Raiders fend off NewCath 43-35 on senior night
Thursday, February 16, 2017 3:01 PM
It took awhile for Trimble County to schedule a rematch with Newport Central Catholic but the Lady Raiders were more than ready for the Thoroughbreds when the time finally came.
Shelbe Black (Staff photo by David Hill)
Trimble County honored three seniors in their final home game Wednesday — Shelbe Black, Kaylee Clifford and Cheyenne Riddle — who have helped power the Lady Raiders to the Sweet Sixteen last year, the All “A”Classic Final Four this year and an 80-31 record so far over their four years in high school. Trimble defeated Newport Central Catholic 43-35 on to improve to 21-4 this season. The Raiders are 15-0 in the Eighth Region, 3-0 in the 29th District and 5-0 in the North Central Kentucky Conference with one game to play.
Trimble avenged a 2014 loss to Newport Central Catholic in the All “A” Classic State Finals with a 43-35 win at home in girls basketball Wednesday on Trimble’s senior night.
Even though the Lady Raiders led from start to finish, there were some bumps along the way. Newport Central Catholic trimmed its deficit to just two points (31-29) by the end of the third quarter.
However, Trimble relied on senior power in the fourth period as Kaylee Clifford, Cheyenne Riddle and Shelbe Black — the team’s three seniors who were honored before the game — contributed 10 of 12 points as the Raiders pulled away.
“It was survival down the stretch,” Trimble County coach Kerrie Stewart said. “I guess it’s a good thing when you don’t play your best and still come out with a win.”
Things started out well for Trimble when the hosts jumped out to a 15-5 advantage after an early 4-4 tie. Clifford scored nine in the first frame, including a 3-pointer, and Riddle added four points as the Raiders held an 18-7 lead at the break.
NewCath was able to trim its deficit to six (19-13) early in the second quarter before Clifford hit another trey. Black also added a 3-pointer to give Trimble a 24-13 advantage. Despite being outscored 10-8 in the period, the Raiders carried a 26-17 cushion into halftime.
Things were much better for Trimble County early in the third period when consecutive baskets by Riddle and Clifford gave the Raiders a 31-17 lead but then the Thoroughbreds began to rally.
Three straight baskets by NewCath leading scorer Kara Zimmerman (11 points) and two straight treys from Bryanna Bridewell made it a two-point game with less than a minute left in the quarter. The Raiders missed a pair of shots prior to the buzzer and led by just two, 31-29, going to the fourth.
“I didn’t like the looks of the scoreboard at that time,” Stewart said. “But I had confidence we could turn things around.”
The Thoroughbreds grabbed an offensive rebound to open the fourth quarter but couldn’t capitalize. On the other end, Black scored off an offensive rebound to make it a 33-29 game and Clifford added a pair of free throws with 4:07 left.
Meanwhile, NewCath was working hard on the offensive boards but couldn’t score and the Raiders built their lead back to 11 (41-30) on baskets by Clifford, Abby Ponder and Black.
With the outcome in hand and just over a minute to play, Trimble said farewell to its three seniors and let the bench close out the 43-35 win.
The team weathered its senior night — and an emotional week in which a fatal shooting in Bedford stunned the community and and led to a lockdown at the school on Tuesday — just like it has handled adversity throughout the season. Stewart said it’s a close-knit group and the players and staff support each other.
“We’ve coped well with everything this week in the community,” Stewart said. “We have a very strong group and help each other through a tough time.”
She said her girls always rise to the occasion both on and off the floor and come game time they take care of business.
“I’m proud of them,” Stewart said. “We made some mistakes, especially in the third quarter, but we ground it out. This was definitely different from that win Saturday over Owen County. I guess if there was anything we learned from tonight’s game is we always have to be ready to play. We’ll have to be ready Friday against Lloyd Memorial. We can’t play like we did tonight.”
Lloyd will serve as not only Trimble’s regular season finale but North Central Kentucky C onference finale. The Raiders have already locked up the league championship at 5-0 but will be trying to go a perfect 6-0 in NCKC play.
WEDNESDAY’S GIRLS GAME
at Bedford, Ky.
TRIMBLE CO. 43,
NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC 35
NEWCATH 7 10 12 6 — 35
TRIMBLE CO. 18 8 5 12 — 43
NEWCATH (11-14) — (f)Kar. Zimmerman 11, (g)Bridewell 10, (g)Pangallo 6, (g)Breen 6, Kac. Zimmerman 2, (g)Vogt 0, Eviston 0.
TRIMBLE CO. (21-4) — (g)Clifford 18, (f)Black 9, (f)Riddle 8, Ponder 7, (g)Tilley 1, (g)Duke 0, O’Connor 0, Wilcoxson 0.
3-Point Goals — Newport Central Catholic 4 (Bridewell 3, Kar. Zimmerman 1), Trimble Co. 3 (Clifford 2, Black 1). Total Fouls — Newport Central Catholic 17, Trimble Co. 13. Free Throws — Newport Central Catholic 9-13, Trimble Co. 6-18. Fouled Out — None.