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Lady Jackets: 38th District Champions; last seen 20 years ago
By Ross Haney
If you heard the sirens blaring through Carlisle this past Thursday night, you might have heard the Girls Basketball 38th District Champions making their way through their celebratory parade route.
The Nicholas County High School Lady Jackets were victorious this past week, having won the 38th District championship game against Harrison County High School on Thursday, Feb. 27, after their win over the Robertson County Lady Devils the previous Monday night.
The Lady Jackets won this fierce match-up in double overtime, although they had led the majority of the game. Nicholas County was more than excited for this team’s big tournament win.
This is the first district championship the girls basketball team has seen since the 1994 Lady Jackets swept the 37th District, the year after their successful state appearance. This also marks the team’s first district championship since their transfer to the 38th District in the 2005-2006 season.
The team achieved the goal that they had reached last year, when they took Pendleton County for the championship, but fell to the team in a semi-close game. This year, the team battled Harrison for the win, and made it to the top.
Both teams really turned the pressure on early, and left the entirety of the game low-scoring. Nicholas left the first quarter with a small lead, the score 8-2.
Nicholas County continued to lead with what looked like ease in the second, though it was hard for them to score through the Harrison defense. The score at the half was 15-9, but the game was not even halfway over.
Harrison County came back from the half with an urge to win that could almost match the Lady Jackets’, but did not quite reach that level of intensity. Nicholas was still leading at the end of the third, but only by three, the score Nicholas: 20, Harrison: 17.
With many scary moments, each team had a chance to lead in the fourth quarter. Just when it looked as though anyone could win, the game went into overtime, the score 26-26.
Nicholas got the first overtime’s tip, and showed promise for the win. However, Harrison put up a great fight as well. In the period’s last few seconds, Harrison threw up what could have been a buzzer beater, but it bounced off the rim just as the buzzer rang. The game went into another overtime, Nicholas: 31, Harrison: 31.
The second overtime was just as intense, keeping fans on the edge of their seats. But it was Nicholas’ free throws that would keep them ahead, despite Harrison’s last-second shot that tightened the gap in scores. The Lady Jackets had won the championship, the score, 39-37. The Nicholas County High School student section and the remaining players rushed the court to congratulate the championship team, as “On, On, Nicholas High!” rang through the horns of the NCHS Pep Band.
It had been 20 years since that same achievement had been won, as the Nicholas County High School girls basketball team took home the 38th District Tournament Championship trophy. The team prepared to cut down the net, using the same scissors that the 1993 girls basketball team used to cut their nets at the state championship game. It was a memorable moment for any Lady Jacket fan, old and new.
Lakyn Jolly, senior starter for the team, talked about one of her long-time goals finally being achieved in her last year as a Lady Jacket. “It’s the best feeling in the world. We all worked very hard. It was even better to win with some of the people I love the most.”
Coach Greg Letcher was extremely proud of his team’s colossal accomplishment, and gave his sentiments to the entire student body at the school’s pep rally last Friday.
The win was celebrated that night with an escorted parade, and the following day at NCHS with a school wide pep rally in the gymnasium. The school and community was proud of this team’s dedication, and their championship qualities. The girls’ hard work had paid off, and their efforts will help them to advance in the post-season.