The Magoffin County Lady Hornets entered the week looking to improve on an already sterling record of 16-4.
All four of the Lady Hornets losses have come away from the friendly confines of home. One of the preseason goals the young ladies had set for themselves was going undefeated at home. Do to weather related issues, the young ladies had been limited to 5 home games but had a big week ahead with three home contests on the schedule.
The headliner matchup was certainly last Friday’s rematch with the Sheldon Clark Lady Cardinals. The Lady Cardinals entered the contest undefeated in district play at 6-0. As a matter of fact, Sheldon Clark had not suffered a district loss since the 2008-2009 season as they went undefeated in district play in 2009-2010. Magoffin certainly hoped to improve upon their results from the first contest where they took a good ‘ol fashioned butt whipping in route to a 36-66 blowout at the hands of the Lady Cardinals. The first contest left fans and critics alike questioning the heart and toughness of the Lady Hornets with many going so far as to proclaim the young ladies of being incapable of competing against top-flight teams.
Gosh, do those people look foolish now? In a stunning reversal of fortunes, the Lady Hornets dominated the game from tipoff to the conclusion. Playing stifling defense, controlling the glass, and generally out-competing the Lady Cardinals in all facets of the game, the Lady Hornets cruised to a resounding 15-point spanking of the Lady Cardinals and sent a clear message to the 15th region that they are the real deal.
Jamie Castle led the charge scoring 23 points and dishing out numerous assists. Nichole Fletcher had a very strong game scoring 12, collecting 9 rebounds, and blocking 4 shots. Madison Reed garnered a double/double scoring 11 while grabbing 12 rebounds. Morgan Connelley just missed a double/double scoring 9 while racking up a team high 13 rebounds. Morgan Arnett contributed 5 points and 4 rebounds.
Next on the schedule was Allen Central. Just one week ago the Lady Hornets had defeated the Lady Rebels in a shootout 91-79. While the offensive explosion was certainly a welcome sight, the seeming defensive ineptitude was somewhat worrisome. The Lady Hornets made it clear early that the Lady Rebels were not going to face the same porous defense in this encounter. The Lady Rebels were only able to score a feeble 7 points in the first quarter and 9 in the second. On the other hand, the Lady Hornets had the offense in high gear and blistered the Lady Rebels to the tune of 54 first half points, scoring 24 in the first quarter and 30 in the second. After the half-time intermission, Magoffin put it on cruise control and coasted to an 82-48 shellacking of the Lady Rebels while going deep into the bench and resting the starters. Magoffin was once again led in scoring by standout point guard Jamie Castle with 21. Nichole Fletcher recorded her second consecutive outstanding effort, scoring 14 while going 6-6 from the charity stripe. Seventh grade sensation Jazzy Howard also had a strong showing, finishing the contest with 13. Morgan Connelley contributed a solid 9 points in three quarters work. Morgan Arnett and Madison Reed both finished the contest with 8 points in limited action. Kelsey Bentley added 5 points in reserve duty. Linzi Watson and Cydney Bailey both finished with a field goal.
Next the Lady Hornets took on the Lady Blackcats of Prestonsburg. The final home game of the season, the contest also served as senior appreciation night. The Lady Hornets, being a young team, have only one senior to honor: Misti Minix. Minix, as many may recall, was injured in December and lost for the season. It was a devastating blow for the young Lady Hornets as Minix was not only a talented player but also a respected and loved teammate. It has taken much of the season for the Lady Hornets to regroup but they seem to be on the right path. However, the loss of Misti continues to be felt.
As for the game itself, in a seeming replay of the Allen Central game, the Lady Hornets exploded for 50 first half points while allowing a trivial 20 points to their opponents. Also similar to the Allen Central game, the Lady Hornets played most of the second half on cruise control. Given the decided inequity of the game, the Lady Hornets chose to use the contest as a practice session while working on new half court and full court trapping defenses. The final result was predictable from the onset with the Lady Hornets crushing the Lady Blackcats 72-45. Magoffin was led in scoring by Jamie Castle and Madison Reed with 17 points each. Morgan Arnett had a strong game going 7-9 from the field and finishing the contest with 16. Morgan Connelley and Jazzy Howard both contributed 8 points. Nichole Fletcher added 3, and Kelsey Bentley 1.
The Lady Hornets conclude the regular season Friday at Belfry. At present their record stands at 19-4; one win away from another team goal of a 20 win season.