Tuesday was a night of firsts for Scott True.
First game of the girls' basketball season.
His first as Lexington Catholic's head coach.
Most importantly, his team's first victory.
The Lady Knights rallied from an 11-point deficit on the road to edge Henry Clay 47-42.
Trailing 25-14 midway through the second quarter, Catholic maintained poise.
"That's the thing for us. We can't get in a hurry. We made eight turnovers in the first half; we made four in about a two-minute stretch," True said. "So once we settled down, this is a tough bunch of kids. We were out-athleted a little bit tonight but we hit some threes when we needed them and we got some big blockouts when we needed them. I was real pleased with that."
Catholic, 20-12 last season and No. 21 in the Herald-Leader pre-season poll, was led by Rachel Blake with 16 points. Octavia Wilson totaled nine points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Suzanne Miller came off the bench to add eight points.
"This was a really big game for us ... (a) region game," Blake said. "We came out and played our hardest, and we came out with a win."
T'laya Lyvers paced Henry Clay with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Areanna Porter also grabbed 10 boards and had seven points.
Destiny Carter, who had five points, six assists and four steals, gave Henry Clay its 25-14 advantage when she hit a three-pointer with 5:00 left in the half.
The Blue Devils would not hit another three in the game, though, finishing 5-for-23 from beyond the arc. In fact, the Devils shot 0-for-9 from long range in the second half, 7-for-26 overall (26.9 percent).
Catholic, down 28-22 at halftime, shot 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) in the second half, including 3-for-6 from three-point range.
"They're a good shooting team and we couldn't stop the bleeding," Devils Coach Eric Sanford said. "We'd come down, we'd get the stop and then couldn't score. They got a lot of open looks, and they knocked down shots."
The Lady Knights caught up at 32 when Miller hit a trey from the corner nearest her bench.
Another three, by Sara Cawood, put Catholic on top 35-34 through three quarters.
With Blake scoring the first 10 of Catholic's 12 fourth-quarter points, the Lady Knights never lost the lead. Included were four layups, two on inbound plays.
"I was nervous, but I had to do what we had to get done," said Blake, a 5-foot-7 sophomore. "We had to do it."
Henry Clay, 4-23 last year, showed enough to encourage second-year Sanford.
"Oh, absolutely," he said. "We've got to continue to apply pressure. Got a little fatigued. Made some mental errors. But that's part of having a young team. ... The good thing is we can correct the small things and get better tomorrow."
Much of Henry Clay's early success came inside. The Devils outrebounded Catholic 36-27 overall, but only 15-13 in the second half.
"We had to do a good job on the post tonight. We knew that," True said. "And our kids really rotated and talked well. Caroline Lynch and Rachel Blake and Hannah Gadberry — super job tonight. Rotating on the post, not getting in foul trouble, contesting shots. It's a great way to start and it's a big, tough win for us."
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (1-0) — Blake 16, Wilson 9, Lynch 0, Cawood 5, Browning 7, Miller 8, Gadberry 2. Totals 18-38 5-9 47.
HENRY CLAY (0-1) — Davis 6, Porter 7, Richmond 5, Carter 5, Lyvers 15, Young 2, Boyd 2. Totals 17-55 3-6 42.
Lexington Catholic 11 11 13 12—47
Henry Clay 20 8 6 8—42
Three-point goals — LC: 6-14 (Blake 1-2, Wilson 1-4, Cawood 1-3, Browning 1-2, Miller 2-3); HC: 5-23 (Davis 2-3, Richmond 1-12, Carter 1-1, Lyvers 1-7).
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com