Girls Basketball: Trimble County defeats North Oldham in district semi-finals

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By Sam Draut

 Execution of a game plan isn’t always the easiest, especially when facing one of the Eighth Region’s best teams. North Oldham’s season came to an end on Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the District 29 tournament with a 50-28 loss to Trimble County.

The Lady Mustangs (13-15) played a triangle-and-two defense as part of coach Dan Pfaff’s strategy to limit Trimble County’s dominant pair of seniors. The Lady Raiders, led by one of best players in the Eighth Region, Kaylee Clifford, who averages 19 points and nine rebounds, and forward Shelbe Black combined to score half of Trimble County’s points. Clifford finished with a game-high 17 points.

Trimble County (23-4) used crisp passing while in their motion offense, finding open layups on back door cuts and screens taking advantage of several North Oldham turnovers.

"We didn't execute the way we wanted to, but they [Trimble County] are a really good team," Pfaff said. "They do a whole lot of things right."

After trailing 29-8 at halftime, North Oldham struggled in their opening possessions of the third quarter, forcing Pfaff to call a full timeout. The Lady Mustangs scored 10 points in the final four minutes of the third quarter, but the Lady Raiders pulled away.

Junior AT Proctor finished with 14 points to lead the Mustangs in scoring while Caitlyn Chen added 10 points.

In early February, North Oldham hosted Trimble County and dictated the pace of play in the first half. Though the Lady Mustangs eventually fell 47-26, Pfaff thought the game provided a chance to see what would work against Trimble County, who is undefeated in Eighth Region play. 

"We weren't really looking to increase the pace as much as we did, but I think nerves created a little bit of an accelerated pace," Pfaff said. 

The Lady Mustangs were once again without starting point guard Sophie Hale. The freshman injured her knee in the first meeting against Trimble County three weeks ago.

With one of the youngest rosters in the region, the Lady Mustangs’ team is comprised of five freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors and one senior, North Oldham will return nearly the entirety of its roster next year, which includes its top six scorers and top five rebounders.

"To get contributions from so many young players throughout the season, that bodes well for the future," Pfaff said. "We maximized who we are, I don't think we played the best that we could play, but we did what we could do in the moment."

Trimble County will play the winner of South Oldham and Oldham County on Friday night for the District 29 title. The Lady Raiders have won back-to-back district titles. 

This story will be updated.