Lafayette lost in the 43rd District tournament finals for the first time in five seasons on Friday. That result appeared to have lit a fire under the Generals, who jumped out to a 24-2 first-quarter lead in their 68-48 victory over Madison Central in the first round of the 11th Region tournament.
The win set up a semifinals meeting with Franklin County on Friday; the Flyers knocked off Lafayette in last year’s finals to win their third consecutive 11th Region championship.
Caroline Bennett, the Generals’ leading scorer, only scored five points against Dunbar on Friday. She hit her first three-point attempt of the game and led Lafayette with 18 points and eight rebounds on Tuesday.
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Lindi DeBilzan had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Terri Abram finished with 16 points and six boards for the Generals.
“After the loss on Friday we just talked about that we still have a chance to win the region,” Lafayette Coach Allison Denton said. “We discussed Lafayette’s boys’ team in 2001 that was runner-up and had a losing record that year and came through and won the state championship that year. It’s up to them. … They acted like they really wanted something tonight.”
The Generals never extended their lead into running-clock territory. Denton expected a slowdown.
“(That’s) what I knew was gonna happen, because they’re human and they’re teenagers,” Denton said. “ … I hate to tell ’em not to take shots because they’re such good shooters, but they’ve got to learn some game-management lessons. We did some good things down the stretch too.”
No. 7 Murray 66, Ballard Memorial 40 (First Region): Miss Basketball finalist Macey Turley scored 17 points for the Tigers.
Carlise County 52, Paducah Tilghman 48 (First Region): Mollie Henderson had a game-high 16 points for the Comets, who will meet defending region champ Murray in the semifinals Friday at Murray State University.
Scott 77, Harrison County 44 (10th Region): Anna Clephane had 28 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead the Eagles.
Mason County 50, Paris 32 (10th Region): Kara Moran led the Royals with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Mason County will host Scott in the semifinals on Friday.
Paris’ Kiara Garrard matched Zoe Strings with 11 points to lead the Greyhounds. Garrard, a senior, joined the 1,000-point club in the game’s waning moments.
No. 4 Mercer County 84, Rockcastle County 49 (12th Region): Miss Basketball finalist and University of Louisville signee Seygan Robins had 17 points for the defending state champions. Mercer County is looking for its fourth straight 12th Region title.
No. 13 Lincoln County 81, Wayne County 49 (12th Region): Emma King, a junior who’s committed to the University of Kentucky, scored 24 of her 26 points in the first half as the Patriots cruised. They’ll host Mercer County in the semifinals Friday night.
North Laurel 71, Harlan 53 (13th Region): Madison Sheppard led the Jaguars with 30 points. They’ll play Whitley County in the semifinals Friday at Corbin Arena.
Whitley County 53, Knox Central 52 (2OT, 13th Region): Abbey Estes scored 30 points and made eight three-pointers for the Colonels. Knox Central freshman Presley Partin scored 24 points.
Pikeville 68, Pike County Central 57 (15th Region): Grace Bartley had 24 points, nine rebounds and two steals in the Panthers’ victory. Pikeville will play Floyd Central in the semifinals Friday night at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center.
Floyd Central 49, Sheldon Clark 46 (15th Region): Katie Moore scored 17 points to lead the Jaguars, who are in their inaugural season, to their first region-tournament victory. Kaylee Moore nearly had a double-double for Floyd Central with 10 points and eight rebounds. Madison Thompson had 10 points and 16 rebounds for Sheldon Clark.
Boyd County 73, East Carter 48 (16th Region): Savannah Wheeler, a junior who’s committed to Marshall University, had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Lions.
Russell 67, Rowan County 38 (16th Region): Madison Darnell didn’t miss a shot in the Red Devils’ victory. She went 9-for-9 and finished with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. Russell will play Boyd County in the semifinals at Morehead State University.
No. 11 Doss 72, Fairdale 70 (Sixth Region): Terez Traynor, who’s committed to play football at Western Kentucky University, hit a shot with 3.2 seconds left to make the difference for the Dragons. Senior Stephon Franklin had 24 points for Doss, which will play defending region champ Fern Creek in Friday’s semifinals at Valley.
No. 12 Pleasure Ridge Park 45, No. 10 Butler 43 (Sixth Region): B.J. Robinson led the Panthers with 13 points. PRP avenged a loss to the Bears in the regular season, their third-such victory in the postseason, and will play Jeffersontown in the semifinals on Saturday at Valley.
No. 6 Ballard 83, Male 67 (Sixth Region): Marshon Ford had a game-high 17 for the Bruins, who will play Central in the semifinals on Friday. The Yellowjackets’ Eric Rice hit a shot in the final second to get Central past Seneca, 72-70, in the first round.
No. 24 St. Xavier 56, Manual 49 (Seventh Region): Pierce Kiesler scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tigers, who set up a date with No. 7 Trinity, which defeated Eastern 64-27, on Friday night at Valley. Kiesler went 8-for-8 at the free-throw line. Jordan McClendon had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Manual.