Lady Cards defeat Nicholas Co., advance in region tournament

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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One win down, two more to repeat and return to Rupp Arena.

The George Rogers Clark Lady Cardinals (24-7) defeated the Nicholas County Lady Jackets (15-16) Tuesday night in Maysville, 80-47 victory, to advance in the 10th Region Tournament.

The 80 points are the most the Lady Cards have scored in a single game thus far this season.

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“We just played together. That’s the goal of winning,” said senior Trinity Gay.

As might be expected in an elimination game, the opposing Lady Jackets came out ready to challenge GRC early on.

Though the Lady Cards led by seven points at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Jackets were able to narrow the deficit to three points.

However, the Lady Cards went on a definitive run with only minutes remaining in the first half.

Outsourcing their opponent 17-2, the Lady Cards eventually built an 18-point, 38-20 lead at halftime.

“We picked it up a little bit and then we did a much better job of making shots, and the ball was moving,” said GRC head coach Robbie Graham. “We got in our press [defense], caused some turnovers, and converted off some of their turnovers.”

While Ciara Byars led the Lady Cards with 17 points, Gay contributed in the first half by scoring all six of her points following steals.

By the night’s end, Kennedy Stamper and Anaya Chestnut would tie for second on the team with 13 points each.

To begin the second half, the Lady Cards came out strong and eventually built their lead to over 20 points.

However, concern was raised when star senior and 2023 Kentucky Miss Basketball candidate Brianna Byars left the game with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Though able to move around independently by night’s end, Byars did not return for precautionary reasons.

In her place, sister Ciara Byars and others continued to put points on the scoreboard.

In addition to the players previously mentioned, points were put up by Kyleigh Chestnut, Maddie Settles, Brook Taylor, Annette Miller, and Makili Tabor.

Contributing with a double-double, Ciara Byars also led the team with 11 rebounds.

The Lady Cards forced a total of 27 turnovers.

They will now play Scott (15-15) on Friday at 7:45 p.m. in the 10th Region semifinals.

The winner of this matchup will play the winner of Friday’s other game between Bishop Brossart (22-11) and Montgomery County (21-12) in the 10th Region Championship Game on Saturday, March 4, at 7:00 p.m.