Feb. 8—After a loss to Southwestern in early January, Pulaski has been on their own 'war path' with four straight victories over quality competition. A chance to tie for first place in the district was on the line as the Rockcastle County Lady Rockets came to town on Tuesday, and following their heartbreaking loss to the Rockets at the beginning of the year, the Maroons were looking not only to avenge their loss, but to further their claim that they are a contender for the regional crown this season. Senior Sydney Martin was also just two points away from the all-time scoring record heading into the evening's contest.
Predictably, the game was close in the first half, but it didn't take long for the Maroons to run away with the game in the second half, as Pulaski prevailed 78-54 over their district foes.
A basket from senior Talynne Shearer to begin the game was quickly answered by Brooklyn Thomas on the other end. Neither team could get much of an edge in the first quarter. Four straight from Madeline Butcher gave Pulaski their first lead of the game before it was tied back up by sophomore Taylor King.
Maggie Holt nailed a three-pointer to again give the lead back to the home team, but back-to-back three-pointers from senior Camryn Cash and sophomore Macy Spivey put the Lady Rockets on top 12-9 to close out the first period.
Martin, surprisingly, was held scoreless in the first period but didn't take long to score in the second. She was fouled and went to the line for two, and after she made both the game was paused so fans could celebrate her breaking the all-time program record for points scored. She immediately had another basket to flip the lead once again before four straight from Spivey gave Rockcastle the advantage.
For Pulaski, it was all Martin in the quarter early on as she scored their first nine points. Unfortunately, Rockcastle kept answering with made shots of their own to prevent the Maroons from regaining the lead. A three from McKaila Monroe tied the game up before Rockcastle pulled away once again. Martin kept on scoring in the period, racking up 14 total points. It was Butcher that flipped the lead for good late though, scoring the final four points to give Pulaski a 30-27 lead heading into half.
The Lady Maroons came out of the break focused and immediately went on a 10-0 run to push their lead to 40-27 courtesy of five from Holt, three from Butcher and two from Martin. Spivey gave the Rockets their first points of the half on a shot from downtown, but it was quickly answered by a three from Martin. Martin hit another three, plus two from Thomas, and all of a sudden the Maroons had a 50-33 lead and were threatening to run away with the game.
Cash attempted to keep the Lady Rockets in the game with six points late in the quarter. The Maroons were hitting nearly everything they threw up though and after three-pointers from Butcher and Hannah Murray, Pulaski was on top comfortably at 57-39 heading into the final quarter.
The teams traded threes to begin the fourth, with both Shearer and Thomas hitting from long range. Soon after, Martin and Shearer traded shots from deep and it was starting to look like a three-point shootout on the court. Anytime it would look like the Rockets were beginning to make a run though, the Maroons had a timely basket in the period.
Pulaski had something to prove on this night however and it showed late, as they scored the final 10 points of the game to defeat Rockcastle County 78-54, with Butcher putting in two from the line and Taylen Ralston scoring the final eight points of the ball game.
The Lady Maroons were led by Martin with 25 points, four rebounds, four steals and four assists. Butcher added 16 points with six assists and three steals, while Thomas had 11 points. Other contributors included Holt with eight points, three steals, two blocks and two assists, Ralston with eight points, Murray with seven points, four steals and five rebounds and Monroe with three points and two blocks. Rockcastle was led by Spivey with 22 points.
Pulaski will now look forward to a rivalry showdown with the Southwestern Warriors on Friday night at the Wig Wam.
Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.