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Lady Bears outlast Hancock County in overtime

photos by Jamie Chaney
LEWISPORT - Butler County managed to pull out a hard-fought win in a girls' high school basketball season opener on the road, upending Hancock County 51-45 on Monday night (Nov. 26) 
Jaelyn Taylor led Butler County with a game-high 22 points and three assists. 
The Lady Bears, under the direction of head coach Lexie Belcher, started the game 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Belcher emphasized, "the team that hits free throws and gives the best effort will win tonight." Butler County started the game strong, leading Hancock County 6-0 with all of its points coming from the free throw line. The key to success for the Lady Bears was on the defensive end of the court. Butler County recorded 22 deflections and 15 steals. 
"Our defense was good, but we do have some things we need to tweak before the next game," said Belcher. "We didn't have to rely on the perimeter to score. We scored 18 points from the free throw line and knocked down one three-pointer. We were attacking the rim very strong, scoring 30 points inside the paint." 
The Lady Bears held Hancock County to only one point in overtime. 
Accompanying Taylor in double figures for the Lady Bears, Maddie Cardwell scored 12 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out one assist. 
Narrowly missing double figures and nearly notching a double-double, Gracie Cardwell scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lady Bears. 
Kasidy Graham (two points, three rebounds), Taylin Clark (two points, three rebounds), Jacie Ward (two points, two rebounds, two assists) and Hannah Chaney (two points, five rebounds) also contributed for Butler County in the victory.
Hancock County shot only 28.3 percent (15-of-53) from the field. The Lady Hornets were 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range. Hancock County shot just 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from the free throw line.
Limited offensively, Hancock County didn't feature any scorers in double figures. Narrowly missing double figures, Rylee Emmick netted nine points for the Lady Hornets. 
Halley Stewart, Raley Payne and Kiera Duncan followed Emmick in the Hancock County scoring column, posting seven points apiece. 
Butler County is scheduled to host Russellville in a home opener on Friday night. 



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