When the clock struck 0:00 Wednesday on Spencer County’s 45-26 win over Shelby County, it sounded the end of the Rockets’ season.

“I think we battled," head coach Olivia Farmer said. "It was just those minute, tiny things that I didn’t see that was in our game plan — boxing out every time, being patient on offense. We were disciplined enough to where we had opportunities, we just didn’t get there. Their offensive rebounding — I preach and preach that if we rebound, we win the game. I didn’t think our passes today looked really solid. We looked a little helter skelter there. They definitely got us off of our game and our tempo.”

There was no onslaught in Wednesday night’s game, but the Bears kept a steady pace and never allowed Shelby a chance to get back into the game once they’d widened the gap to double-digits, taking an 11-point lead into the half and a 12-point lead into the fourth.

“We know what we need to do now after tonight. We say we either win or we learn and we learned tonight,” Farmer said. “We need to work on our man-to-man defense because I want to play that all year next year. That hurt us there at the end.”

The loss puts an end to the high school basketball careers of seniors Jaci Woods and Kassie Moore — both of whom Farmer credits to helping build the program back up.

“I told the seniors they changed the culture of this program. They’ve got nothing to hang their heads about,” she said. “You look at Jaci and the success she’s had, the person that Kassie Moore is — nothing to hang their heads about.”

Woods joined the 1,000 point club earlier this year and has taken the mantle of top scoring threat in her junior year when there was a vacuum at the top of the stat sheet. But it’s the little things Woods did that Farmer will miss most.

“She’s brought energy. I know what I’m going to get out of her every single day and that’s everything she’s got, whether it’s running sprints in practice, going through a drill, game time I’m going to get everything she’s got. I told her that’s what I’ll always remember about her,” she said. “I think she’s got a lot of successes that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet. Her pass deflections – her hands are always up on defense. She’s always diving on the floor. It’s those little minute things that people don’t always see. She looks successful on the stat sheet but to me, she’s even more successful. I’m so proud of her.”

Moore was a foundational piece in building the program that Farmer wanted to turn the Rockets into when she arrived in Shelby County last year.

“New coach, kids had to get comfortable but really this year, she’s been someone who has stepped up for me. She’s done everything I’ve wanted her to do,” she said. “She’s always ready to challenge herself in practice. She’ll seek out a player who, on paper, is better than her on defense to make herself a better player. She’s made big improvements and she’s going to be very successful.”

Looking ahead to next year, four of the Rockets’ starting five return — Cassie Dale, Ashlynn Brangers, Autumn Simpson and Navaeh Acklin — and that’s got Farmer excited for the 2023-24 season already.

“It’s huge. I’m excited to see who all steps up — hopefully they all step up in their own way,” she said. “I’m excited to see where they step up and how we shape up to be and see what everybody brings to the table. Next year will be wide open as far as scoring, rebounding, defense and I’m excited to see that diversity.”

While Farmer and the rest of the Rockets wanted their season to last longer, she can’t help but consider her second year at SCHS anything but a success.

“From last year to this year, seeing how these kids have bought into what we’re trying to do, I give it an A,” she said. “Overall, from the jump — discipline, executing the offense, doing what we ask — I can’t give it anything but an A. I’m proud of my kids. They showed up day in and day out. We’ve got a lot of dual sport kids and kids who work outside of practice and they all showed up to try to make us better every day.”