Cougar girls win by 20 over Salem

Keslyn Secrist 12 scaled
Keslyn Secrist scored 15 points for Pulaski County vs. Salem Tuesday night. (Brian Bishop/PC Patriot)
 It was as frigid a shooting night as the weather outside, but Pulaski County got enough shots to fall and pulled away in the second half for a, 54-34 victory over Salem. The Cougar girls are now 10-4 on the season and undefeated in River Ridge District play. Salem fell to 7-7 on the season.
     “ Good win tonight! It was sloppy early, a lot of that was them and some of that was us!  But we will take it,” head coach Bradley Sutphin said.
“Our kids played hard and did a great job in the 2nd half. I thought we did a great job of controlling the offensive and defensive glass.  Any win is a great win so we will take it and get ready for C-burg on Friday!”
Both teams had turnover issues at times, both finishing with 18, but this was a night determined by which team was going to get the ball to fall through the basket the most. Pulaski Co. certainly did not have one of its best shooting games, but compared to Salem, the Cougar girls were on fire. Finishing just 20 of 66 from the field, 34% is certainly nothing to brag about, but the Spartans couldn’t have thrown a rock in a pond, and hit just 12 of 64 shots, 18.5% for the game. In the first half the two teams combined to hit just 14 of 69 shots. At times shots would touch every inch of the rim, rattle inside the basket and pop out, but just did not fall.
    Salem had three 0-10 stretches in the game. The Cougar girls were only four of 20 the first quarter for a 9-8 lead. But midway in the second quarter PCHS got a small cushion behind the play of Keslyn Secrist and Maddie Ratcliff. The two combined for 14 second quarter points and that was big time on this night. The Cougars were up eight, 25-17 at the half.
    But Pulaski Co. took control in the third quarter as the Spartans started the second half with another 0 for 10 from the field. Keslyn Secrist came up big with back to back baskets, one a three, and Ratcliff hit from behind the arc and the Cougars led 41-21 going into the fourth quarter and coasted home from there after Salem could only score four third quarter points, and topped the night for futility, hitting two of 18 shots.
    Down the stretch in the fourth quarter a lot of Cougars saw action and pulled away steadily for the final 54-34 tally. Salem could not make a three-point shot in the game, but Keslyn Secrist hit three, and Ratcliff two for the Cougars.
     Ratcliff led Pulaski Co. with 16 points, Secrist finished with 15 and were the two double figure scorers in the game. Salem did not have a player hit double digits. Erin Russell and Taryn Blankenship both scored six for the Cougars, Ally Fleenor finished with five, Paige Huff four, and Courtney Cregger got two. Kennedy Scales scored eight for Salem, and Moriah Hill and Madison Hall both got six.
Cougar Stats:
     Going into Tuesday evening’s game Ratcliff was leading the team in scoring with an 11.6 per game average, but Fleenor was a close to her as you could get with an 11.5 average, Huff was scoring at a 9.2 clip and Secrist 8.6. Fleenor is leading the team in rebounding with a 7.1 average per game, and Huff has made 25, three-point shots on the season, and Secrist 15.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot