Lexington Christian was coming off of a state championship last year.
So maybe the Eagles didn't take their next season quite as seriously as they should have.
"We didn't have that hunger," Anna Martin explained.
Fellow senior guard Courtney Clifton agreed.
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"We didn't practice hard last year," Clifton said. "This year, we're giving effort. We're playing our hearts out. That's important to us. It's how we want to go out."
They didn't want to go out like they did last year, falling in the district semifinals to archrival Lexington Catholic.
The No. 2 Eagles' hunger showed in a 74-64 win over Catholic Friday night in the 43rd District championship.
"We've learned how to win games and how to do it together," said Martin, a DePaul signee who had 22 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Western Kentucky signee Clifton was named tournament Most Valuable Player behind her 26 points and three steals.
University of Kentucky commitment Sarah Beth Barnette had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight steals for the Eagles (26-4), who won their 12th straight game.
Both teams advance to the 11th Region Tournament at Eastern Kentucky next week.
Catholic and Christian looked like teams with history. In the first half, the game was tied seven times, including the 37-37 halftime score.
An intentional foul was called against Catholic in the opening minute of the second half and put the Knights in an immediate 41-37 hole.
A Maggie Wilson three-pointer a few seconds later cut the lead to one point, but Catholic could never pull ahead. The senior guard led the Knights with 18 points and five rebounds.
Catholic's other two seniors also finished in double figures with Danielle Corbett scoring 16 and Shaneque McGhee adding 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Catholic made its runs, but the Eagles' defense was able to hold until the end.
"They played hard and did a great job," Catholic Coach Tony Talbott said of LCA. "But I'm proud of our kids, too, they played hard. We're just waiting for next week now."
LCA Coach Jason Seamands isn't ruling out another go-around with the Knights, who have lost three times to the Eagles this season.
"They're good and they're getting better," he said. "We've watched them all year and they're going to be formidable in a very good region."
lEX. CHRISTIAN 74, LEX. CATHOLIC 64
LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (26-4) — Martin 7-15 7-9 22; Barnette 6-14 2-2 16; Dorton 2-2 0-0 4; Clifton 8-16 5-6 26; Cox 1-3 0-0 3; Jacob 0-3 0-1 0; Mitchuson 1-4 0-2 3. Totals 25-57 14-20 74.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (16-14) — Scott 0-0 1-2 1; Smith 0-1 0-0 0; McGhee 4-11 7-12 15; Maronde 0-1 0-0 0; Cawood 0-2 0-0 0; Corbett 6-14 1-2 16; M. Wilson 7-18 0-1 18; O. Wilson 4-7 4-4 12; Botkin 0-2 0-0 0; Harrison 0-2 2-2 2; . Totals 21-56 15-23 64.
Lexington Christian 21 16 17 20 —74
Lexington Catholic 22 15 10 17 —64
MVP—Courtney Clifton (Lexington Christian)
Lexington Christian: Sarah Beth Barnette, Anna Martin; Lexington Catholic: Shaneque McGhee, Maggie Wilson; Paul Dunbar: Ebony Rowe; Tates Creek: Betsy Goodin; Lafayette: Lisa Hack.