Girls' Sweet Sixteen: E-town advances to face Clark County in semis

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 14, 2014 

Talk about a season going up in smoke.

Top-rated Elizabethtown routed No. 3 Anderson County 58-37 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet 16.

The game was delayed after 20 seconds of play when a cloud of baby powder cascaded down from the E-town student section.

Teams were sent to their Diddle Arena locker rooms while the now-slippery court was cleaned, making the delay about 25 minutes.

Not long after, E-town sent Anderson County's season crashing to a halt.

E-town made a 10-0 first-quarter run to take a 12-5 lead. Then the Panthers rattled off 11 in a row, spanning the first two quarters, to make it 23-7.

In the midst of that, Miss Basketball finalist Eriel McKee of Anderson picked up her third foul and went to the bench.

E-town stretched the margin to 34-16 at halftime.

The Panthers will face Clark County in Saturday's semifinals.

Erin Boley led the E-town assault with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Reauna Cleaver added 10 and 12.

McKee had 13 points and six rebounds. Makenzie Cann, Anderson's other Miss Basketball finalist, was held to eight points and seven rebounds.

Clark Co. 45, Marshall Co. 37: The Cardinals used a 14-2 run over the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth to pull away.

"I told the team once we won the region that i'm foolish enough to think we can come and win four games," Coach Robbie Graham said. "I'm a big enough fool to think we can do that. So we're halfway there. ... We feel like we're a good basketball team. We feel like we can be right there."

Clark committed 19 turnovers to Marshall's 11, but offset that by controlling the boards 26-21 and holding the Marshals to 32.6 percent shooting (14 of 43). The Cards shot 53.6 percent (15 of 28).

Sandra Skinner led the Cardinals (27-7) with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Sydney Anderson had 11 points.

When Marshall came out in the second half and double-teamed Skinner, Graham told her "keep patient, be poised. We can still win the game with you not scoring. Become a passer, point forward and continue to rebound and play defense. I think we'll be fine."

Said Skinner: "I trusted my teammates when they started doubling me. I put my trust in them and they got the job done."

Michala Manley topped the Lady Marshals (31-6) with 12 points. Allie York had seven rebounds, five assists and four steals, but was 0-for-8 from the field and held to two free throws.

Ashland Blazer 64, Danville 55: The Kittens used a 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter to break open a 10-point lead, the put away the Lady Admirals.

Haley Sue Foutch led Ashland (26-8) with 19 points and 13 rebounds. She shot 5-for-7 from the field and 9-for-11 at the free-throw line, despite picking up four first-half fouls.

Mykassa Robinson added 18 points, going 8-for-8 at the foul line. Alexis Robinson had 11 points.

Shelby Gransberry, who turned her right ankle late in the first quarter, returned soon before halftime and finished with seven points, six rebounds and five blocks.

"That was just a great, gutsy win with Shelby's condition, then Haley getting in foul trouble," Kittens Coach Bill Bradley said. "I just like our composure. I thought that was the key word tonight. We worked hard and made some shots and all that, but I think keeping our cool through that little adversity we hada there was probably the key to the game."

Essence Grey totaled 25 points and seven rebounds to pace Danville (25-8). Alyvia Walker had 15 points and Nene Chenault had eight rebounds.

"Nobody gave us a chance at the beginning," Danville Coach Judie Mason said. "To be honest with you, I am so, so, so proud of this group."

Ashland led 40-37 when it went on its 7-0 run. That made the lead 47-37 with 4:26 left.

Danville scored the next five points, but that's as close as the Ads could get.

Ashland scored 13 of its last 17 points at the foul line, where it finished 22 of 30.

The Kittens made 19 of 36 field goals (52.8 percent), while holding Danville to 19 of 66 (28.8 percent).

Ashland, which won five state titles in the 1920s, is in the semifinals for the first time in the modern era (since 1975).

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

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