HORSE CAVE — The Caverna Lady Colonels may be dealing with some injuries, but they showed Monday night they are still capable of winning a lot of basketball games this season.
Caverna’s defense swarmed Fort Knox while Kaliana Richardson, McKeeya Faulkner and Stacia Burnett provided the offensive push needed for the Lady Colonels to win their season-opener 50-36.
Coach Cornelius Faulkner said he was proud of how his players stepped up in the second half to seal the win, though he added the Lady Colonels need to cut down on their turnovers and fouls moving forward.
“Overall I’m not too disappointed. I really felt like we would play like we did. A lot of rust,” Faulkner said.
Burnett — who is recovering from an ACL injury but still scored 12 points Monday — knocked down a jumper to start the second quarter that gave the Lady Colonels a 12-10 lead. The teams battled back and forth, and Caverna held a 22-17 halftime advantage.
After a 4-0 run to start the second half by the Lady Eagles, Burnett hit a trey to stop the bleeding. Faulkner then nailed another 3-pointer that pushed the advantage to 28-23.
Faulkner came up with a steal and drew a foul with 2:30 left in the third quarter. She knocked down both attempts and the Lady Colonels held a 32-25 lead.
Richardson and Burnett scored back-to-back buckets to give Caverna a 10-point cushion late in the third quarter.
Tavi Gonzalez finished off a strong post move with a bucket to start the fourth quarter scoring for the Lady Colonels.
Fort Knox made a few small runs but couldn’t get close enough to really threaten Caverna in the final quarter. Coach Faulkner said “the dagger” came when Briley Hoskins came up with a steal and eventually found Richardson on the perimeter. She hit the trey to give her a team-high 17 points and put the game out of reach.
“When she shoots in rhythm, she’s good,” Coach Faulkner said of Richardson.
Faulkner added 13 points and made several key defensive plays for the Lady Colonels.
Caverna travels to Hart County for a doubleheader Friday Night.