Caldwell County led visiting Livingston Central for most of the game played Saturday afternoon, outscoring the Lady Cardinals 20-6 over the last 10 1/2 minutes en route to the 59-38 Second Region win.
The Lady Tigers (1-1) trailed only once in the game when Livingston Central (1-2) took a 4-3 lead as Lauren Wring put in a layup with 5:35 left in the first quarter.
CCHS scored the next seven points on a three-pointer by junior guard-forward Parris Gray and back-to-back baskets by senior guard Jacey Jaggers.
Livingston Central fielded five high school students and five middle school students in the game, yet trimmed the Caldwell County lead to seven when eighth-grader Emersyn Ramage hit a layup, cutting the Lady Tiger lead to 39-32 with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
Caldwell County outscored the Lady Cardinals 16-4 in the final period to keep them at arm’s length.
CCHS head coach Chuck Mitchell said his team kept playing hard despite having a big lead.
“We were trying to find out what kind of a team we are and how we’re going to play,” he said. “Those three seniors that we lost last year (Jada Boyd, Lucy Goffinet and Bella McConnell) contributed a lot, and I think we made a first step today as to figuring out how to play without them.
“We were very rusty (on Jan. 4 against Union County). We had a hard week of practice. We got through all of our sets; we got through all of our halfcourt stuff and worked on getting the ball up the court. We worked on our defense a lot, so it’s going to be a work in progress.”
Mitchell said the game plan for the Lady Tigers against Livingston Central was to “work the offense through our defense.”
“Morgan McDaniels did a tremendous job; she’s really becoming a very aggressive defender and rebounder,” he said. “She was motivated (Friday) in practice, and she told me she was really going to get after it today.”
Mitchell added that Jaggers’ catch-and-shoot performance helped her score faster.
“When she didn’t get that, she drove baseline or got to the rim and finished it,” he said. “We told the players to turn the corner and get to the rim. If they got cut off, you’ve got to kick, and it really worked out well.”
Jaggers led all scorers with 20 points, making seven of 11 of her shots inside the arc. She also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, dished out three of the team’s five assists and had four steals.
Senior guard Majah Hollowell added 14 points for the Lady Tigers, also shooting 7-for-11 inside the arc. She took down three rebounds for CCHS.
Gray finished with eight points for Caldwell County to go with two rebounds, two assists and a team-high five steals.
Livingston Central was paced by Wring’s 19 points. Maggie Downey put in 10 points for the Lady Cardinals.
Caldwell County will face Lyon County in the Second Region All A Classic at Livingston Central. That game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. Thursday tipoff.
The Lady Tigers visit Christian County in a 7:30 p.m. Monday matchup, then return home to the Community Activities Building (The CAB on campus) to host Paducah Tilghman in a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday game.
LIVINGSTON CENTRAL (38) — Lauren Wring 8-14 3-7 19, Maggie Downey 5-6 0-1 10, Victoria Joiner 1-3 1-2 3, Kennedy Croft 0-4 0-1 0, Emerson Ramage 1-4 0-4 2, Erica Quertermous 0-0 0-0 0, Aubrey Leahy 1-3 0-0 2, Jody Gingerich 0-0 0-0 0, Hadley Hargrove 1-1 0-0 2, Kaleigh Valandingham 0-0 0-0 0. Total 17-35 4-15 38.
CALDWELL COUNTY (59) — Majah Hollowell 7-12 0-0 14, Morgan McDaniels 2-11 0-0 5, Jacey Jaggers 8-17 3-4 20, Karsyn Parker 1-2 0-0 2, Parris Gray 3-11 0-0 8, Maci Tyler 0-0 0-0 0, Brylee Butts 0-3 1-2 1, Katy Smiley 1-2 1-2 3, A.J. Hollowell 2-6 2-2 6, Jordan Ortt 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Aikins 0-0 0-0 0, Presley McKinney 0-1 0-0 0. Total 24-65 7-10 59.