BOWLING GREEN — Down goes Goliath.
Deja Turner's baseline runner with about four seconds left Friday vaulted Covington Holy Cross to a thrilling 41-40 victory over Elizabethtown in the quarterfinals of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen.
Top-rated E-town, which boasts four starters with NCAA Division I commitments, came into E.A. Diddle Arena as an overwhelming favorite.
"We used that. That was to our advantage," Holy Cross Coach Kes Murphy said. "One of the comments I made last night to our kids was 'you know what — Elizabethtown is being made out as Goliath.' Everything you read, everybody put them in the championship. And I don't think people even saw us as David's little sister."
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But it will be the Indians, riding a 20-game winning streak, who will face Male in Saturday's semifinals.
"We didn't come down here to beat Elizabethtown," Murphy said. "We came down here to win the state championship. So we realize we've got some games to play. We've got two more."
Holy Cross (32-3), the All "A" Classic state champion, rallied from an 18-17 halftime deficit by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter.
The Indians maintained a lead until the final minute.
Leading 39-37, Turner was called for an offensive foul with 39 seconds left.
That led to a three-point play by E-town's Reauna Cleaver with 22.1 seconds to go, putting the Panthers on top 40-39.
After a timeout, Turner took center stage, just as planned.
"Ultimately, we wanted the ball in Turner's hands," Murphy said. "She makes foul shots and she makes plays. And, fortunately enough, she made a huge one today."
Turner, a 5-foot-8 senior, led all scorers with 23 points. But it wasn't until her last try that she could get her pet shot to drop.
"I was open all game. But I just couldn't hit that runner, and it was there the whole entire game," she said. "The girls always tell me 'confidence — keep shooting, keep shooting; the next one's going to fall.'"
E-town, out of timeouts, was unable to get the ball up the floor for a final shot.
Turner was the only double-digit scorer for Holy Cross. Aleah Tucker and Ally Mayhaus combined for 13 points, grabbing six rebounds each.
Holy Cross came up big at the free-throw line, making 12 of 14 shots. E-town made 15 of 20.
From the field, Holy Cross finished 13 of 37 (35.1 percent) to E-town's 12 of 36 (33.3 percent).
Elizabethtown (32-3), which had won 21 in a row, suffered its first in-state loss of the season.
Cleaver and Erin Boley led the Panthers with 17 points each, combining to grab 17 rebounds.
"I'd like to congratulate Covington Holy Cross," Coach Tim Mudd said. "I thought they played a whale of a game and, truthfully, they're a senior-dominated team. I thought that they really made the shots, obviously, when they counted.
"There was a couple shots that they took before the game-winner, we were really happy that they were taking. I thought they were tough shots. And, to their credit, they went in."
And Goliath went out.