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Trimble topped by Gallatin, 65-58

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By Dave Taylor

A very young group of Trimble County Lady Raiders weathered an onslaught of long-range guns Monday night and threw a scare into visiting Gallatin County as the 2012-13 high school basketball season got underway. Trailing by 11 at halftime, Trimble roared back to pull within a pair of points several times in the second half before falling by a 65-58 final score.

While Gallatin’s long-range artillery misfired most of the night – the Lady Cats were only one of 21 shots from downtown – the game within the arc made the difference.

“They’re a shooting basketball team and we knew that, that’s how they beat us three times last year,” Trimble Coach Kerrie Stewart said. “I didn’t realize that they only hit one three because it seemed like they hit everything they put up but I guess they did a better job at their mid-range game and at the free throw line. That killed us. I felt like the difference between the two teams was we outplayed them in a lot of areas but they shot the ball better than we did.”

Gallatin hit 81 percent of their free throws, including 10 of 11 attempts in the final quarter, to maintain the lead to the end.

“I thought our effort was everything that it needed to be,” Stewart said. “Had we not missed some easy shots in the first half and maybe even more importantly had we not passed off some shots we should have taken in the first half then it’s quite possible this could have been a different outcome. The intensity level—they were diving on the floor after loose balls. They played aggressive defensively.”

Stewart said coming into the game she was most worried about her team’s ability to rebound with Gallatin. “I felt like the majority of the time we did a great job on the boards. Unfortunately, it was the times that we didn’t do well that kind of broke the camel’s back.”

Nine Lady Raiders saw action in the game, including eighth graders Shelbe Black and Kaylee Clifford, and freshman Mila Consley. All scored the first varsity points of their careers.

“We were very pleased with those younger players. Mila Consley and Shelbe Black both split some time there,” Stewart said. “I was pleased with both their efforts and I feel like they’re only going to get better as time goes on. Kaylee Clifford gave us a big lift when she came in and knocked down a couple of shots including a three-pointer. We feel good about our young kids. They understand what we want them to do and they make the best effort to make that happen and they’re going to keep getting better.”

Leading Trimble’s offensive effort were senior Chloe Griffith and junior Jessie Dunlap, each of whom scored 12 points. Juniors Paige Black and Erin Gonterman found the range for nine points apiece. Shelbe Black and Kaylee Clifford each contributed five, senior Jessica Ball scored four points and Mila Consley added two. Ashley Brierly also enjoyed some valuable minutes on the floor but failed to score.

“To come out with the focus that we had and to do as many things well as we did I think we’ve got a lot of great things ahead for us,” Stewart said.

The Lady Raiders travel to Carrollton on Friday for a meeting with the Carroll County Lady Panthers.