Tony Mosley, head coach of the Lady Cougars basketball team, summed up the hard fought 53-42 win against Radford on January 5 in three words: “That was gritty.”
The game was hard fought throughout, with both teams playing aggressive, physical defense, and battling over every rebound or loose ball. There were times during the game where the Lady Cougars struggled, but their effort and determination never wavered.
In a game that was close through much of the first three quarters, it was that effort that ultimately carried them to the victory.
For much of the first half, it was a back-and-forth game contest. Both teams played a tight defense, which didn’t allow either team to string together any sizable runs. The Lady Cougars held a narrow lead through much of the second quarter and finished with a 4-0 run to take a 30-23 lead into the break.
The third quarter started slowly for Patrick County. Against the Bobcat defense, the Lady Cougars struggled to get the ball into the paint, while turnovers and missed free throws helped Radford go on a 15-3 run. With 1:07 to go in the quarter, Radford led 38-33.
Following a timeout, the Lady Cougar defense, which had been solid all night, shut down the Bobcats. The Patrick County full court pressure created turnovers that turned into points. The Lady Cougars outscored the Bobcats 10-0 in the last minute of the quarter, capped off by a three-pointer by Kendra Worley that got the Cougar faithful to their feet.
“That last minute of the third quarter, we went on a run and that’s exactly what we needed. It was like a booster shot for us,” said Coach Mosley, whose team went into the fourth quarter leading 43-38 and never gave up the momentum.
The Lady Cougars started the fourth where they left off in the third, playing a smothering defense that rarely gave the Bobcats an uncontested shot. Midway through the fourth, the lead had grown to ten points at 51-41, and would not shrink. Patrick County played a smart, final few minutes, controlling the ball and giving Radford precious few chances on offense. The Bobcats would score just four points in the final quarter, with the Lady Cougars taking the hard fought win, 53-42.
On the night, Kendra Worley’s 15 points and 4 rebounds led the Lady Cougars. Kimora Wimbush had 8 points, while Allanah Mitchell added 7 points. Patrick County was solid on the boards all night, with Lily Hazelwood pulling down a team-leading 12 rebounds. Aniya Penn chipped in 7 rebounds along with 5 assists.
“I’m proud of our effort,” Coach Mosley said of his team following the game. “Hopefully we can continue to build on these tough wins and stay mentally tough.”