Friday, January 27, 2017

Coach Hodge: It's not over; time to forge ahead

Coach Hodge and senior players in the post-game
interview room with media at Frankfort.
Lady Rocket coach Shannon Hodge said her team struggled to make baskets early and once Harlan’s high-powered point guard starting stroking there was no room for recovery.

Harlan’s Jordan Brock, a Tennessee Tech signee, scored 31 points as the Lady Dragons beat Crittenden County 43-21 in the quarterfinals of the All A Classic Friday at Frankfort.

“When you hold a team to 43 points, even if one gets 30, you’d think you could win,” Hodge said. 

But by the same token, it's almost impossible to win when your team puts up just 21 points.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket early and couldn’t keep up on the scoreboard. Then we lost our confidence.” 

Crittenden senior Cassidy Moss, who went into the game needing 12 points to set a new Lady Rocket career scoring record, was stymied by the Harlan defense. She finished with just 3 points, a season low and the fewest points she’s scored in a game since midway through her sophomore season against University Heights.

Moss was 0-for-9 from the floor. She made one foul shot in the first half and two in the last half. 

Hodge was disappointed with the loss, but more so with the performance because she believes her girls are much better than they showed in the second round of the small-school state tournament.

Harlan coach Derrick Akal said his team's entire strategy revolved around slowing down Moss. His team aborted its more customary run-and-gun offensive style to play a slower tempo as part of its plan to put the brakes on Moss's scoring. Brock said the half court offense gave her a chance to shoot farther from the basket.

"Usually I don't get many of those types of pull up jumpers when we play teams back home," Brock said. "And that's what me and coach work on all of the time so it was nice to be able to get those."

Brock was 10-for-21 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from three-point range. Harlan shot 33 percent and Crittenden shot 16 percent. The Lady Rockets were out rebounded 40-26.

"She was hard to guard," said Moss who drew the assignment early defending Brock, a player listed by most scouting reports among the top 10 girls in Kentucky. "She was fast and it was hard to tell which was she was going."

For Crittenden County, the magic carpet ride is over and the girls will be back to reality in a hurry with some key games looming as the final stretch of the season begins next week.

“The good thing is that it’s not over,” Hodge said, pointing out that her team will head home and get some rest over the weekend before playing a critical Fifth District game Monday at Lyon County (14-4) then hosting Webster County (11-12) on Tuesday.

"After all these emotions and everything that goes with it, we're a bit exhausted," Hodge added. "Now it's time to regroup and get back to where we were before this game."

Kiana Nesbitt led the Lady Rockets with 8 points. Madison Champion and Amanda Lynch had 4 apiece.

Game Statistics

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