Frederick Douglass' first boys' and girls' basketball games are in the books, but the Broncos will still be seeking their first victories the next time they take the court.
Henry Clay swept Douglass, 59-40 in the girls' game and 93-75 in the boys' game that followed, as part of a double-header Tuesday night at Douglass. It also served as the 42nd District opener for both teams, giving the Blue Devils a leg up in both district standings.
Official attendance wasn’t reported but the gym appeared at about 80-percent capacity for the historic games.
“The first game in school history, first team to do it, what more can you ask?” said Douglass girls’ coach Shawn Ransom, who was formerly at Bryan Station. “I’m gonna stay excited pretty much the whole time.”
Kiya Thompson, a junior, led Henry Clays girls with 33 points on 14 of 26 shooting. Eight grader Amiya Jenkins had a double-double — 12 points and 10 rebounds — for the Blue Devils in their season-opener.
Destyne Jackson, a junior who previously played at Henry Clay, scored 29 points (9-for-15 shooting) against her former school. Freshman Ashanti Hollingsworth had a game-high 14 rebounds for the Broncos.
On the boys’ side, Jalen Williams led five Blue Devils in double-figures with 24 points on 8-for-16 shooting. He also had a game-high eight rebounds.
Justin Mitchell, who played at Henry Clay previously, led Douglass with 23 points.
“It was cool to be the oldest high school in Henry Clay playing the newest high school,” said Henry Clay boys’ coach Daniel Brown. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Brown called Kurt Young, the Frederick Douglass boys’ coach, a “good friend” who’s going to do a great job as the program develops.
Both Douglass programs consist mostly of underclassmen (Mitchell is the only boys’ senior and the girls have only two seniors). Neither Young nor Ransom were too distraught about the Broncos getting off on the wrong foot.
“It’s a good experience for our kids. Coming into the season we knew we’d have only one kid with varsity experience tonight, and that’s what we played like,” said Young, who was at Mercer County last season. “Henry Clay’s a veteran team and they’ve got their system in place, and they’ve got some very good players. ... Our biggest thing is being able to take this and learn from it. The bottom line is, we told ’em earlier, ‘We can win this game, and if we don’t get better throughout the year, it doesn’t matter.’”
Douglass’ girls will be the first to get another chance to walk away winners. They’ll host Woodford County at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The boys will next play at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of a double-header with the girls against Sayre.
The Sayre game will be the first contest for four Douglass players who were suspended one game by the KHSAA after they participated in an illegal scrimmage.
Girls: Henry Clay 59, Frederick Douglass 40
Henry Clay (1-0): Alexis Lutz 3, Braxton Price 1, Kiya Thompson 33, Oriona Woods 5, Amiya Jenkins 12, Aranna Rhodes 1, Cheyenne Jones 2, Taviona Sanford 1, Madison Cox 1.
Frederick Douglass (0-1): Destyne Jackson 29, Niyaune Gentry 3, Ashanti Hollingsworth 4, Abby Vires 2, Shania Mayes 2.
Boys: Henry Clay 93, Frederick Douglass 75
Henry Clay (1-0): Jalen Williams 24, Marque Warrick 15, Keaston Brown 18, Ramond Jackson 8, Harris Hawkins 13, Andreus Green 11, Jackson Phillips 1, Zamond Campbell 3.
Frederick Douglass (0-1): Justin Mitchell 23, Lincoln Bush 2, Nakyir Joyce 2, Amirion Joyce 13, Jayden Brown 14, DaShawn Jackson 3, Trent Grundy 3, Bilal Chhadh 2, Julius Searce 2, Brendan Reynolds 6, Nyaril Boyd 2, Jayden Henderson 2.