Lady Titans’ 2023 Basketball Season Defied All Expectations
The 2022-2023 season for the Mercer County Lady Titans basketball team was nothing short of remarkable. After a shaky start to the season, the Lady Titans locked in winning 17 of their last 20 games, including their 15th consecutive 46th district title and the first 12th region title in six years. The team showed great resilience and determination throughout the season, silencing the critics and truly earned their spot in the girls KHSAA Sweet 16 tournament.
A casual glance at the 6-10 record at the midway point of Mercer’s season would have been enough for most to dismiss any chance the Lady Titans had to cut down the nets at the end of 12th region tournament. Mercer’s path to reclaiming the top spot in the region was anything but conventional.
After falling one game short of the 12th region title in back-to-back seasons, the Lady Titans ambitions coming into this season were crystal clear, finish the job.
Senior Timberlynn Yeast was poised to take her team to the next level, ready to remove the metaphorical monkey off their backs. Before her final season she said, “I want nothing more than to win the region with this team, we are prepared to do whatever it takes.”
Yeast and her team were slated against a very talented Mercy squad to open up the season, but before their showdown with the sixth region powerhouse the Lady Titans squared off against Anderson County in a preseason scrimmage. Traditionally used as a way to build chemistry and workout the kinks before the season, scrimmages can be very beneficial to a team. However this particular scrimmage delivered the worst case scenario for the Lady Titans, as Yeast would suffer a season ending knee injury.
Losing a contributing senior is difficult. When said senior happens to be a division one talent and possibly the greatest player in the history of the school, (pause) well.. It can completely change the trajectory of a program’s season.
Head Coach Hayley Spivey would somehow need to replace 21 points and 9 rebounds per game in the absence of Yeast. Early on that task proved to be a challenge for Spivey’s squad due to a gauntlet of games on the front half of Mercer’s schedule.
“We scheduled tough games to prepare us for these types of games in the postseason,” said Spivey.