High school girls basketball: Marion County 66, Bowling Green 43

mmaloney@herald-leader.comDecember 23, 2012 

Marion County played like a team on a mission Sunday.

The Lady Knights completed a 4-0 run through the Republic Bank Holiday Classic, routing Bowling Green 66-43 in the championship game at Lexington Catholic.

Top-ranked Marion (11-0), which fell by four points to Manual in last season's State finals, is intent on taking the next step.

"That's our main focus," Coach Trent Milby said. "We want to come out focused every night, try to play our best every single night. Then come March, we're going to try to cut the nets down."

Tournament MVP Makayla Epps and fellow University of Kentucky signee Kyvin Goodin-Rogers finished with 16 points each. Alexus Calhoun scored 14 and Patrice Tonge had 10. Logan Powell had seven of Marion's 33 rebounds.

A full-court press led to 22 turnovers, 17 in the first half.

At intermission, the Lady Knights were in control 46-20, with a 23-2 advantage in points off turnovers.

"We run that 2-2-1 press, where we try to pressure them up front to make them force silly passes where we can just pick them off and run," Epps said.

The 5-foot-11 point guard finished with eight assists and four steals.

Marion's only scare came late in the third quarter when Goodin-Rogers fell on her neck while battling in the paint.

She left the game and later said she felt tight along her spine. She says she'll be ready for Thursday's game against Paducah Tilghman, though.

"Oh, I'll be fine. I'll get through it," Goodin-Rogers said. "I've got things to do."

Marion led by as many as 30 points.

"At the beginning of the tournament, we didn't hunker down on defense," Goodin-Rogers said. "We're finally coming out and playing defense and doing what we've got to get done."

And gaining momentum.

"This just gives us more and more confidence," Epps said. "We play some tough teams during the season, but coming up here we face CAL and then Bryan Station again, and now Bowling Green. So we're playing more out-of-area teams, getting more talented and more experience in each game."

No. 23 Bowling Green (9-2) got 18 points from Diamond Marshall. Brittany Vaughn had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Tonge, Powell and Goodin-Rogers joined Epps on the all-tourney team. Marshall, Vaughn and Makayla Gray were Bowling Green's picks.

Bryan Station 60, Franklin Co. 49: Hallie Crumbie had nine points, 11 rebounds, four assists and six steals in the third-place game.

Butler signee Serena Sandusky had 15 points and four assists. Sandusky and Victoria McCoy earned all-tourney honors for the winners.

"We were very happy with the fact that we were able to win three games (here)," Coach Donna Murphy said. "Then we lost (64-43 to Marion County), and I think that had a lot to just being tired, too, because we weren't able to play our best game. Then we were able to come back, so I was real pleased with that."

Dasia Kilbourne headed the Flyers with 18 points. All-tourney selections Raven Timmons and Nannilena White added 13 and seven.

Bryan Station overcame a 21-8 difference in turnovers by shooting 60.5 percent (23-for-38), holding Franklin to 29.8 percent (14-for-47).

Championship

MARION CO. (11-0) — Epps 16, Tonge 10, Calhoun 14, Powell 4, Goodin-Rogers 16, Howard 6, Wheatley 0, Burton 0. Totals 26-58 8-13 66.

BOWLING GREEN (9-2) — Vaughn 13, Gray 4, Vincent 2, Marshall 18, Boards 2, Pruitt 4. Totals 19-45 1-4 43.

Marion County 24 22 9 11 — 66

Bowling Green 13 7 16 7 — 43

Three-point goals — MC 6-18 (Epps 0-1, Tonge 0-3, Powell 1-4, Goodin-Rogers 3-5, Wheatley 0-1, Howard 2-3, Burton 0-1), BG 4-9 (Vaughn 3-7, Pruitt 1-2).

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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