Girls' Sweet Sixteen: Anderson Co. advances to showdown with Marion Co.

mfields@herald-leader.comMarch 15, 2013 

BOWLING GREEN — Anderson County will finally get a shot at No. 1 Marion County.

The Bearcats blew by Shelby Valley 65-23 in the quarterfinals of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen on Friday afternoon in Diddle Arena.

Next up for Anderson County (34-1) is a showdown with nationally ranked Marion County (37-0) in Saturday morning's semifinals.

The Bearcats were on track to play Marion County in the Republic Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic in December before they were upset by Bryan Station.

"We talked a little about that," Anderson County junior Makenzie Cann said. "We really wanted to face Marion County in that Christmas tournament, so we wanted to make sure we got a shot at them now."

Anderson County, which was rated No. 2 in the state much of the season, looked every bit that good in rolling past Shelby Valley.

Eriel McKee, a 5-foot-10 junior, led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. She outscored Shelby Valley in the first half 19-13.

Cann, a 6-foot junior, had 11 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three blocks.

Corrin Robinson had 10 points off the bench.

Anderson County led 37-13 at halftime, then ran off the first 11 points of the third quarter to make it 48-13. The 35-point margin meant there was a mercy-rule running clock the rest of the game.

"We had them outsized, and our quickness and athleticism caused them problems," Bearcats Coach Tony Kays said. "We disrupted them offensively and defensively."

Shelby Valley shot 21 percent (9-for-42) and had 12 turnovers. Rachel Smith led the Wildcats with 11 points. Taylor Rowe, daughter of Coach Rodney Rowe, added six.

Rowe was asked if Anderson County can give Marion County a tough test.

"Absolutely," he said. "They've got a lot of different weapons, they're pretty athletic and long, they play well together and they're well-coached."

Kays said he "expects nothing less than an A-plus performance from Marion County" in the semifinals.

"How wide is the gap between No. 1 and No. 2? I don't know. We have to come back tomorrow and find out."

Cann, who along with McKee has competed with and against Marion County star Makayla Epps in summer ball, is looking forward to the challenge.

"To be the best you have to beat the best," she said.

Friday's other games

Manual 78, Owensboro Catholic 69: The defending champ Crimsons stayed alive, and in the process ended the high school career of Owensboro Catholic's Becca Greenwell, one of the state's all-time best players.

Manual won behind the solid play of 6-0 junior Kayla Styles, who had 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and defended Greenwell as well as anybody could.

The Crimsons were 10-for-24 from three-point range, led by Morgan Allen's 5-for-9 performance. Allen, who suffered a cut above her left eye in Thursday's game and required five stitches, couldn't explain her terrific shooting.

"I was 1-for-9 yesterday," she said. "And I was like 0-for-100 at least at one point this season. So I don't know how I did it."

Allen finished with 17 points. Destony Curry and Aricka Prentice had 13 each.

Greenwell, a 6-1 senior who has signed with Duke, played most of the season with a bum right knee. She figured she was playing at 60 percent efficiency, but that didn't keep her from gutting out all but six seconds of her final game.

"Becca Greenwell is an absolute warrior," Manual Coach Tim Holman said

Greenwell had a tough shooting night (10-for-27), but still wound up with 30 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

"It's been an awesome six years, and I've loved every minute of it," she said of her Aces' career.

Manual's victory means that Stacy Pendleton can return as coach. He had to sit out the last three games after being ejected from the region semifinals.

Notre Dame 48, Marshall County 39: In a deliberate-paced game that made every possession valuable, Notre Dame found gold late.

The Pandas broke out of a 37-37 tie midway through the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run that might as well have been 100-0.

Olivia Voskuhl had four of her 20 points in the Notre Dame surge, which had as much to do with defense as anything. The Pandas blanked the Marshals for almost four minutes to earn their first-ever trip to the final four.

Voskuhl, a 5-10 senior, also had seven rebounds and was 6-for-6 at the foul line.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337 Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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