Trojanettes headed to Rupp Arena and Sweet 16
Lindsey and players “trust the process”
“The Power of the Gold Pom-pom”
By Thomas Wampler
Jobe Regional Sports
Do not ever underestimate the “Power of the Gold Pom-pom.”
“I think we had the most fans at every game,” said senior Bailey Pedigo. “We’ve got the best fans, and having their support, and at all our games made a big difference.”
Bowling Green High School may be only miles from WKU’s Diddle Arena, but it was the fans of the Trojanettes that dominated the seats in the arena. The Barren County fans made the 30-mile trek in large numbers every game including the finals when the Trojanettes defeated the Lady Purples 47-35 in the Region 4 championship game.
Piper Lindsey, the player, went to the KHSAA Sweet 16 Basketball tournament as a Barren County High School Trojanette in 2004. Coach Piper Lindsey and the 2018-2019 Trojanettes will make the trip on March 14th to face Pikeville at 12 noon at Rupp Arena. How sweet it is to make the trip as a player but is it even more “sweet” to make the trip as a coach at your alma mater?
Ask Coach Piper Lindsey in a few weeks.
The Trojanettes and their coach reached this milestone in Lindsey’s fourth year because they all “TTP—trusted the process.” Lindsey was all smiles on the court after the game as she and her players were being interviewed by the media surrounded by Barren County fans wanting to tell them all “good game.”
Lindsey thought back on the last four years. “I told them when we started it would take all of us and we’d have to “TTP—trust the process.” They did and look where we are headed now,” Lindsey said.
This is Barren’s first region title since 2007. Coach Piper Lindsey was on the 2004 team that won the Region 4 title before the last region championship in 2007 and trip to the sweet 16. The 2004 team was recognized earlier this season by the BCHS Alumni Association.
Lindsey was bombarded by the media, but she always come back to one talking point regardless of the question she was asked. Lindsey was “very proud of her team’s performance.” “I just can’t say enough about the girls and their fight and how much they believe in themselves and each other,” Lindsey said. “In the first half, I thought we did a good job of just staying in the fight. In the second half, we made some adjustments and cut down on turnovers. It was a total team effort.”
Lindsey competed in the state tournament as a player for Barren County in 2004. Barren defeated Clinton County 56-44 to win the 4th Region that year. They advanced and won their first sweet 16 game, a 56-54 win over Muhlenberg 56-54, before losing to Sacred Heart in round two.
She will now return with the Trojanettes as a coach.
“It’s a great feeling,” Lindsey said. “It’s a lot more nerve-wracking on the sideline but I feel extremely confident in the girls that we have and it’s a great honor to be a part of this team and to go as their coach.”
Lindsey had an immediate impact upon arriving. Lindsey and the team began “trusting the process” four years ago. The Trojanettes went 12-16 in her first year, won 20 games in 2016-17 and reached 25 wins last season including winning the District 15 title. The Trojanettes are 31-4. The Trojanettes have the winningest record in program’s history as they now prepare for a state tournament run at Rupp Arena.
“We had some big shots and big playmakers show up all season,” Lindsey said. “We had different players step-up and it took all the players to get here and to win.”
Barren County trailed Bowling Green 10-7 at the end of the first quarter but the Trojanettes stayed focused. The Trojanettes continued to push the basketball at a fast pace when they had the advantage in transition and when they set-up their half-court offense, they found the open players. They outscored the Lady Purples in the second, third, and fourth periods thanks to patience and discipline.
The 4th Region championship game was knotted up at 29-29 early in the fourth quarter before the Trojanettes went on a scoring surge behind Bertram. Bertram had eight points in the Trojanettes 10-0 run.
Bertram led the Trojanettes in scoring with 16 points. England added 10 points, three blocks and five boards. Bailey Pedigo chipped in eight and led the team with 11 rebounds. Jalynn Bush added four points including the first two BCHS points of the game. Mallory Pedigo added two points, two assists and five rebounds.
Seventh-grade guard Katie Murphy hit a 3-pointer to tie the game in the critical third period and had three crucial steals. Murphy also caused several turnovers with her quickness on defense. The Trojanettes also got important baskets off the bench from Karleigh Delk and Raven Ennis.
The Lady Purples used a full-court press that caused BCHS some trouble early in the game. They had 12 turnovers before half-time.
England had two blocks early in the game that helped keep Barren close. After a Bush lay-in, Bertram knocked down a trey from the wing to give BCHS a 13-12 lead. After Murphy’s second steal of the game, England hit a jumper to up the lead to 19-16. Raven Ennis gave Barren a two-point lead with a bucket with 5.7 seconds that they would take into half-time.
Bowling Green cut Barren County’s lead to 22-21. Murphy’s 3-pointer in the left corner tied the game at 25. England hit a jump shot to tie the game at 27. Murphy got her third steal of the game followed by Delk banking two off the glass for a 29-27 BCHS third quarter lead.
In the fourth frame, it was the Trojanettes clutch free throw shooting that helped secure the victory. England made 2-of-2 followed by a spin move for a basket by Bertram. After a BGHS turnover, Bertram sank two free throws to push the lead to 35-29. After a Lady Purple air ball 3-point attempt, a sea of gold pom-poms erupted in the arena.
Bertram hit another basket and two free throws giving Barren some breathing room at 39-29. With 2:19 on the clock, Bailey Pedigo made two free throws. England gave Barren a 43-34 lead after she made two free throws and with 1:10 on the game clock, the Trojanettes could see the end in sight.
Barren County’s 13-of-16 free-throw shooting was a key to the win.
Mallory Pedigo dished to England under the basket to make it an 11-point lead for the Trojanettes with under a minute to go. Mallory’s two free throws with 17.7 seconds remaining provided the final margin of victory, 47-35.
BCHS’S win over Logan County
The Trojanettes had to win several close games to reach the Region 4 tournament but easily defeated Logan County in the semifinals. Logan took a 3-0 lead against Barren but the Trojanettes had an emphatic answer. The Trojanettes went on 20-0 run that included 10 straight points by Elizabeth Bertram. Bertram began her scoring streak with a coast-to-coast lay-up. She followed that with baseline drive for two points and free throw, a turnaround jumper in the lane, and a 3-pointer from the corner.
Barren County led 20-5 at the end of the first quarter when McKenzie England knocked down jump shot from the elbow. England went five of five from the field before missing her sixth shot. Including her nine-of-nine shooting from her previous game, England was 14 for 14 from the field before missing.
BCHS increased the lead over the Lady Cougars to 42-18 at halftime.
The Trojanettes defeated Logan County 71-41 to advance to the title game against BGHS.
“I thought our defense was excellent,” Lindsey said in the post-game media press room. “I thought our guards did a good job of finding the open person and I just thought we did a good job of finishing.”
“I thought we did really well running in transition,” Lindsey said. “That was one of our keys from the start.”
The Trojanettes also dominated the Lady Cougars in their half-court offense. LCHS did not have an answer for stopping the straight-line drives of Bailey Pedigo and Bertram. The Trojanettes also won the battle of the boards, 48-18. The Lady Cougars only had five offensive rebounds compared to 18 for BCHS. The rebounding results showed Barren with 20 second chance points compared to only five for Logan.
Bertram led the Trojanettes with 16 points. Bailey Pedigo added 12 and Eve Jackson chipped in 11. McKenzie England finished in double figures with 10 points. Raven Ennis added seven and Mallory Pedigo added six.
Bailey Pedigo had eight assists and, along with England, led Barren County with nine rebounds.
In the post-game interview, Lindsey said one characteristic of the team she was especially proud of was their unselfishness. Lindsey said her players think more about the team and winning than individual statistics. “They just play,” she said. “They play the game and it doesn’t matter. That’s what I just told them in the locker room, it doesn’t matter who gets the glory as long as we win.”