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GIRLS' 19th DISTRICT TOURNAMENT: Third time charm for Tigers

February 22, 2013
Bardstown High School

Top Generals, 42-31

By Dennis George

SPRINGFIELD — Bardstown’s held Thomas Nelson scoreless for an 11-minute stretch in the second and third period and defeated the Generals 42-31 in the play-in game in the 19th District Tournament at Washington County.

<div class="source">Peter W. Zubaty</div><div class="image-desc">Bardstown's Karis Rogers grabs a rebound against Thomas Nelson Monday.</div><div class="buy-pic"></div>
Peter W. Zubaty
Bardstown's Karis Rogers grabs a rebound against Thomas Nelson Monday.
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Bardstown (6-24) will face top-seeded Nelson County (24-5) in the front end of Thursday’s girls’ doubleheader at 6 p.m., followed by No. 3 seed Bethlehem (7-15) against host Washington County (15-12) at 7:30 p.m.

Bardstown coach Jamie Neal said she was concerned with the Generals’ inside game after a pair of double-digit losses to Thomas Nelson in the regular season, and made changes coming into the district tilt.

“We wanted to pack in our zone and make them shoot from the outside,” she said.  “In the first games, they were able to get the ball inside. We knew that we had to take away their fast break and force them to beat us from the perimeter.”

Early on, the teams were even, tied at 12 apiece after the first quarter, but the Tigers were able to build a small lead to start the second quarter.

A bucket by Kaylee Dickson pulled Thomas Nelson to within 17-16 with more than five minutes left in the second period. 

That’s when the drought began.

BreAsia Spalding and Kasia Stone took over for the Tigers. Spalding scored four consecutive points and then Stone chipped in with a field goal to help the winners to a 23-16 lead at the break, but Bardstown was unable to totally pull away initially.

The teams combined to miss their first 10 shots of the third quarter before Stone broke the ice midway through the frame to push the Tiger lead to nine before Spalding drained a pair of charity tosses and a three-pointer to extend the lead to 15, their largest of the game, at 31-16.

Lisa Jo Wygal scored with about two minutes left in the period to get the Generals back in the scoring column, but Thomas Nelson got no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Thomas Nelson coach Dwayne Hogan said the inability to score in their half-court offense has been a season long problem for his young team.

“We really struggled all year in the half court,” he said.  “We are inexperienced and it shows.”

He was quick to give credit to Bardstown coach Jamie Neal for her game plan.

“They played us man-to-man in our first two games (Thomas Nelson won those games 55-42 and 50-35), but they played us zone tonight and we couldn’t handle it.”

Thomas Nelson managed only eight field goals in their 34 attempts, including two of 19 behind the arc. Despite the loss, Hogan, in his first year as a head coach at a first-year school with no seniors on his squad, took some positives away from the contest.

“During the first half of the season, we weren’t very competitive,” he noted. “But we got better as the season went on. We started out with no seniors and some juniors who hadn’t played much at the varsity level. They all got better.

“Lisa Jo Wygal is a freshman who played center in middle school and we moved her to point guard a few weeks ago and she is really improving. “

Wygal scored 11 points in the district game to pace her team.  Thomas Nelson finished its inaugural season with a 4-23 mark

Neal was very excited about her team’s play in halting a five-game skid.

“I was very pleased with the effort that every girl gave tonight,” she said. “I thought (senior point guard) Karis Rogers played one of her best games of the season. She handled the ball well. She stayed very composed and just played an awesome game.”

Stone scored a game-high 14 points while Spalding added 11.

Neal knows her team will have its work cut out against Nelson County. The Cardinals won the two regular season games by big margins (65-18 and 64-23).

“We have to come out and be able to limit their fast breaks,” she said. “We aren’t a great offensive team so we’ll have to play good defense. Our goal will be to try to take Cierra Drake away from the basket and limit what their guards can do.”

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