In 2004 Piper Lindsey helped lead the Barren County Trojanettes to the state tournament as a player.
Fast forward 15 years and Lindsey has led Barren County back to the state tournament for the first time since 2007…this time as the head coach of the Trojanettes.
“It’s really an indescribable feeling,” Lindsey said. “To be on the sidelines it’s so different – as a coach, you just really want the girls to succeed and have fun. I can relate to the excitement and the butterflies are still there.”
Barren County defeated defending region champion Bowling Green 47-35 at Western Kentucky University’s E.A. Diddle Arena last Tuesday to punch its ticket to the state tournament. The Trojanettes will now play 15th Region champion Pikeville in the first round of the KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen® Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena in Lexington at noon EST on Thursday.
“I am just so thrilled that our girls get the opportunity to play in the Sweet 16,” Lindsey said. “Our girls have worked so hard for the past four years with the dream to play at state and it’s so rewarding that they have achieved that goal. I am just so proud of them.”
The Trojanettes (31-4) had to survive a couple of close calls to make it to this point. Barren was nearly eliminated in the first round of the 15th District Tournament before McKenzie England stepped up and sank a 3-pointer at the horn in overtime to give the Trojanettes to a thrilling 52-51 victory over the Lady Patriots. In the first round of the Fourth Region Tournament a week later, the Trojanettes earned a hard-fought 60-58 win over South Warren thanks to Elizabeth Bertram converting a three-point play late in the game to put Barren in front for good.
“Our girls fight on,” Lindsey said. “ No matter what, they are resilient. We have an experienced team with many seniors who have been in similar situations. It’s a luxury to have several options as anyone of them can step up and make a play when needed; we are very confident in each of them.”
Going up against Pikeville, Lindsey likes the way her team matches up against the Lady Panthers, who defeated Johnson Central 53-35 to capture their region title.
“It seems as if we match up very well with Pikeville,” Lindsey said. “There are some similarities. They have some solid guards that shoot the ball well and a couple of bigs who can score. I believe they like to run in transition, as do we.”
If Barren County defeats Pikeville, the Trojanettes will meet either Louisville Male or Boyd County in the quarterfinals on Friday night at 6:30. Other teams on Barren County’s side of the bracket includes Collins, Southwestern, North Laurel and Henderson County. Henderson was the surprise team in the 16-team field as the Lady Colonels upset heavily-favored Webster County in the Second Region Championship Game last Tuesday.