A decade’s worth! Lady Cards clinch tenth straight district crown
Published 12:31 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023
In Wednesday evening’s matchup against rival Montgomery County in the 40th District Championship game, the George Rogers Clark Lady Cards (23-7) were technically outscored by the Lady Indians (20-12) in two of the four quarters, but in the end, came out on top of the score that mattered, 59-36, to cap a decade of district dominance.
“Some of these kids have never cut a net down. My joy comes from seeing them climb that ladder,” said GRC head coach Robbie Graham. “It doesn’t get old at all.”
The Lady Cards looked to increase their hot streak over the Lady Indians, who defeated Paris (19-9) and knocked them out of the postseason just two days prior.
Email newsletter signup
Early on, the Lady Indians looked determined to be the last ones standing.
In a first quarter that featured both teams going approximately four minutes without making a basket, defenses reigned.
By the end, the Lady Indians entered the second quarter with an 11-7 lead.
With less than a minute to go before the end of the opening quarter, Coach Graham felt it was time to call timeout and talk with his team.
“We weren’t being who we were. I said, ‘[girls], we’ve got to be who we are,’” he said. “Settle down, go play defense, move the basketball, rebound the ball, don’t turn it over. Let’s move the ball offensively, execute, [and] we’ll be fine.”
The Lady Cards did just that.
Starting with a score from Ciara Byars – who finished with a team-high 19 points – on their opening possession of the second quarter, the Lady Cards crept back into the game.
Eventually, they built their lead to 30-18 at halftime, highlighted by a 21-2 run that saw reserves such as Jaylynn Goodwin and Makili Tabor find the scoreboard.
After leaving the locker room for the second half, the Lady Cards showed no signs of slowing down.
Though the Lady Indians scored first, the Lady Cards scored the following thirteen consecutive points to build a dominant 23-point advantage.
Eventually, they built a lead as big as 28 points en route to victory.
“We just played more in rhythm and played more like ourselves,” said Ciara Byars.
Byars was asked what made this version of the GRC girls’ basketball team special.
“Our bond and our work ethic, it’s just amazing,” she responded. “It’s just a sisterhood. I love it. We compete in practice, and then when we get out here we compete. It’s just an everyday thing.”
Afterward, the traditional honors took place.
Several individual trophies were given to individuals on both teams, with Ciara Byars, Brianna Byars, and Kennedy Stamper named to the All-Tournament team.
Senior Trinity Gay was awarded as well.
The Lady Cards were presented the 2023 40th District Championship trophy shortly thereafter.
Each player cut down a piece of the basketball net from one of the hoops at Bourbon County High School’s gym.
Next, the Lady Cards will observe the draw for the 10th Regional Tournament on Saturday morning at Harrison County High School.
Depending on the schedule, they will play in the 10th Region quarterfinal at Mason County High School on either Monday or Tuesday of next week.
“Hopefully, there are another one or two nets yet to go to cut down,” said Graham said. “Region’s [going to] be tough. It always is. We know that. We’re prepped for that…we’ll see what happens.”
To get to the 40th District Championship Game, the Lady Cards defeated Bourbon County 65-14 on Monday night.
Boys battle for district crown Thursday
In boys’ basketball, the Cards (23-5) play in the 40th District Championship Game against the Paris Greyhounds (17-12) tonight at 7 p.m.
The Cards defeated Bourbon County 95-52 on Tuesday night to advance.
In that game, Trent Edwards led the team with 23 points, while Reshaun Hampton had 20 points and led with 8 rebounds.
The Greyhounds defeated Montgomery County (18-13) to arrive in the championship game.