DRAFFENVILLE, Ky. - Just like last year, the Mt. Carmel Lady Aces jumped to a 16-point lead against the hosts in the Marshall County, Ky. Hoopfest.And, just like last year, the Lady Marshalls recovered and began to assert themselves. A 10-4 surge brought them back to within 10 points, 39-29, with two minutes remaining in the first half.Lady Aces coach Tim Willis then called a time out to settle his team down.“I reminded them that we worked awfully hard to get that lead, so let’s not give it away just before the half,” Willis said.Unlike last year, when Marshall County, en route to a 27-win season and a berth in the one-class Kentucky state tournament, recovered in time to defeat the Aces, 61-60 on a 3-point basket at the horn by then junior Taylor Meadows, there was no answer this time. The Mt. Carmel lead was 45-33 by halftime, and never dropped below 10 points the rest of the night, as the Lady Aces remained undefeated on the season with a 71-57 win on Saturday morning.
“That was sweet, I’m going to be honest with you,” said Willis after the game. “To come down here in this atmosphere and play as well as we did, I told the kids in the locker room that it shows what we’re capable of doing.”
Three times in the second half, Marshall County (2-1) trimmed the deficit to 10 points. At 49-39, Tyra Buss uncorked the next five of her 38 points to extend the Aces lead. And, at 62-52, a basket by Alyssa Lang followed by two Buss free throws put the final Lady Marshall rally to rest.Mt. Carmel (7-0) placed three players in double figures. In addition to Buss, Alex Rosignol added 13 points, and Lang 12.
Willis was impressed with Rosignol’s presence inside. “Did she get up in the air today or what? She was just flying” he said. “Alex does a very good job on the board for us, and we went inside for some plays and got her to score. She’s got so much athletic ability.”
Lang, the senior transfer from Fairfield, put together her best half of the season in the first 16 minutes of play. “She keeps getting more comfortable with what we’re doing, and I think you’ll see her continue to become better and better as the season continues.”Meadows scored 20 points to lead Marshall County. Mariah McKenty added 10.
What makes the victory even more impressive may be because of what the Lady Aces did not do: prepare for the game. Willis admitted they were busy preparing in practice for tonight’s (Monday) early-season Big 8 Conference showdown in the new gymnasium at Princeton (4-3).
“We were preparing for Princeton all week with everything we did in practice,” he said.
Buss, with 248 points in seven games, has the fifth-highest scoring average in the nation (35.4 points per game), according to maxpreps.com. One thing the junior sharpshooter has yet to accomplish is a victory over the Lady Tigers in Princeton. In 2010, Princeton defeated Mt. Carmel twice, 71-69 in the Big 8 Conference matchup, followed by a 61-58 loss in a Toyota Teamwork Classic game at the old PCHS gymnasium.
It will be first matchup between Buss, who has verbally committed to Indiana, and 6-foot Princeton freshman Jackie Young. Young, who reportedly has scholarship offers from Purdue and IU, is averaging 21.6 points per game.