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With scouts in Hodgenville on Dec. 11 from three NCAA Division-I schools and one NAIA program looking for future stars, the area’s top prep girls’ player of the present gave them plenty of reasons to consider her.
North Hardin senior forward Chanel Roberts, the reigning Area Player of the Year, had game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (15) and three assists as the visiting Lady Trojans ended the LaRue County Lady Hawks’ unbeaten start, 62-48.
“She was the best player on the floor and she played like it,” said second-year North Hardin coach Chris Corder. “I don’t think she gets the credit sometimes that she deserves, although I try to make sure she gets it, but she put us on her back tonight and carried us.”
With coaches from Belmont, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and St. Catharine looking on — presumably to get a glimpse of LaRue County’s tandem of junior wing Ivy Brown and sophomore guard Alexis Brewer — Roberts gave reason to divert their attention.
Roberts scored North Hardin’s first six points and had 15 in the final 6:52 while playing with four fouls after picking up a technical foul.
The short temper tantrum did little to take away from the positive impression Roberts had already left on fifth-year LaRue County coach Travis Wootton.
“She was a dog tonight, wasn’t she? She really got after it,” Wootton said. “She gets a bad rap. Some people say she has a bad attitude, but I think she just plays with an attitude to win when she’s on the floor. I would love to have someone who plays with that type of attitude because she ripped us tonight.”
North Hardin (5-1) struggled early, committing back-to-back backcourt turnovers and avoiding a third when Corder called a timeout. The struggles led to the Lady Trojans being tied or playing from behind the first 6:44.
North Hardin didn’t trail after Taft made the second of two free throws with 2:25 left in the first quarter to tie the score at 9.
The Lady Trojans led the final 25:16 after a baseline drive by Stanford.
“She still kept her head on straight and played smart,” Roberts said of Stanford. “She did her thing and I hope she continues to do that for us.”
North Hardin continued with its solid play, leading by 15 in the first half and took its largest lead of the game at 43-27 with 59 seconds left in the third quarter after Stanford broke the Lady Hawks’ press and made a layup.
LaRue County rallied behind Brewer, whose spin move and basket in the lane cut the Lady Hawks’ deficit to 53-48 with 2:54 left.
Although she had the flu over the weekend, Brewer made 7-of-9 free throws en route to a team-high 23 points. Senior guard Haley Holt, who was also sick, added 13 points and six rebounds. Brown closed in on a double-double (eight points, nine rebounds) before fouling out.
“Obviously they’re a tough team and this was a tough test for us,” Wootton said. “At times we passed the test, but at times we failed. We’ve just got to get tougher and more physical.”
Alisha Durbin and Alley Evans scored two each for the Ladies.