BOWLING GREEN — Allen County-Scottsville proved Thursday that it has a Rich tradition.
A Morgan Rich tradition.
Rich, a 5-foot-10 University of Kentucky signee, finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead her team to a 52-32 win over Franklin County in the first round of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen.
"These are the moments that we live for," Rich said after dominating in E.A. Diddle Arena. "We've been working really hard to get to where we are."
Which now is the State quarterfinals, where the Lady Patriots (28-4) will take on Simon Kenton or Graves County on Friday.
Rich scored the first eight points of the game to quickly put Franklin County in a big hole.
"My teammates knew that I was hot," she said, "because usually whenever I hit my first shot, they know to get me the ball."
The Lady Patriots put the game away with a 17-0 run that began with the final two points of the first quarter and carried them to a 27-6 lead.
Rich had 11 of the 17. Savannah Gregory had four free throws and Jordan Brooks added a field goal.
The lead was 27-8 at the half, which ended with Franklin County shooting 4-for-24 (16.7) percent to Allen County's 10-for-25 (40 percent). In addition, the Lady Flyers were outrebounded 23-11. Rich had 19 first-half points.
Things didn't get much better for Franklin in the second half.
The Flyers (26-7) fell behind by 21 early in the third quarter. They rallied to within 13 late in the quarter, but came up empty from there.
"I thought that the bright lights got to us a little bit," Franklin Coach Joey Thacker said. "We played extremely hard. We couldn't get the ball to go in the basket. And Morgan Rich is a kid that obviously we had a hard time (with); we let her get off to a fantastic start and she scored in a variety of ways. And I guess intermediate shots — they all made those, and that put us kind of behind the eight-ball."
Backing up Rich was Gregory with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Patriots battered Franklin 43-25 on the backboards.
Franklin finished the game 13 of 57 (22.8 percent) from the field, including 0-for-17 from three-point range.
Rebecca Cook led the Flyers with 10 points, three assists and four steals.
"I think winning the region was our goal, but then once we got here we realized that we had the opportunity to go on a run," Cook said. "And we just didn't play as well as we normally play or I know that we can. Not being able to hit shots really hurt us."
So it will be Allen County-Scottsville moving on.
"It's a really good win for us," Patriots Coach Brad Bonds said. "I don't think that we handled the ball well, especially in the second half. Too many turnovers (24). Just rough decision with the basketball.
"But I told them in the locker room, 'When things aren't going perfect on the offensive end, we always find a way to get the job done defensively.' I thought these young ladies really stepped up defensively and locked down on a very good, athletic, scoring-style team."