Lady Maroons down Casey in district semifinals

Feb. 27—MT. VERNON — The Lady Maroons opened their postseason journey on Monday night as the number one seed in the 47th District Tournament, with senior Sydney Martin sitting close to the all-time school scoring record at Pulaski County High as well. In order to get one step closer to a district title, the Maroons had to defeat the Casey County Lady Rebels, a team that they beat twice this season with a 30+ point margin.

Turns out, this one was over by half as Pulaski held another 30+ point lead at the break. Pulaski was able to rest their starters for a majority of the second half, with Martin achieving the school record by half as well, and the Maroons cruised to a 73-46 victory over Casey County.

Brooklyn Thomas was the first to score on the evening, hitting a shot from long range. After four straight from Martin and a layup from Madeline Butcher, the Pulaski lead was at 9-0 and Casey was forced to call a quick timeout. The trio of Martin, Thomas and Butcher were unstoppable early on, as they scored the first 19 points of the game and the Maroons found themselves ahead by a ton early on. Sophomore Elizabeth Forbes finally scored the first basket of the game for the Lady Rebels after the 19-0 spree.

Baskets from Hannah Murray, Maggie Holt and Thomas, as well as a three from Butcher, gave Pulaski a 28-2 lead and forced another Casey timeout. Forbes connected from three-point range for the first time in the game for the Lady Rebels before an answer from long range by Holt. A buzzer-beating three from nearly half court was drained by Forbes to end the period, with Pulaski on top 33-11.

After an opening made free throw from Forbes, Martin and Butcher connected on back-to-back three-pointers before an offensive put-back by Thomas put the Maroons' lead at 41-12. McKaila Monroe got in on the scoring with four points in the period, along with a massive block on the defensive end. Freshman Madi Campbell and sophomore Aslan Wethington scored for the Lady Rebels in the quarter. Towards the end of the quarter, Martin was sent to the line for two, and after she hit her first she set the all-time scoring record at Pulaski, surpassing Taylor Gover's record of 2,195 points. The Maroons held a 51-18 advantage at the break. Martin considered herself very blessed following the game to be the new holder of the record.

"It's really rewarding and a great accomplishment. I love getting to share this moment with my teammates and I really couldn't have done it without them! I'm so grateful," she exclaimed.

Forbes opened the third with a made basket inside before Butcher quickly nailed her third made three-pointer of the night. It was all Forbes for the Lady Rebels in the period, as she scored 12 of Casey County's 15 points during the eight minutes. Holt scored five straight points to activate the running clock, with Butcher hitting her fourth three of the night shortly after, as the Maroons held a 64-33 lead heading into the fourth.

The Lady Rebels were able to cut the Pulaski lead down to 64-41 after scoring the first eight of the fourth quarter, with senior Chelsea Reed hitting a three-pointer. Pulaski didn't manage much offense in the period, although Caroline Heist would score four, Gracyn Cook hit a three and Rilee Ross hit a layup during the latter stages. It was ultimately a comfortable Pulaski victory though 73-46.

The Lady Maroons were led by Martin with 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals, as well as Butcher with 16 points, two rebounds, two steals and four assists. Other contributors included Holt with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals, Thomas with nine points and 12 rebounds, Murray with six points, five assists and four steals, Monroe and Heist with four apiece, Cook with three and Ross with two. Casey County was led by Forbes with a game-high 24 points.

Pulaski improves to 23-7 and will square off against Rockcastle County in the 47th District title game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at