Just two days after defeating last season’s Region 6 champions Louisville-Mercy, the Mercer County Lady Titans ( 1-1) played the first game in a boy/girl doubleheader against Taylor County (2-1) on Thursday, Nov. 30 in Harrodsburg.
Taylor County’s elite level of defense was on display from the moment of tip-off. The Lady Titans struggled to move the ball up the court in the opening quarter let alone play passes underneath the basket. Last season’s Lady Titan squad didn’t win many of their games in a shootout, usually counting on their sound defense to carry them through. Mercer held its opponents to 40 points or less on 12 occasions last season, but the Lady Cardinals’ fast paced and intense full court press left the defense scattered any time Taylor was able to force a turnover, which was no less than 20 times.
Taylor County sophomore Alexis Knifley stole the show in the opening qua1ter. Anna Kate Drakeford’s pass was intercepted near the Lady Cardinal basket and dished out to Knifley who drained a three from the right shoulder. One possession later the Lady Cardinals’ passing proficiency was in full effect, finding Knifley again in on the same shoulder, who extended Taylor’s lead to 11. A simple one pass possession led to another three on the opposite shoulder from junior Riley Sprowles and the Lady Cardinals led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Taylor’s length and ability to attack the basket meant shooters were often left unaccounted for by the Lady Titans’ defense.
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