By Chris Parsons
BOWLING GREEN —
Not only were the Corbin Lady Redhounds unable to recover from a poor first-half effort from the floor in Wednesday’s opening round game of the 2013 KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen, but things got even worse before they fell 45-38 to Shelby Valley.
After making good on just six-of-19 shot attempts in the first half, which led to a 22-14 deficit at the break, Jennifer Parsons' squad connected on nine-of-31 field goal attempts in the second half. As a team, Corbin made just 15-of-50 shots from the floor in the loss.
While the poor shooting looked to be the main culprit in the loss, Parsons said she had to give credit to the Shelby Valley defense for its effort on the defensive end. The Wildcats forced Corbin into 18 turnovers in the game, 14 of which came in the first half, scoring 19 points off turnovers in the process.
“I felt like this was a great effort from the team and all year long we’ve been able to give 110 percent throughout the whole game,” Parsons said. “I think we struggled a lot on the offensive end, especially in the first half.
“We were careless with the ball, as well, and we had 14 turnovers in the first half and they capitalized with 14 points off of those,” she added. “Give Shelby Valley credit for their effort and they kept the momentum going their way the entire game.”
Shelby Valley jumped out to an 8-2 lead early on, but buckets by Holli Disney and Sarah Ashley trimmed the gap to two points before the Wildcats took a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Redhounds scored first in the second period on a jumper by Kayla Wilson to cut the lead to 12-11, but a 10-3 run by Shelby Valley put the Wildcats on top 22-14 at the break.
Corbin’s first-half shooting woes wasted no time showing up in the second half as the Lady Redhounds missed their first six shot attempts before senior Kristen Fothergill broke the slump with a jumper at the 4:32 mark of the third quarter.
When all was said and done in the third quarter, Shelby Valley’s lead had been trimmed to six points as the Lady Redhounds trailed 31-25 with eight minutes to play in the game.
Corbin was able to mount a run in the fourth quarter, but only after the Lady Wildcats were able to extend their lead to 38-30 with 4:24 to play in the game.
Consecutive baskets by Melanie Wilson, Kayla Wilson and Sarah Ashley cut the lead to 39-36 before a pair of free throws by Kayla Wilson trimmed the gap to one point at 38-39 with just under two minutes to play in the game.
The two teams traded turnovers on each of their next two possessions and Corbin failed to take advantage of a chance to take the lead late, forcing them to send the Lady Wildcats to the free-throw line as time wound down. Shelby Valley took advantage at the charity strip, connecting on six-of-seven in the game’s final minute to seal the 45-38 win.
While she was disappointed in her team’s loss, Parsons admitted that in the grand scheme of things, her team wasn’t the only squad that would leave E.A. Diddle Arena unhappy by week’s end.
“There’s one team that is going to be happy at the end of this week and the rest are going to leave disappointed,” Parsons said. “Just like all season, I was pleased with our effort, but of course I wish the outcome had been different.
“Our kids are going to be sad and I know their hearts are broken right now, but the experience is going to mean a lot to our young kids,” she added. “Hopefully we can build on this as a program and get back here and prove that we belong with teams that are here.”
2013 KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen
Shelby Valley 45, Corbin 38
Shelby Valley 12 10 9 14—45
Corbin 9 5 11 13—38
Shelby Valley (45) – Mullins 15, Fraley 15, R. Smith 7, Rowe 4, Honaker 2, Wright 2.
Corbin (38) – Ashley 10, K. Wilson 8, Miranda Wilson 6, Fothergill 4, Disney 4, Melanie Wilson 2, Ashurst 2, Jewell 2.