After a long break for Christmas, Yazoo County’s Lady Panthers showed a bit of rust in a 48-46 loss to Ruleville Central on Friday night.
Yazoo County head coach Patrick Nutter knew that his team was going to be rusty after multiple weeks off, and it came back to bite them down the stretch.
“We had a whole lot of rust, especially on offense,” Nutter said. “When you haven’t played in three weeks and come back to face a pretty good opponent, it shows. We missed a lot of free throws and layups down the stretch. I think it takes a good week of games and practice to knock that rust off.”
This year was a little bit different than previous year in terms of scheduling.
Nutter does not like to jump right back into district play right after the Holidays, but he was given no choice this year.
“In the past, we haven’t played district games right after the break,” Nutter said. “I’ve always preferred to play some non-district games that don’t mean quite as much to help us get back into the swing of things. That didn’t happen this year. Normally, we have 2-3 district games before Christmas break, but we only had one because people didn’t play that early. It made our district schedule a lot tighter, so we had to play one right when we got back.”
The loss dropped the Lady Panthers to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in the district.
Ruleville Central took control of the contest early in the first quarter by outscoring the Lady Panthers 11-7.
Nutter’s squad fired back in the second quarter of play by flying up and down the court as they put up 18 points while holding Ruleville to 11, making it a 25-22 game at the half in favor of Yazoo County.
After the break, the Lady Panthers struggled to reach their same pace they had in the second quarter, and the result of that was a six-point quarter. Ruleville, however, put up 17 points to regain a 39-31 lead with a quarter left to play.
With little time left to play and a deficit to overcome, Yazoo County hit the ground running in the fourth quarter. They began making plays once again and made a run for the win, but they came up just short. They outscored Ruleville 15-9, but they fell 48-46.
One of the biggest issues that plagued the Lady Panthers was Ruleville’s Jacorriah Bracey, who put up 34 points in their win.
According to Nutter, they aren’t the only team that Bracey has gotten the better of this year.
He feels she is the best player in the district this year.
“She’s the best player in the league,” Nutter said. “She’s really good. We put a box-and-1 on her, but we did a bad job. We didn’t get any help from the backside when she flashed to the middle. She had her way with us.”
Aquasia Edwards led the way for the Lady Panthers with 11 points, nine of which came from 3-pointers.
Jordan Scott came in behind Edwards with nine points.
Shamyia Douglas chipped in eight points to the winning effort.
Destiny Epps had seven points, while Chloe Edwards racked up five of her own.
Yazoo County returned to the court on Tuesday night, but the game was not upon completion by press time.
Look for coverage from Tuesday’s game in Saturday’s edition of The Yazoo Herald.