Over the last several year, the Metcalfe County Lady Hornets have been regular participants in the Region 4 Girls Basketball Tournament. The Metcalfe County faithful even joke about how tournament organizers should just go ahead and put the Lady Hornets in the bracket before the season begins.
And though Metcalfe County will be entering next week’s District 16 tournament as the No. 4 seed, head coach Pete DiStefano believes his team has a good chance to make it back to this year’s regional contest.
“If you look at our record, wins and losses, you would think we’re not very good. I don’t believe that,” said DiStefano. “We’ve been in every district balsamer and we’ve led in the fourth quarter of four out of the six games. There is not eight points difference between any of us.
“And if we go down there and control tempo, stop who we need to stop, I think we can win the district because there is no team that stands above the rest.”
The Lady Hornets (8-17) will open the tournament Monday night at Clinton County High School against the No. 1 seed Russell County (13-12). Metcalfe County lost both matchups with the Lady Lakers during the regular season by a total of 23 points.
“Russell County is pretty tough on us, we have a hard time getting over the hump with them. We led in the fourth quarter in both games with Russell County, so we need to correct some things, maybe not shoot as many 3s because they like to give us the 3, and we like to take it,” DiStefano explained. “The (Madison) Loy kid, we haven’t been able to stop since she was in the sixth grade. She just scores whenever she wants to against us. She’s very athletic, can shoot the 3, but she can take you to the basket.
“ Then, they have the (Kaitlyn) Coffey kid who seems to give us problems in transition. We can’t seem to stop her. And to be honest, the two times we played them we basically stopped ourselves. We jumped out on them 11-2 and then we started to turn the ball over. And then with 4:00 to go, we’re up 41-40 and we started turning the ball over again. The second game, we were ahead in the first quarter and it stays a four or five-point game. Right before the half it is tied with 30 seconds to go, three turnovers and three baskets.”
Russell County comes into Monday’s contest winning six of its last eight games. The Lady Hornets go into the tourney with back-to-back wins.
“Hopefully we will pay with poise. We have kids that have played in the district before and they have some kids that haven’t because they lost some kids. Hopefully, that will play in our favor.,” DiStefano said. “And since they’ve beat us twice this year and we haven’t beaten them since probably 1962, they are probably thinking they can beat us, and I would too. But I like my team.
“It is going to take a total team effort. When Jordan (Samuels) tries to do too much, she suffers and we suffer a little bit. We have to get play out of five or six kids. People think we are a two-girl team with Jordan and MacKenzie (Coleman) and we’re not. If we can play a well-rounded game and get some points from people we haven’t gotten points from before, then I think we will be OK. They’re going to leave us open. So hopefully we’re ready to knock some shots down. If we can get 15 or 16 points from players other than Jordan and Mackenzie, I think we beat them.”