Krishani Jackson came out of the locker room limping, all wrapped up.
Other Fleming County players had the look of exhaustion.
They had just been through a war and prevailed, knocking off Mason County 60-53 as they simply outworked the Lady Royals in the contest.
“The last couple of games we’ve given each kid an individual goal. Whether it’s rebounding, getting 50-50 balls, working on their turnovers and then we have team goals, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding. It seems like giving them those goals has helped them a whole lot,” Lady Panthers coach Melanie Rogers said. “Great effort, great teamwork tonight.”
Jackson ended with 18 points, suffering from cramps and whatever else her body was going through as she constantly was in the middle of 50-50 balls for rebounds or loose balls, often times coming out as the one with the ball, helping her team win the rebounding battle 36-25.
“Krishani has spark, has a motor, grit and heart and I love her,” Rogers said.
Sidney Argo was coming off a girls’ program record 40 points in a game on Wednesday night and looked to be back on that path scoring the Lady Panthers first six points of the game. She’d end with a modest 21, her nine fourth quarter points vital in the victory, including a stretch of seven straight points when the Lady Royals got within four.
Mason County, still shorthanded and will be the rest of the season after dismissing Emma Taylor, Roclynn Glover and Allison Gibbs from the team for a violation of team rules, just didn’t have much in the tank it looked throughout the entirety of Friday’s contest.
“I think we’re beat up and a little sore and fatigued but like I told the girls that’s not an excuse. Everyone is beat up and fatigued at this time of the year, are we preserving our bodies and doing what we need to do to make sure we’re rested and in good shape when we get on the floor,” Lady Royals coach brad Cox said. “Sometimes you have to make tough decisions, it’s an unfortunate situation and did what we thought was best for our program. We still love and care about everyone whether they’re a part of our program or not and sometimes you have to set a precedent on what we want the standard of our program to be.”
The Lady Royals had to play catch-up from the jump, falling down 18-13 after a quarter of play, a four-point second quarter not helping the cause as they went into the half down 29-17. Mason County finished 20-of-69 from the field.
“We’ve been able to make shots the last three or four weeks in order to get into our pressure and our defenses we wanted to play. We weren’t able to knock down many perimeter shots tonight, missed a bunch of easy shots on the interior and that kind of took us out of our flow,” Cox said. “They were the first one to go get the 50-50 balls. They wanted it a little bit more then we did tonight.”
Fleming built the lead as big as 14 in the third, Jackson and Argo combining for 10 of the Lady Panthers 14 points as they took a 43-35 lead into the fourth.
The Lady Royals got it within four as they started the fourth quarter with the first four points, but a personal 7-0 Argo run put it back out of reach to make it 50-39. The Lady Royals would get no closer then five from there as the Lady Panthers ended a four-game losing streak to the Lady Royals.
The win gets Fleming County to 12-15, winning their second straight after a 10-game losing streak.
Mason County dropped to 12-13, getting 22 points from Haley White, 18 from Rachel Payne in the loss.
LADY PANTHERS 60, LADY ROYALS 53
Fleming (60) — Argo 21, K. Jackson 18, Nelson 7, Arrasmith 6, C. Price 3, S. Price 3, A. Jackson 2
Mason (53) — White 22, Payne 18, Sims 4, Henry 3, Littleton 2, Harrison 2, Thomas 2
Field Goals: Fleming 23/56, Mason 20/69
3-pointers: Fleming 3/10, Mason 4/16
Rebounds: Fleming 36, Mason 25
Records: Fleming County 12-15, Mason County 12-13