GLASGOW — Barren County managed just four points in the first quarter, and didn’t lead the game until the second half.
But the winning team isn’t chosen at halftime, and Barren County rallied behind Elizabeth Bertram, Karleigh Delk and Raven Ennis in the second half to defeat South Warren 56-51 at home Friday.
One big key was how the Trojanettes responded to South Warren’s pressure defense, which forced Barren County into early turnovers.
“I think we adjusted, we did a really good job in the second half of figuring that out and kind of attacking them a little bit better,” Barren County coach Piper Lindsey said.
The Trojanettes had a frigid start from the field, hitting just two shots in the first quarter.
Trailing 12-4 to begin the second, Bertram made back-to-back baskets to close the gap. Barren County’s press defense began yielding South Warren turnovers in the second quarter, but the Spartans were able to stretch the lead back out to 17-10 before Delk’s bucket ended the run.
South Warren’s Brooke Stevenson made a tough layup in the lane to push the lead back to 19-12, and Barren County responded with a Liberty Rice jumper.
Barren County’s last points of the first half came when Bertram hit a short jumper, drew a foul and knocked down the free throw. South Warren led 25-22 at the break.
The pressure defense continued to bother South Warren to begin the second half. Katie Murphy came up with a steal Ennis finished the sequence with a layup to tie the game.
But South Warren bounced back with an 8-0 run that included another tough Stevenson layup. She drew a foul on the play and knocked down the free throw.
Bertram ended the run with a pair of free throws and Eve Jackson knocked down a trey. Barren County cut the lead to 40-38 when Delk made a layup just before the end of the quarter.
Delk scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half.
“She did a heck of a lot better in the second half, and not just with scoring but with her defense and deflecting the ball in our press,” Lindsey said of Delk.
Delk’s free throw early in the fourth quarter gave Barren County its first lead of the game. Ennis hit a jumper with 4:13 to play that gave the Trojanettes a 45-40 advantage.
Stevenson responded with a quick score, but Delk knocked down two more free throws to answer.
South Warren cut the lead to two points on a trey, but Ennis pushed the Trojanettes back out in front by four by making two free throws.
The Spartans were again able to trim the lead to just two, but Barren County again answered. This time it was Murphy stepping up to hit a trey with less than two minutes left in the game. Bertram found Delk with a nice pass on the next offensive series for Barren County, and the senior hit the layup to push the lead to seven and put the game out of reach.
Bertram led Barren County with 16 points, while Delk added 15 and Ennis had 11.
Barren County(2-0) will face Bowling Green on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s 4th Region title game, which the Trojanettes won.
Lindsey said it will be similar to a region tournament after playing a tough South Warren team on Friday night.
“I’m anxious to see how we do with back-to-back games,” she said.
Barren County falls to South Warren
Will Bandy was almost unstoppable while he was on the court Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Barren County senior, foul trouble kept him sidelined for almost the entire third quarter, and South Warren was able to take advantage.
The Spartans(1-1) erased a five-point halftime deficit and defeated Barren County(1-1) on the road 73-64 in a 4th Region battle.
Bandy scored 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half, but South Warren crashed the offensive glass with the senior on the bench to take control of the game during the third quarter.
“I thought that’s where the game really turned,” Barren County coach Warren Cunningham said of Bandy and sophomore Aden Nyekan’s third quarter stint on the bench due to foul trouble.
“We had some good shots in that stretch that we didn’t make and turned it over, and they were able to build some confidence for the rest of the game.”
Jacob Shaw scored nine points in the opening quarter to help stake the Trojans to a 15-8 lead.
Gavin Withrow stole the ball near half court and drove to the other end for a layup early in the second quarter to give the Trojans a 17-12 advantage.
Held scoreless in the first quarter, Nyekan erupted for 10 points in the second quarter. He scored six straight points during one stretch, and Bandy backed up the spurt with four points of his own to give the Trojans a 31-23 lead.
South Warren cut the deficit to 33-28 by halftime.
Bandy got the scoring going for the Trojans in the second half with a trey from the left wing. But Bandy and Nyekan had to sit after picking up their third fouls early in the third quarter.
South Warren responded with a 6-0 run. Mason Griggs scored in the lane to push the lead back to five.
South Warren would continue to take advantage of Barren County’s foul trouble, grabbing multiple offensive rebounds with Bandy and Nyekan on the bench and taking a 41-40 lead late in the third quarter.
Jonathan Hill stole the ball and finished the play off with a two-handed dunk just before the third quarter ended, as South Warren took a 45-42 lead into the fourth.
Outscored 15-5 with Bandy on the bench, Barren County rallied with the senior and Nyekan back in the game. Bandy converted two three-point plays, knocking down his free throws after being fouled on his shots.
Trailing by as many as seven in the fourth, Barren County came back to tie the game, but again, Bandy had to go to the bench after picking up his fourth foul.
South Warren pushed back ahead by four. Bandy re-entered the game and sank a turnaround jumper with 2:51 left in the game to cut the deficit to 62-60.
South Warren’s Jace Carver drew a blocking call and hit a floater to answer Bandy’s score. He hit the free throw to make it a 65-60 lead, and Barren County was unable to mount one more comeback.
Despite the loss, Cunningham said Bandy had been battling injury in the preseason so it was good to see him make some shots.
“We needed that from him tonight,” Cunningham said. “I think it was big for his confidence to see the ball go in.”