Lexington Catholic enjoyed a strong opening to its Republic Bank Holiday Classic.
The Lady Knights overcame a sluggish start to overwhelm Christian Academy of Louisville 59-37 Friday.
Rachel Blake led Catholic with 16 points, while Tori Pippin came off the bench to score 15.
Catholic (4-2) will meet Owensboro Catholic in a Saturday winners' bracket game. CAL drops to the losers' bracket to face Bourbon County.
"We haven't played all week, and I was a little worried about that," Catholic Coach Scott True said. "I felt like we were a little flat in the first (quarter) and kind of had to gear ourselves up a little bit. And they hit some shots early and got some confidence.
"But I was really pleased with the second and third quarters. I felt like we played real well. We kept changing defenses and I felt like that bothered them a little bit. We did better on the boards tonight."
Led by Sarah Bonn with eight and Caroline Lynch with seven, Catholic outrebounded the Lady Centurions 48-29.
Emma Bowman, who sparked CAL with 16 points and seven boards, scored seven first-quarter points to help the visitors to a 14-13 lead.
Catholic took the lead for keeps with a 6-0 run to open the second quarter.
"I think we played pretty well," Blake said. "We came out with a lot of energy, which really helps us."
Catholic wound up dominating the period 11-2, holding CAL to Allie Blackburn's field goal at the four-minute mark.
Then the Knights blew the game open with a 26-10 third quarter.
Pippin gave a big boost off the bench, sinking four of five three-point attempts in just under 10 minutes of action.
"I was really excited because it was the first game actually getting minutes back because I had (back) surgery in August," said Pippin, who has been practicing for about three weeks and appeared in some junior-varsity contests. "It was my first time actually knowing I was going to go in and play, so I was just ready to go."
The Knights showed two zones in the first half and three in the second half, mixing in some man-to-man.
"We were trying to keep them off balance with that and I felt like it wore on them a little bit, trying to adjust, and forced them into a couple bad shots," True said. "Then we got a little bit out of our press and turned them over.
"The big thing right now is we're pushing the basketball, and we got some transition looks tonight. ... If we get those, it makes life easier for us."
The transition game helped Catholic shoot 44.4 percent (12 of 27) in the second half after a 30.8 percent (8 of 26) first half.
The Centurions (1-5) struggled near the 28 percent mark in both halves, finishing at 28.3 percent (15 of 53) overall.
"We have a lot of different zones," Blake said, "so it's really hard for them to figure what to play against us."
Suzanne Miller added eight points for Catholic. Bailey Browning had seven of Catholic's 18 assists, plus three of the team's 10 steals.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC 59, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF LOUISVILLE 37
Christian Academy of Louisville (1-5) — Bowman 16, Campbell 0, Dunn 4, Wesley 0, Conti 5, Reese 6, Blackburn 4, Glidewell 2. Totals 15-53 5-8 37.
Lexington Catholic (4-2) — Blake 16, Lynch 5, Gadberry 4, Browning 2, Miller 8, Osbourn 3, Bonn 2, Cornett 4, Pippin 15. Totals 20-53 13-19 59.
Christian Academy Louisville 14 2 10 11—37
Lexington Catholic 13 11 26 9—59
Three-point goals — CAL 2-18 (Bowman 1-1, Dunn 0-2, Wesley 0-5, Conti 1-4, Reese 0-2, Blackburn 0-4); Catholic 6-19 (Blake 1-5, Browning 0-2, Miller 0-2, Osbourn 1-2, Bonn 0-1, Pippin 4-5, Ballard 0-2).
Republic Bank Holiday Classic on Saturday
What: 28-team girls' basketball tournament, which continues through Monday
When: Full day of games begins at 9 a.m.
Where: Lexington Catholic High School
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.