Jump to content

Oldham County 65 North Oldham 64 (29th District SF)

Recommended Posts

TREMENDOUS game in Buckner.

This is the kind of district game that makes District Tournaments exciting; the kind of game that is talked about.   

The kind of game that keeps you riveted for the full 32 minutes.

North Oldham and Oldham County both came into this game with losing records, but that hardly diminished the intensity level.  Oldham came in as the #3 seed in the three-team 29th district, with a 9-11 record.   Ravaged by COVID during the season (7 games cancelled), the Lady Colonels had improved dramatically as the season went along, but they also came into this elimination semi-final game without two key subs, out with injuries.

North Oldham, the #2 seed, had beaten Oldham County, 65-44, back in the first week of the season.    The Lady Mustangs had embraced a very challenging schedule this year, and came into the game with a record of 7-12.    The Lady Mustangs, who were 2-20 all-time against Oldham County, still came into the game as the definite favorite - and looked forward to possibly earning their first-ever trip to the 8th Region tournament in the history of the school.   Coincidentally, the 8th Region girls tournament this year will be held at North Oldham.   An omen?

In a bizarre twist in the first half, both teams excelled at the very things they've struggled with all season.   North - a 25% three point team - shot "lights out" from beyond the arc in the first half against a stubborn Oldham County half-court zone.   Alaina Leber hit three threes for North and Kelsey Lubker two as the Lady Mustangs did not make a single two-point field goal throughout the entire first quarter.  North led, 18-13, after one quarter.

Though Oldham closed the gap in the second quarter, North went into the halftime locker room on top, 36-32.   The Lady Mustangs were a tremendous 7 of 16 beyond the arc and hit 3 of their 5 twos.    But trouble was brewing in the North camp; star 6'0" junior Riley Neal (averages:  22 ppg / 9 rebounds) was on the bench with two fouls, and had just 7 points and 2 boards.   Sophomore Katelyn Vize, a tremendous rebounder, was also relegated to a lot of bench time with two fouls.

Oldham County also had foul concerns; senior point guard Sidney Cheatham had three fouls, and coach Chris Nethery - lacking a qualified backup point guard - gambled and left her on the court.    Oldham didn't shoot well (28.1%), but the Lady Colonels got off 32 shots in the first half, making 9    Beyond the arc, Oldham was a dismal 1 of 8, but the Lady Colonels - a 55% free throw shooting team on the season - were a sizzling 13 of 17 for 77% at the stripe, and that was what kept Oldham in striking distance.

But the story of the game was being told in three critical areas:

- defense.   Oldham County's zone was effectively turning North's star inside player, Riley Neal, into a perimeter player.    When Neal went inside, the OC zone denied her the ball.  Nearly all of Neal's production was coming from the perimeter, which was also keeping her off the glass.

- rebounds.   Oldham was dominating the glass.   The Lady Colonels as a team - and Reagan Cheatham in particular - were controlling the glass on both ends of the court, attacking the backboard with ferocity.    The Lady Colonels finished the game - unofficially - with 29 rebounds, with Cheatham leading the way with 9.

- Turnovers.    North Oldham simply could not handle the ball tonight.   Coming in, turnovers was a key we identified for Oldham County as the Lady Colonels have struggled with turnovers at times this year.   But it was the Lady Mustangs who couldn't hang onto the ball; North finished with (unofficially) 26 turnovers, compared to 15 turnovers for Oldham.

Oldham won the third quarter, 17-13, and actually had a 49-46 lead late in the period.    But Alaina Leber hit her fourth three of the night off the right wing just before the buzzer, and the two teams headed to the fourth, tied at 49.

Amazingly, the players in foul trouble stayed on the court the entire game.   Sidney Cheatham never did pick up that fourth foul, and Riley Neal and Katelyn Vize for North were both on the court at the end as well.

Oldham started the fourth quarter cold as ice, and North eased ahead, 60-55, with 2:10 to play in the contest.   With the ball and a five point lead, North coughed it up out front when Oldham sophomore Audrey Roberts came up with the steal, drove the length of the court, and hit a tough layup while being fouled by Kylie Vize of North Oldham.    Roberts missed the free throw, but the ball ricocheted hard off the iron, over the heads of everyone except Roberts, who was standing alone at the free throw line.   Roberts took two steps to the right of the lane, drawing the defense, and kicked the ball out to Kaylee Batts on the right wing, who drained a three pointer that tied the game at 60 and totally changed the momentum.

After the two teams traded turnovers, North seemed to get back in control, following a foul by Oldham County.   Katelyn Vize hit the first of two free throws to give the lead back to North at 61-60, but missed the second.   The ball was knocked out of bounds by Oldham County, and on the ensuing out of bounds play, North's Kelsey Lubker hit a three from the right corner and suddenly it was 64-60 with barely a minute to play.

But Oldham struck back quickly, as Batts hit her third three of the period off the left wing with 55 seconds left to pull OC to within one at 64-63.   

North almost immediately gave the ball back, losing the ball out of bounds in the corner - the Lady Mustangs' 8th turnover of the fourth quarter.   

Oldham worked the ball into the front court, but the Lady Colonels' offense looked listless, and the ball was slapped out of bounds with 19 seconds to play.   Oldham's inbounds pass was off-target, and North freshman Gracie Sipes stole it and steamed up court for what appeared to be an easy layup.    But Sipes missed the layup, and with North's Riley Neal in seeming perfect position to rebound the ball and put it in, Oldham's Audrey Roberts slammed the ball out of bounds, preventing the easy bucket, with 14 seconds to play.

North just had to inbounds the ball, and then hit their free throws to salt away the win.

But the inbounds play didn't work out for the Lady Mustangs.   The pass came in bounds to Riley Neal on the end line, but Neal - pressured tight on the end line by Sidney Cheatham - was falling out of bounds, and tried to pivot and pass the ball back in bounds.   When she did, she threw it right into the hands of Oldham freshman Adrianna Palazzolo, who took off for the other end of the court and was fouled with 7.9 seconds to play as she attempted a contested layup.

The Lady Mustangs' ninth turnover of the fourth quarter proved to be one too many.

Palazzolo, who was just 2 of 7 at the stripe at the time, banked in the first shot to tie the game at 64, then swished the second to give Oldham the lead.

The Lady Colonels faked a full court press on the ensuing inbounds play, and instead dropped back into a half-court defense.  North brought the ball up on the dribble, which may have cost them (in terms of time), and got it into the hands of Neal just beyond the arc.    But Oldham confronted her with two defenders, preventing her from putting down a dribble, and Neal was forced to put up an off-balance three that missed  as the final horn sounded.

FINAL:  Oldham County 65, North Oldham 64  

Oldham County improves to 10-11 on the season, and moves on to face top-seed South Oldham in the district final on Saturday at 7 pm.   The game will be broadcast (free live video) beginning with a one hour pregame show at 6 pm on www.pegasussportsky.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using the site you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use Policies.