GRC Lady Cards defeat Scott Cardinals 81-32; Byars scores career high: 29 points

Published 7:18 am Thursday, February 3, 2022

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There’s an old saying that says it’s not who you play, it’s when you play them.

After winning three straight games, the Scott County Cardinals (5-12) had some momentum and an energized home crowd behind them to begin Tuesday’s game, and it showed early on as an early back-and-forth battle between them and the George Rogers Clark Cardinals appeared to be quite the contest.

Yet, as they’ve done before this season, the Lady Cards of GRCHS were able to pull away. Ciara Byars scored a career high 29 points to lead the way to an impressive 81-32 victory.

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“[Scott County] played really well the last three games, so we were very leery of how they were going to play because we thought they’d come out and play hard,” Head Coach Robbie Graham said. “With them getting some girls back from injuries, we felt it would be a pretty competitive game.”

Early on, the teams seemed to match each other play for play, with Scott County at one point taking a 9-8 lead. However, from there, GRCHS went on a 10-run and ended the quarter with a 7-point advantage.

They never looked back, outscoring Scott County 64-21 the rest of the way.

“The first part of the game we were missing some easy shots, and our defense helped our offense out because the ball started moving, and we were able to convert on those,” Graham stated. “We just kind’ve rolled from there.”

As mentioned, one player who didn’t seem to miss throughout the night was freshman Ciara Byars. Her 29 points came via a 68% shooting percentage, with the Lady Cards as a team shooting nearly 50% for the night. In total, 11 different players found the hoop – including Brook Taylor, and Isabella Chirico.

“We use our loss as motivation to get wins,” Byars said. “We don’t want our season to be over anytime soon, so we’re going to keep working and pushing to get where we want to be.”

Scott County came to play with a fair yet physical brand of basketball, on a night in which one player fouled out while two other players tallied four fouls for the night.

It was a challenge Coach Graham said his team was up to.

“We enjoy a physical game. We want to play physical as well,” he said. “Our kids work hard in the weight room. We’ve got to be able to play through the contact and withstand some of the heat. We can play that game as well.”

Defensively, Clark was able to force Scott County into several turnovers, largely made possible by pressure created through different rotations.
“We were rotating, and covering the backside,” Graham said. “Overall…we were able to stay in the pass lanes and challenge shots, so rotations were much better.”

Individually, Tyra Flowers continued to lead the team with 14 rebounds, while being the second-leading, scorer with 16 points as she charged aggressively toward the basket.

Sports contributor Matt Cizek wrote this story for the Winchester Sun.