Elizabethtown defeated Bowling Green, 62-41, in the first round of the 57th St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet Sixteen state basketball tournament at Northern Kentucky University’s BB&T Arena on Wednesday.
Whitney Hay scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. She also had nine rebounds for the Panthers, who will meet either Clark County or Harlan County in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon.
“I’m glad she’s on my team. I’d hate to have to figure out a way to stop her,” E-town Coach Donnie Swiney said of Hay, a sophomore who’s been offered by NKU. “ ... She’s a special player and I’ve glad I got her for a couple more years.”
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Leikyn Walker also finished in double-digit scoring for E-town with 11 points and five rebounds. Karson Knight had eight points, five rebounds and five assists. Tanisia Murphy had nine points and five assists.
Elizabethtown is in the girls’ state tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons and the 10th time overall. It won its only championship 20 years ago in 1998.
The Panthers made nearly half their shots (23 of 51) while holding Bowling Green to 26.9 percent shooting for the game (14 of 52). They outrebounded the Purples, 37-32.
Keely Morrow, a senior, led Bowling Green with 14 points and seven rebounds, but she was only 3-for-14 from the field. Nine of her points came in the third quarter.
“We knew at halftime Morrow hadn’t played well the first half and she hadn’t scored the ball much,” Swiney said. “I told them, ‘She’s scored 2,800 points. She’s gonna score.’ And I thought she was at some point gonna try to take the game over, and that was just something we talked about; we had to be sure we located her.
“We lost her a couple of times in the third .. but for the most part I thought we did an excellent job on her today.