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Sat, Jul 22, 2017 03:46 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-04-02 sports
Lady Cats' run ends in state quarter finals
BOWLING GREEN The ride which was the 2002-03 basketball season came to a screeching end for the Betsy Layne Lady Cats Friday as they were ousted in the second round of the 2003 Houchens Industries/"Sweet 16" State Tournament in Bowling Green.




The Clinton County Lady Bulldogs defeated Betsy Layne 66-36.

The Lady Cats ran into a Clinton County buzz-saw-operated by twins Amber and Paige Guffey.

The dynamic duo combined for 31 points on 11-for-23 shooting from the field and eight for 12 from the free-throw line. The pair dished out eight assists, pulled down seven rebounds and accounted for four steals.

Betsy Layne played the Lady Bulldogs to a one-point advantage through the first 14 minutes of the game, but Clinton County ended the first half on a 7-0 run to take a six-point lead into the locker room, 23-17.

The second half was dominated by the Lady Bulldogs. Clinton County outscored Betsy Layne by 10 in the third period, 16-6, and by 14 in the final frame, 27-13, to post the 30-point win.

Betsy Layne cut the deficit to one with less than a minute remaining in the first half when Whitney Lykens (18 points, seven rebounds) connected on a three-point attempt from the left corner. But the points were wiped off as the Lady Cats were called for an illegal screen.

Betsy Layne coach Cassandra Akers pointed to this play as the one that changed the momentum in the game.

"It was kind of tough to swallow," Akers said. "After that, I thought we kind of got lackadaisical with the basketball and they were able to get their hands in there and swipe a couple of steals. That was the decisive moment, I think."

Akers credited the Clinton County second-half defense as the deciding factor in the game, but placed a lot of the blame on her squad's inability to knock down open shots in the first half.

"We were getting a lot of good looks at the basket," Akers said. "We just were not able to hit their defense was great, especially in the second half."

The Lady Cats managed only 25 percent shooting in the first half, hitting six of 24 attempts. That percentage dropped even further when Betsy Layne stepped beyond the arc. Akers' squad was one of six from three-point range for 16.7 percent.

"I was kind of concerned that we had taken six (three's ) at half time," Akers said. "Because I feel like we don't do very well when we rely on the three a lot. But they were open."

Clinton did not set the nets on fire in the first half, either, hitting 35 percent from the floor (7-20) and two of six from three-point range (33 percent).

But in the second half, Clinton County found the range, making 58 percent of its attempts on 18-of-31 shooting. Betsy Layne dipped to 17 percent shooting in the second half (4-23) and finished the contest with a 21-percent clip (10-47).

The lone bright spot for the Lady Cats came at the free-throw line. Betsy Layne converted 14 of 16 attempts (87.5 percent), hitting 10 of 12 shots in the second half.

Akers said that she was pleased with her team's performance in the state tournament and that Clinton County was as good as advertised. But she was still a little surprised at the final score.

"They are the complete package the real deal," Akers said. "We knew that they had five people that could score, three guards that can shoot the three but I never thought that I would be sitting here talking about a 30-point loss."

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