OPENER: Trimble County’s Jessie Dunlap (above, 41) fights through the defense of Gallatin County’s Autumn Bowen (30) during Monday’s season opener in Bedford. Dunlap scored 12 points for the Raiders before fouling out. Chloe Griffith (below) grabs for the ball between two Gallatin players. Griffith also scored 12 points for Trimble but Gallatin County won 65-58. (Staff photos by David Hill)
OPENER: Trimble County’s Jessie Dunlap (above, 41) fights through the defense of Gallatin County’s Autumn Bowen (30) during Monday’s season opener in Bedford. Dunlap scored 12 points for the Raiders before fouling out. Chloe Griffith (below) grabs for the ball between two Gallatin players. Griffith also scored 12 points for Trimble but Gallatin County won 65-58. (Staff photos by David Hill)
Trimble County came back from a double-digit deficit in the first half to trail by only a bucket, but it wasn't enough in a 65-58 loss to Gallatin County in the girls basketball season opener for both teams on Monday in Bedford.

"We passed up on some shots we should have taken in the first half," said Kerrie Stewart, beginning her 12th season as Trimble County head coach. "We put forth an excellent second half effort. Our effort was everything it needed to be."

Gallatin County got off to an 8-0 start before Paige Black broke the scoring ice for the Raiders and the Wildcats, not playing one of their better games according to head coach Holly Roberts Howell, owned a 12-4 lead after one quarter.

"This was obviously an off night for us, as we made just one of 21 shots from 3-point range," Howell said. "Give Trimble County credit. They found some weaknesses and took advantage."

The Wildcats increased their lead to as much as 15 (32-17) late in the second quarter on a basket by Scout Odom before Trimble went on a 5-1 run to close out the half and trail 33-22.

As the third quarter progressed, Trimble County got some key baskets by Paige Black and Jessie Dunlap to begin chipping away at the Wildcats' lead. A putback by Chloe Griffith made it a 37-34 game and forced Howell to call a timeout.

Gallatin County upped its defensive pressure and built its lead back to seven in the final minute of the third period and Hannah Dossett converted a three-point play at the start of the fourth quarter to give Gallatin a 50-43 lead beforr Chloe Dunavent hit to put the Wildcats up by nine.

The Raiders didn't give up; however, and consecutive baskets by Dunlap and Shelbe Black and apair of buckets by Griffith - along with some stellar defense - pulled Trimble back to within two at 53-51 with three minutes remaining.

The game remained very close as late as the final 1:38 and Griffith had a chance to convert a three-point play that would have made it a one-point contest but her free throw missed.

Gallatin County had no such struggles at the foul line, making 22-of-27 attempts on the night including a win sealing 10-of-11 in the fourth quarter where the Wildcats hit six freebies in the final 1:15 claim the win.

"We were able to out-play them in some areas during the game, but their free-throw accuracy killed us," Stewart noted.

The Wildcats combined great free throw shooting with clutch defense over the final minute key to slam the door on the Raiders, including an intercepted pass by Odom in the final minute that led to a pair of free throws at the other end and a six-point Gallatin cushion.

Brooke Dawson had the hot hand for the Wildcats with 24 points - 17 of those in the second half - while Hannah Dossett added 13 with eight of those in the first half.

Griffith and Dunlap shared top honors for the Raiders with 12 points each while Paige Black and Erin Gonterman added nine points each.

Trimble returns to action on Friday when the Raiders visit rival Carroll County.

---

Monday's Trimble Girls Box

at Bedford, Ky.

GALLATIN CO. 65, TRIMBLE CO. 58



GALLATIN CO. 12 21 14 18 - 65

TRIMBLE CO. 4 18 19 12 - 58



GALLATIN CO. (1-0, 1-0 NCKC) - (g)B. Dossett 24, (g)H. Dossett 13, (f)Odom 9, (g)Hignite 9, (g)Bowen 4, Sullivan 4, Dunavent 2, Wesley 0, Beatty 0.

TRIMBLE CO. (0-1, 0-1 NCKC) - (f)Griffith 12, (g)Dunlap 12, (f)Gonterman 9, (g)P. Black 9, Clifford 5, S. Black 5, (f)Ball 4, Consley 2, Brierly 0.



3-Point Goals - Gallatin Co. 1 (B. Dossett 1), Trimble Co. 2 (Gonterman 1, Clifford 1). Total Fouls - Gallatin Co. 19, Trimble Co. 18. Free Throws - Gallatin Co. 22-27, Trimble Co. 10-18. Fouled Out - Gallatin Co.: Odom. Trimble Co.: Dunlap. Next Game - Gallatin Co. visits North Oldham Wednesday. Trimble Co. visits Carroll Co. Friday.