark of the second period the team found a weak spot within the defense.

Mercer will take on Pikeville in the Prepspin Classic on Friday, Feb 3. Pikeville boasts a 17-4 record and appears to be one of the best teams in Kentucky.

For the rest of the story—including individual stats—check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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