Girls' Sweet Sixteen: Three-point barrage powers Clark County past Corbin

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 13, 2014 

Clark County's modus operandi is more inside than outside.

But Thursday the Cardinals fired bombs away en route to a 79-70 victory over Corbin in the first round of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen.

Clark County shot 26-for-42 (61.9 percent) from the field, including 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) from beyond the Diddle Arena three-point arcs.

"We want to pound the ball inside to Sandra (Skinner) or Maddie (Hamlin)," Coach Robbie Graham said. "We feel like we have an advantage on a lot of teams with our post players. So we feel like we wanted to go inside against Corbin."

Plan B — the outside game — kicked in when Corbin tried to cut off the Cardinals' inside game.

"We were hoping they would have to double," Graham said. "Then when they started doubling our post, (we) would kick it out to the shooters and we'd get some uncontested, wide-open threes."

Clark County (26-7), with wins in six straight games and 12 of 13, will face Marshall County in Friday's quarterfinals.

Skinner did get the ball inside plenty, leading Clark County with 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 at the free-throw line. Lexxus Graham and Sydney Anderson added 14 points each, with Graham making four of six shots from three-point range. She also handed out six assists.

"We just took our time and knocked down shots," the coach's daughter said.

Paige Taylor added 12 points for the winners. Skinner and Hamlin grabbed seven rebounds each.

Miranda Wilson fired in 29 points for Corbin (26-8), going 11-for-21 from the field, including 4-for-7 on three-pointers, and making all three of her free-throw attempts.

The Lady Redhounds got 13 points from Jaclyn Jewell and 10 from Brooklyn Ashurst. Corbin made 27 of 56 (48.2 percent) shots, including seven of 16 (43.8 percent) from long range.

"I'm extremely proud of our girls," Coach Jason McDaniel said. "The heart, the character, the determination that they showed."

Clark County led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Corbin pulled back to within 36-30 at intermission.

The Cards broke out the threes in the third quarter, popping in five — three by Graham, one by Taylor and one by Kaytlynn Williams. The lead was 57-46 through three quarters.

Corbin pulled as close as five points in the last minute.

"A very tough game today," Robbie Graham said. "Watching Corbin on film, we knew they were going to be a very tough, hard-nosed team, and every coach down that way I talked to talked about their toughness and grit.

"So we told the girls 'no lead is going to be safe with them,' and we also said 'if they get up on us, with the way they play they'll let you back in because they only play one speed — they're 110 miles an hour. They hit some incredible shots during the course of the game and, defensively, they're tough to guard."

But so are the Cards.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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