10th-ranked Lexington girls defeat third-ranked Dorman
Overcoming 26 turnovers and 1-19 shooting in a 1-point road victory four days ago against Airport was unacceptable for head coach Molly Goodrich.
To avert a repeat of what she called a “horrible” performance Saturday at home against third-ranked, undefeated Dorman in the Auto-Owners Insurance Showcase, Goodrich “went back to the drawing board” with the 10th-ranked Lady Wildcats.
“We had two really good days of practice,” she said. “We kind of let our guard down. We were 7-1 and so, we started over. We knew they were coming to our house. They’re third in the state. We’re 10th and we just took it as a challenge.”
The Lady Wildcats responded with a dominating first half of basketball. Led by senior guard Olivia Thompson, they jumped out to a commanding lead and held on for the 68-60 victory.
Lexington took a 27-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was an inspired shooting performance by the Lady Wildcats (8-1) sparked by Thompson scoring 13 of her game-high 27 points in the period.
The lead grew as many as 28 points in the second quarter and Lexington enjoyed a 43-19 halftime advantage. As Goodrich looked to contain her team’s excitement level, Dorman head coach looked to inspire a comeback.
“The first half was all about excuses,” she said. “As we tried to coach the team and tell them what we need to do and what to change to turn things around, they always had an excuse. When we went back in the locker room, I said ‘Okay, whose way is working? My way or your way? Right now, you way has us down 30 points. So now we’re going to do it my way.’
“But Lexington, to their credit, they shot the lights out in the first half. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team shoot a well. I’m not just talking about (Thompson). I’m talking about the team as a whole. Everybody shot well. I don’t think they missed threre shots the entire half.”
As the Lady Wildcats cooled down offensively, the Lady Cavaliers (9-1), coached by Val Whiteside, found their shooting touch. They outscored Lexington 41-25 in the second half led by Alex Washington with 19 points and All-State guard Alexis Rice with 14.
The final margin was the closest margin Dorman came to within getting in striking distance of Lexington. Following the contest, Thompson was named Player of the Game and also beat out Lexington male counterpart Will Edwards in double sudden death of the three-point shooting contest.
“We did a little bit more stalling in the second half and a lot of the calls didn’t go our way,” Goodrich said. “But I was really proud of the way the girls just kept their composure for the most part and took care of business and finished the game. Even though it was an 8-point win, I’m so proud of the team effort we had today.”