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BUCKNER – Oldham County’s first two district tilts were drama-filled wins against Trimble County and South Oldham, putting OC on the cusp of a regular season district title.
The Lady Colonels avoided drama in clinching said title Wednesday night.
OC forced a running clock against cross-town foe North Oldham, beating the visiting Lady Mustangs 73-38. The win clinches a perfect regular season district record for OC (7-7, 3-0 District 29).
The Lady Colonels will be the No. 1 seed in February’s district tournament, likely drawing them a rematch with North (5-8, 0-2).
“That’s one of our goals coming into the season,” OC coach Jace Bryant said. “We want to win the regular season championship and we did that tonight. Now we get to go to the tournament being the No. 1 seed.”
The Lady Colonels road to that No. 1 seed was tough. Dec. 13 they overcame a 36-15 halftime deficit to come back and beat Trimble 57-56. Then, Jan. 10, senior guard Ashley McMurtrey scored the game’s last seven points to clinch a 53-47 win over perennial district heavyweight South Oldham.
Wednesday OC had no difficulties in beating North. The Lady Colonels held a 36-25 halftime lead and then out-paced the Lady Mustangs 37-13 in the second half.
McMurtrey led the Lady Colonels with 22 points. She also dished out four assists, feeding the ball in the post to forwards Jenna Kirk and Abigail Stewart.
“I think that makes us a better team when Ashley can drive, pull the defenders out and pass it down to our post players,” Bryant said. “She did that a few times and that’s good. When Ashley’s a threat to get assists along with her scoring, it makes our team better and it makes her a better player.”
Kirk and Stewart missed most of the second quarter because of foul trouble, a quarter where North and OC each scored 17 points.
But when the Lady Colonels’ dual six-footers were in the game, the Lady Mustangs had no answer. Kirk scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. Stewart tallied eight points and eight rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.
Also pleasing to Bryant was that his forwards and the rest of the team did a better job of making close shots after missing 16 “point-blank” attempts during a loss to Walton-Verona Tuesday.
“After the first quarter I think we did a good job of slowing down, making power shots with contact, getting some 3-point plays,” Bryant said. “…They worked good passing the ball from high-low to the low post. We did a good job of feeding the post from our wing and from high-post. I was really pleased with that.”
OC also got another good performance from junior Jayla Davis. She scored 14 points, pulled down eight rebounds and collected three steals.
“She had five offensive rebounds,” Bryant said. “Those are five possessions where we get to shoot the ball again just because Jayla’s giving effort. She was all over the floor tonight. It was fun to watch her play.”
Davis was the Lady Colonels’ main source of offense while Kirk, McMurtrey and Stewart were on the bench in the second quarter.
“In order to help my team out I had to take action, take control and just get this win,” Davis said.
Rachel Williams scored a team-high 13 points for North. Cat Fiorito added 11. Senior Katie Tucker, who’d missed much of the month with a foot injury, started for the Lady Mustangs Wednesday but did not score.
North hosts Whitefield Academy at 7:30 Friday night while OC hosts Shelby County at 6 p.m. Friday as part of a girls-boys doubleheader. Both games of the doubleheader will be broadcast live at pegasussportsky.com.
Shelby features four six-footers and will present a challenge to the Lady Colonels, Bryant said.
"We’re just going to have to do a really good job of blocking out,” Bryant said. “We’re going to have to do a really good job of pressuring the ball, trying to get steals, trying to get in the open floor. It’s going to be a challenge for us. I’m looking forward to it.
North Oldham – 8, 17, 11, 2 – 38
Oldham County – 19, 17, 24, 13 – 73
North Oldham – Williams 13, Fiorito 11, Olsson 6, Hare 4, Mollak 2, Proctor 2
Oldham County – McMurtrey 22, Kirk 18, Davis 14, Stewart 8, Nuernberger 5, Wernert 4, Patrick 2