VERSAILLES — Woodford County had visiting Henry Clay on the ropes Friday night.
The eighth-rated Blue Devils found a way to win, though, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to pull out a 57-51 girls' basketball victory.
"We just had some key girls knock down key shots," Henry Clay Coach Eric Sanford said. "Kennedy Coney hit a big three-pointer to end the third. Anovia Byars, who led us in scoring tonight, played an excellent game; hit another big three-pointer going into the fourth. And then that just kind of sparked us for the remainder of the game."
Henry Clay (21-3) won its 12th game in a row. The Blue Devils enjoyed an 18-0 advantage in bench points, led by Coney with eight and Hannah Young with six.
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Byars led the Devils with 12 points and Destiny Carter had 10.
"We just stuck together," Byars said.
"We faced adversity a little bit. Everybody was getting down about it. I was like 'c'mon, we've got to go. Let's go. We're going to get it. Let's go.' That was it — just try to encourage each other."
Caitlin Ferguson totaled 19 points and eight rebounds for Woodford (11-15). Chelsey Ford added 13 points and seven boards.
Woodford outscored Henry Clay 15-6 at the free-throw line and 24-15 from the three-point line.
The Yellow Jackets led 29-27 at halftime.
Woodford Coach Jay Lucas said tempo was the key to his team's success.
"Henry Clay wants to run; they want to press and run," he said. "And we did a good job of being patient, looking for open threes, knocking down some shots."
Henry Clay spent much of the game without the services of Carter and T'laya Lyvers due to foul trouble. Each picked up a fourth foul midway through the third quarter.
"During that time, it was really our experience, our leadership," Sanford said. "Our seniors really stepped up. As coaches, we didn't have to say much. They did all the talking. They got themselves together. And they closed out the game on a good note."
Woodford scored eight straight points, including four technical free throws by Ford, to lead 43-37. Coney's trey to end the quarter pulled Henry Clay to within 43-40.
Byars opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a three-pointer that hit off the rim and top of the backboard before dropping through.
Jordyn Jackson, part of Henry Clay's bench corps, put the Devils ahead 45-43 when she scored on a put-back.
Henry Clay didn't pull away, though, until the final 1:30.
Jazmine Richmond's bucket with 1:16 left started a run of six straight points and gave the Devils a 53-50 lead.
Carter added a free throw with 28.9 seconds left, and Byars converted a three-point play for a 57-50 advantage with 16.5 seconds left.
"I just remember me knocking down the shot," Byars said, "and that happened because my teammates got me open."
"Just a fantastic game," Lucas said. "It's a shame there has to be a loser. ... We played well and they played just a little better in the last 90 seconds."
Henry Clay 57, Woodford Co. 51
HENRY CLAY (21-3) — Richmond 9, Lyvers 6, Byars 12, Green 2, Carter 10, Coney 8, Young 6, Jackson 4. Totals 23-43 6-11 57.
WOODFORD CO. (11-15) — Ferguson 19, Reed 9, Ford 13, Hudson 6, Corum 4. Totals 14-40 15-19 51.
Henry Clay 15 12 13 17—57
Woodford County 11 18 14 8—51