MURRAY— The Calloway County Lady Lakers used an 18-0 run to start the game against Trigg County to claim the Kentucky 2A Section 1 Championship Sunday at Calloway, cruising to the 51-31 victory.
Lady Laker coach Valerie Waller knew if her defense came to play, that the offense would come right behind it.
She was right.
“I’ll be honest, our big thing was defense and I felt like the defense was going to be the winning point tonight and that’s what we focused upon,” Waller said. “That was the biggest reason we were successful offensively was because of our good defense in the first quarter.”
In just the second year of the tournament, the Lady Lakers are headed to the Owensboro Sportscenter Friday for their first-round game against Marion County.
“It’s a good feeling,” Waller said. “It’s all about getting better and I feel like our kids are getting better and this is just a reward for them to show that.
“I feel like our schedule has been helping them prepare for this and will continue to help us prepare for the district tournament at the end of the year.”
During the second half, with the game well in hand for Calloway County, Laker senior Charlee Settle buried two free throws to give her 2,451 points, the most in program history, passing former Calloway great Averee Fields for the second time in a few weeks.
In December, Settle broke Fields’ rebounding record.
For the future Racer, Sunday was a day to remember.
“I’m just beyond excited,” said Settle, who scored a game-high 24. “I didn’t know how close I was to the scoring so I didn’t even know I was going to get it today. When they announced it, I was just like oh my gosh. I had no clue.”
Waller said Settle and the rest of the squad still have more to prove before their careers at Calloway end.
“Take us to another step, let’s make some noise at the 2A,” Waller said. “We’ve got to get back to the regional tournament and make some noise there. I think the skies the limit. I feel like our kids are just starting to learn each other and starting to play together as young as we are. I don’t think you’ve seen our best basketball yet.”
Calloway County plays at 5 p.m. Friday the Owensboro Sportscenter in the first round of the Kentucky 2A Championship.
For the Lady Lakers, they hope their cheering section from Sunday makes the trip east.
“I thought the crowd was awesome,” Waller said. “It was a class act for the boys’ basketball team to wear their jerseys and come out and support our girls. It made a really great atmosphere for our girls to play in.”
Settle, a McLean County native, is ready to play a little closer to her hometown.
“I’m looking forward to my family being able to be there, my close friends,” she said. “Just being able to play there. I played in that Sportscenter when I was a kid so it’s kind of like a hometown feel to me. I’m just excited to be able to be there and have a chance to win a state title.”
Rylee Bush scored 11 to pace the Lady Wildcats.
Calloway County 51, Trigg County 31
TCHS (14-3) 0 8 6 17 – 31
CCHS (9-6) 12 11 14 14 -- 51
TCHS: Rylee Bush 11, Olivia Noffsinger 4, Emily Noffsinger 3, Karah Hyde 6, Adri Phillips 3, Iyanna Grubbs 3, Marleigh Reynolds 1
CCHS: Adison Hicks 7, Elle Carson 8, Sunny Clark 6, Charlee Settle 24, Skylar Waller 6