BY CHRIS HARDESTY
PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Despite a disappointing 78-40 loss and first-round exit to #1 ranked Louisville DuPont Manual Wednesday, it didn't supress the great accomplishments by the Lady Rocket basketball team this magical season.
After jumping out to a 15-5 lead in the first quarter, the Lady Crimsons had already seized control of the contest, putting the underdog Lady Rockets in a hole as the game progressed.
On a day when she knew her team would have to play nearly perfect and have Manual be off their game to pull the upset, Lady Rocket coach Shannon Hodge did not want to diminish what her team had accomplished during the historical season.
"It was a great group of unique kids," she said.
While only losing the battle of the boards 29-22, it was a couple of other telling statistics which led to Crittenden's defeat.
They handed out eight assists compared to 18 turnovers. Conversely, the Lady Crimsons dished out 18 assists and only coughed the ball up five times.
Manual converted several Lady Rocket turnovers into easy buckets. and shoot a hot 33-of-57 from the field. Crittenden shot 15-for-39.
After playing the last game of her Lady Rocket career, senior forward Summer Courtney (eight points, five rebounds and a steal), chose to dwell on the good things which produced a 21-9 season, a Class A Second Region crown, Fifth District Title and the program's first Second Region title.
"I think our fans have gone crazy and realized we could do anything we put our minds to," she said.
Lady Rocket senior point guard Jessi Hodge, who finished her varsity career with 1,497 points and more than 400 assists, had good things to say about the quick, athletic Manual ballclub.
"They were very quick. They didn't press us as much as I thought they would," she said.
The abundance of depth showed as well as the Lady Crimsons played 14 players with 11 of them clocking at least 9 minutes in the win while every Crittenden starter played at least 22 minutes.
"You can't take away from the things this group has accomplished," Hodge said. "I don't know of anyone who wouldn't like to be here today," she said, referring to any other team from the Second Region.
While winning by 38 points, DuPont Manual coach Stacy Pendelton still had good things to say about the Lady Rockets.
"I thought they played tough. I had watched film on them, but Hodge was better than I thought," he said.