Girls' Sweet 16: Elizabethtown ousts Clark County 71-56 in the semifinals

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 15, 2014 

  • GIRLS' SWEET SIXTEEN CHAMPIONSHIP

    Butler vs. Elizabethtown

    When: 3 p.m. Sunday

    Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5

    TV: CWKYT-27.2 (8 p.m, taped)

So it will be No. 1 Elizabethtown against No. 2 Butler for the championship of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen.

E-town did its part Saturday night by ousting Clark County 71-56 in the semifinals at Diddle Arena.

The Lady Panthers (32-4) will face Butler, a 62-50 winner over Ashland Blazer, in Sunday's championship game, set for 3 p.m. ET.

E-town has won 17 games in a row and 23 of 24.

Coach Tim Mudd, in his 20th season, has led E-town to one state title (1998) and two runner-up finishes.

Clark County, which had won 13 of 14 games coming in, finished with a 27-8 record.

Erin Boley, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, led E-town with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Darien Huff scored 17 points, Rachel Warden had 15 and Reauna Cleaver tallied 12.

Lexxus Graham topped Clark County with 23 points. Then came Paige Taylor with 10, Sydney Anderson with nine and Sandra Skinner with eight.

E-town led 16-14 through one quarter and 40-26 at halftime.

Key to building that halftime cushion was Clark County's 10 turnovers, which E-town converted into 18 points. Clark County got no points off of two Panther turnovers.

Huff led E-town with 11 first-half points, while Boley had nine.

Skinner and Graham each scored eight for the Cardinals.

Clark County nearly cut that 14-point deficit in half in the third quarter, pulling to within 44-36 when Graham hit back-to-back three-pointers.

E-town's lead was 49-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

Boley scored the first six points of the period to open a 55-40 gap.

Clark standout Skinner then fouled out with 4:46 left, when Cleaver's free throw made it 56-42.

Graham sank a three-pointer to bring Clark to within 56-45.

E-town came back with two free throws by Warden and a back-door bucket by Huff for a 15-point lead.

Graham hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull Clark to within 60-51 with 1:36 left to play.

It was too little too late, though.

Huff made a pair of free throws and, after a Clark turnover, Livie Bowling made one for a 12-point advantage.

Clark's Maddie Hamlin and E-town's Huff traded a pair of free throws each, and Boley's two freebies with 59 seconds left made it 67-53.

The only question then was the final margin.

Clark County, the 10th Region champion, advanced to the semifinals by beating Corbin 79-70 and Marshall County 45-37.

Elizabethtown, the Fifth Region winner, beat Sacred Heart 76-61 in the first round and throttled Anderson County 58-37 in the quarterfinals.

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

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