By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
The Whitley County Lady Colonels didn’t have the kind of season they could boast about in 2012, but head coach Kelly Sawyers said her squad had a lot to be proud of when all was said and done.
After posting a 6-9-1 mark, Sawyers said it was the progress her team made that jumped out at her most.
“We really did some good things on the field and I feel like the girls really matured for us,” Sawyers said. “That’s most important sometimes as opposed to wins and losses.
“As a coach, you’re constantly looking for the little things that a team does to make themselves better,” she added. “Our kids improved in more ways than I would have imagined when we started this season.”
The Lady Colonels started the season with a win over Clinton County, but were never able to establish any consistency when it came to wins.
They were never able win consecutive matches and lost momentum as the season wound down, losing four in a row to Corbin, Perry County Central, North Laurel and Berea.
Whitley County picked up a win over Wayne County to close out the season, heading into the district tournament on a positive note. That didn’t help though, as the Lady Redhounds eliminated Sawyers’ squad via a 10-0 route.
Despite the loss, Sawyers said she felt like her team learned a lot from the season and the way things played out.
“I really think that some of the experiences we’ve had this year are going to go a long way in our progress as a team next season,” she said.
One of the bright spots for this year’s squad is the fact that the Lady Colonels only lose two seniors in Jessica Bray and Josalynn Freeman. While they weren’t major players as far as scoring goes, the two of them will leave a hole as far as middle defenders go.
“Our only two seniors that we lose will be tough to replace defensively and they were also very good leaders,” Sawyers said. “They did a good job of leading by example as far as effort, so we’ll have to fill those spots.”
The leading scorers for the Lady Colonels were freshman Allison Jones (16 goals) and sophomore Summer Amador (11 goals).
Jones became the first Lady Colonels player to be named to the All-Region team when she was named second team last week.
Sawyers said the fact her strongest scorers are going to be there next season makes things a little easier as far as replacing players that have graduated.
“Any time you have your corps players coming back, it gives you something to build on,” she said. “As long as you have a solid foundation to build around, things tend to fall in place.
“Hopefully we can continue to get better next season and we’re going to try and schedule some tougher competition to make us a better team,” she added. “Hopefully the girls will do some things to get better in the offseason and by the time the 2013 season comes around, we’ll be a much-improved group.”
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The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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