Posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 1:03 pm | Updated: 1:08 pm, Mon Jan 11, 2016.
By AARON KENNEDY firstname.lastname@example.org
ROSSVILLE – Cold shooting by the Hornets kept the game close at first Saturday, but steady defense allowed the Rossville girls’ basketball team to pull away for the 42-18 win over the visiting Covington Trojans.
Leading 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets clamped down even tighter on Covington, holding the Trojans to just six points over the next 16 minutes.
Rossville made just 27.5 percent of their shots from the field in the win but the Hornets’ defense limited Covington to an abysmal 17 percent.
“It has been an emphasis to get off to a better start,” Rossville head coach Chad Geheb said. “We are thinking about going up to play a quarter in the auxiliary gym before the game just to get all that stuff out. It might help us out to get off to a better start. Honestly, if you watch this game you may not believe it, but we executed very well up until the finish. We just didn’t shoot the ball very well. We shot 27 percent from the field. It’s not where we want to be, but our defense was still good.”
Geheb was a little surprised of the slow start after what he has seen out of his Hornets in practice and how they played versus Pioneer on Jan. 5.
“We had three great days of practice and a really good second half against Pioneer (Tuesday),” he said. “We thought coming in today we would continue that. Shots didn’t fall. And, when shots don’t fall, it makes things a little slower. We executed very well. We just didn’t get the ball to drop. Overall, I am proud of our performance. We are finding ways to win. To win today by 22 is a good thing for our girls.”
Rossville was able to separate from Covington thanks to a pair of 3-pointers knocked down by junior guard Mallory Roberts in the second quarter.
Roberts led a balanced Hornets scoring attack with 10 points.
“Early on with Mallory, we saw a good shooter who lacked a lot of confidence. We have worked on her shot but mostly on her confidence,” Geheb said. “We have started to see it a lot in the last three weeks and finally, against Pioneer, she had a great breakout game. She had 16 points for us and was 4-of-9 from the 3-opoint line. Today, she hit a couple of really big 3-pointers for us to expand the lead and put us in a comfortable spot. She is playing with a lot of confidence right now. If we can just get a few others on board and built that bench up a little bit, we could really head into the last part of our season on the right track.”
The inside-outside combination of junior forward Keely Criswell and sophomore point guard Maggie Deboy scored nine points apiece. Deboy added six assists and three steals, while Criswell had nine rebounds and two steals. Sophomore forward Julia Malson chipped in with seven points and 12 rebounds, and senior defensive stopper Taylor Zink finished with six points and five steals.
“Girls are starting to expand their games,” Geheb said. “Mallory has been working hard on her shots. We have seen Keely work on her game and expand it in practice. Maggie is the same way. Her game is expanding. The girls are working hard, and they are improving. It is just a matter of putting it all together at the right time. Hopefully that happens here soon.”
The Hornets are back at it today, when they host a 7:30 p.m. game against county rival Frankfort.
HORNETS 42, TROJANS 18
Totals – 8 1-9 18.
Criswell 4 1-2 9, Malson 3 1-2 7, Zink 2 2-2 6, Roberts 4 0-0 10, Deboy 3 3-5 9, McKee 0 0-2 0, Miller 0 1-2 1. Totals – 16 8-15 42.
Covington 7 4 2 5 – 18
Rossville 10 14 11 7 – 42
3-Point Goals – Covington 1, Rossville 2 (Roberts 2). Fouled out – none. Total fouls – Covington 12, Rossville 11.