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CRESTWOOD - – It may have been the statement game the South Oldham Lady Dragons have been looking to make the past two seasons.
Led by their dynamic duo in Mary Dye and Jasmine Whitfield with 23 points each SOHS handed defending regional champion Anderson County a 73-63 loss Friday with an added twist. The twist came in 11 points each from guards Lissa Gamsky and Emily Housley giving the Lady Dragons’ attack the extra oomph they have been searching for against the best of the region.
“This is a pretty amazing win for us,” Gamsky said. “Hopefully this lets everyone know we can be one of the best teams in the region too.”
The added punch was the difference for SOHS as both Gamsky and Housley came up with key baskets for the Lady Dragons helping to counter Anderson’s overall balance.
“We’ve been waiting for a little bit of a surge from our other players and we got it tonight,” SOHS coach Frank Wright said. “It’s important that we get that and they are more than capable of doing that in every game. The fact it happened with no one forcing anything just makes things easier for Jasmine and Mary.”
The Lady Dragons broke the game in the final three minutes of the third quarter after Anderson County managed to come back from a six-point deficit and tie the game. With SOHS up 44-38 the Lady Bearcats started their final rally with a three-pointer from the top of the key from Mackenize Cann. After SOHS failed to score on their possession, Anderson tied the game at 44 on a three from Corrin Robinson.
The Lady Dragons answered with a 10-0 scoring run over the next 1:40 to pull away for good.
Dye started the run with a three-pointer off the right wing. After SOHS stopped Anderson at the other end, Whitfield found Housley open on the left wing. With Cann charging her, Housley buried a clutch three-pointer for a 50-44 lead. An Anderson County turnover at the other end led to Whitfield following her own shot after she missed on a drive in the lane.
SOHS closed the run to lead 54-44 when Dye stole the inbounds pass and fed Housley for a layup. Anderson County never got closer than seven points.
“We’ve been playing with each other a long time and we know where we are going to be on the floor,” Whitfield said. “Everyone was hitting their shots tonight and it really helped to open things up for all of us.”
Anderson, who returned every starter from last year’s title team, got off to a fast start behind center Sydney Brown.
Brown, who led the Lady Bearcats with 23 points, helped her team bust out to an 11-2 lead in the game’s opening minutes.
SOHS fought its way back into the game to take a 14-2 lead by the close of the first quarter. Whitfield hit consecutive three-pointers, one from the key and one from the right corner to close the gap to 11-8. After Brown hit a free throw, Dye came back with a drive in the lane, then stripped Destiny Stewart of the ball at midcourt and hit a layup to tie the game.
SOHS took the lead when Gamsky stole a pass and fed Housley for a layup.
Gamsky stayed hot in the second period hitting a pair of 15-foot jumpers to help SOHS build an eight-point lead.
“It helped that they were so much looking at Jasmine and Mary,” Gamsky said. “When that happens, the rest of us just have to make sure we take good shots. I think tonight we proved we are a team and not just a couple of players.”
The win capped a three-game stretch for the Lady Dragons against three of the region’s top teams with the Lady Dragons beating Anderson and Owen County and losing to Walton-Verona.
“They’re all good teams and we played pretty well in each game,” Wright said. “I thought tonight stuck out a little more because we didn’t get off to the best start and the girls were able to overcome that. When Lissa and Emily play like that it makes people play us straight up and that’s good for all of us.”
Dye and Whitfield led SOHS with the 23 points while the 6-foot Dye had nine rebounds and five steals and Whitfield had eight rebounds and seven steals.
SOHS was also strong down the stretch from the free throw line hitting 12 of 14 from the line in the fourth quarter.
SOHS – 14 19 21 19 73 – Mary Dye 23, Lissa Gamsky 11, Emily Housley 11, Jasmine Whitfield 23, Maddie Wright 5, 73.
ANDERSON COUNTY – 12 15 17 19 63 – Sydney Brown 23, Mackenzie Cann 11, Eriel McKee 13, Destiny Stewart 7, Corrin Robinson 5, Danielle Watson 4, 63.
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