The Barren County Trojanettes have lost three of their last four games and have closed out the regular season with a 7-16 overall record. Head coach John Butler is not excited about his team’s record, but he will tell you he’s pretty happy with what he’s seeing on the court.
Basketball coaches want their teams to be competitive and over the past couple of weeks, Butler is seeing his players improve on both ends of the court. While the Trojanettes were getting blown out of games early in the season, Barren County is now taking teams like Russell County and Clinton County to the wire.
And that competitiveness is coming at the right time as the Trojanettes prepare to open the District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament with Allen County-Scottsville Monday night at Glasgow High School. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
“We’re not near where I was hoping to be at this time of the year and that’s because of injuries. Madison Hume, she was our second leading scorer at the time she went out. She’s not back,” Butler explained. “Other than her, we’re the healthiest we’ve ever been. And of tonight, we’re playing the best we’ve ever played this all year. We’re scoring, we’re much more competitive. That’s what makes it interesting.
“The problem heading into the tournament is we’re playing one of the best teams in the state in Allen County. They’re something like 25-2. They’re very, very strong and good. We’re going to have to play a fabulous game just to be competitive.”
The Trojanettes’ games with ACS during the regular season were lopsided victories for the Lady Patriots. Barren County lost 68-30 on the road and dropped a 60-33 decision at home. The big difference between Monday’s tournament game and the two regular season contests is ACS will be without the services of all-stater Morgan Rich, who has been out the last two or three weeks due to injury.
“The loss of Morgan Rich is a big loss. She is one of the top 10 players in the state. But what I like about Allen County is they have good players and tough kids. Whoever plays them will have their hands full,” Butler said.
“I think they’re the best rebounding team in the region, so we’re going to have to be competitive on the boards. And we’re going to have to handle their pressure and then we will have to make enough shots because we’ve had difficulty scoring against them. They’re a very good defensive team. Hopefully the game will be low scoring. I think that helps our chances.”
And when you get to tournament time, anything can happen. Butler has brought No. 1 seeds into the tournament and No. 4 seeds into the tournament.
“I do think the kids feel better about themselves because we’re putting the ball in the basket more. But generally in the district tournament you are so well scouted that it is difficult to score,” Butler said. “That means you have to rely on some other things, you’re rebounding and your defense. We’ve got a tall order to knock off Allen County.
“The most important thing for us is not Morgan being out, but rather our kids are playing better. That’s what we’ve talked most about because that’s what we can control.”