There is one thing you can say about this years Meade County High School Ladywaves Basketball Team, and that is they do not shy away from playing tough teams and on Feb 9 it was no different as they hosted the Male Lady Bulldogs in another long tough game against a hard tough team.
Meade came out in the first half playing a zone defense, which is unusual for them as they are known for their in your face pressing man-to-man defense, but by playing zone, it made it easier for Male to bring the ball up court to position for accurate shots. Even with Male being able to score, Meade’s offense kept pace with them keeping the game close. Male would gain a slight lead, but nothing Meade couldn’t recover from, and by the end of the first Meade only trailed by two.
“This is probably the most aggressive team we’ve played all year, and we didn’t have just one player driving the basket, but all of them did at one point,” senior Jenna Gallimore said of Male’s offense. “We normally are not a 2-3 team, but we’ve been working at it in practice and I think we’ve gotten better at it.”
During the second period Meade’s defense kicked into high gear as they shut down the lanes and got in the faces of their outside shooters. Meade held Male to only seven points in the second period while grabbing rebounds to transition back to offense. Meade grabbed the lead midway through the period, with Male focusing in on senior Jenna Gallimore, which left others open to do the scoring. Senior D Griffith being the lead contributor to Meade’s scoring effort by sinking three of four free throws, followed by a pair of putbacks, scoring half of Meade’s total points in the second. Meade headed to the locker room at the half feeling confident with a five-point lead.
“I have been saying that we’ve been looking for a leader, and I am so proud of Jenna (Gallimore) because tonight she was so unselfish. She is a tremendous shooter and is going on to play college ball and people know that, so they have her number, but she made sure to get the ball to the open player to shoot rather than try and push through, that is what leaders do.” Coach Hackert said of her senior.
Male came out of the half running, starting the period with a 14-4 run over Meade ,putting them back on top by the midway point of the period. Meade slowly began to find their confidence and were building momentum by the end of the third. Meade had closed the gap to just three-points by the time the third period and were looking to carry that momentum into the fourth.
The fourth period was nothing but hard played basketball by both teams. Meade came out early to go on an 8-3 run that yielded them a two-point lead. Then after a timeout, Male went on a run of their own that put them back on top. The game would come down to the last few seconds, with Male up by two with 18.8 seconds left. Meade would tie the game when eighth grader Payton Bradley would sink two free throws to tie the game. Male would call a timeout with just six seconds left, and when they brought the ball in, their guard made a beeline for the basket, driving right through the middle of the Meade defense, hitting the layup as the buzzer sounded, handing Meade the loss.
“I hate losing, I mean nobody hates losing more than me,” Coach Hackert said after the game, “But I’ll take tonight’s loss any night because our kids are growing up. We would rather have a game like this where we can tweak a few things to improve, but I don’t know how I can get anymore out of these kids, they played as a team and played phenomenal. I am really proud of them.”
“You know we have had a hard time putting all four periods together, but I think tonight we did, but we just fell short in a last second shot. That’s going to happen every once in a while and now we’ll see how we bounce back and handle it.” Gallimore said after the game.