Sports

Scott Co. girls end skid against LexCath

RICHMOND — For the past five years, it never failed.

It was always the same scenario: Through tear-streaked vision, the Scott County players would always see the Lexington Catholic jerseys celebrating in front of them.

For five straight years, the Cards have had their season end at the hands of Catholic, but not Friday night in the 11th Region semifinals.

This time it was Scott County cheering a 69-60 victory and its first trip to the 11th Region title game since being moved into the region in 2006.

"This was a good win for us," a subdued coach Steve Helton said. "It was a really nice win."

The Cardinals, who won their ninth straight, will face No. 2 Lexington Christian in Saturday's title game at Eastern Kentucky. The Eagles quickly dispatched No. 17 Franklin County 67-40 in the other semifinal.

In the regular season, LCA topped Scott County 74-55, but the Cardinals were playing without star Madisen Webb.

The championship game is not a place many imagined Scott County would be after an 8-14 start to the season.

"So many people doubted us and so many people thought we wouldn't be here, but I never doubted us for a minute," said Webb, who had 20 points and eight assists to lead the Cardinals.

The junior hit 16 of 16 free throws for the game, including 10 of 10 in the waning minutes to keep the Cardinals ahead after Catholic tied it up twice in the fourth quarter.

The clutch free throws at the end were key for a young team that doesn't have a senior, Helton said.

"We knew they were going to make a run at us and we weathered the storm and knocked down some free throws," he said. "To make those kinds of free throws in March is a sign of a team maturing, of a team growing up."

Catholic started out hot, grabbing a 7-2 lead before Scott County used a 17-1 run midway through the first half.

"We knew we had to keep it together and not get shook early and that's eventually what led us to pull it out," said Kristen Stainback, who had eight of her 18 points in that early rally.

With several key players in foul trouble, the Knights struggled to find their shot, hitting just 26 percent from the field.

Still Coach Tony Talbott had nothing but good things to say about his team.

"I couldn't be prouder of these kids," he said. "When we graduated players like (Natalie Novosel and Briana Green) people didn't think we'd do anything and we made it all the way to region semifinals."

Anna Gayle Scott led the Knights with 16 points. Danielle Corbett added 11 points.

No. 2 Lexington Christian 67, No. 17 Franklin County 40: Like they were trying to set a new world record at a track meet, the Eagles raced out to a 21-4 lead and never looked back.

By halftime, that lead bulged to 37-7.

"That first half, shoot, that was great," Coach Jason Seamands said. "That might have been our best game of the year, especially defensively. We just totally took them out of their rhythm and they're a rhythm team."

It took the Flyers (24-7), who had a seven-game win streak halted, 19 minutes to get to double-figure scoring.

They managed to shoot just 9.5 percent in the first half and they turned the ball over 12 times early. Franklin County shot the ball better in the second half and finished making 28.6 percent from the field.

But by then it was too late.

LCA (28-4) won its 14th in a row and looked quite at home at McBrayer Arena, where it has now won 16 straight, including three All "A" Classic titles and a region championship in 2007.

Western Kentucky signee Courtney Clifton had 22 points and six assists. Anna Martin, a DePaul signee, added 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Kentucky commitment Sarah Beth Barnette had 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists for the Eagles, who shot 50 percent from the field and had 15 assists on 26 makes.

Chelsea Craig had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Flyers.

SCOTT CO. 69, LEXINGTON CATHOLIC 60

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (16-15) — McGhee 2-9 1-3 5; Smith 0-2 0-0 0; Scott 5-12 7-12 16; M. Wilson 2-13 4-4 9; Corbett 3-8 2-2 11; Botkin 3-9 0-0 6; Cawood 0-3 4-5 4; O. Wilson 3-10 1-2 7; Harrison 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 19-73 18-28 60.

SCOTT CO. (17-14) — Guyn 3-5 2-2 8; McKenzie 4-9 2-4 10; Stainback 7-15 4-5 18; Jackson 0-2 0-0 0; Webb 2-6 16-16 20; Conrad 2-7 2-4 7; Clay 3-5 0-3 6. Totals 21-49 26-34 69.

Lexington Catholic 8 15 19 18 —60

Scott Co. 17 15 16 21 —69

LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN 67, fRANKLIN CO. 40

FRANKLIN CO. (24-7) — Ramcke 1-7 2-4 4; Mayes 1-5 2-2 4; Craig 4-7 3-7 11; Howard 0-7 2-2 2; Decker 1-6 2-4 4; Rivers 1-5 0-0 2; Onan 2-3 0-0 4; M. Brown 1-1 0-0 2; C. Brown 1-1 0-0 2; Ab. Smith 1-4 1-2 3; An. Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Mello 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 14-49 12-22 40.

LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN (28-4) — Martin 7-13 5-6 20; Barnette 5-12 3-4 15; Dorton 2-2 0-0 4; Cox 1-2 0-0 2; Clifton 9-13 2-3 22; Jacob 1-3 0-0 2; Mitchuson 0-2 0-0 0; Rose 0-1 0-0 0; Purdy 0-2 0-0 0; Panter 0-1 0-0 0; Rhinehart 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-52 10-13 67.

Franklin Co. 4 3 13 20 —40

Lexington Christian 19 18 16 14 —67

Girls' All-11th Region Team

(Voted by region coaches; players listed in order of votes received)

Ebony Rowe, Paul Dunbar; Anna Martin, Lexington Christian; Courtney Clifton, Lexington Christian; Brittany Coles, Henry Clay; Sarah Beth Barnette, Lexington Christian; Madisen Webb, Scott Co.; Ali Ross, Lafayette; Kristen Stainback, Scott Co.; Chelsea Craig, Franklin Co.; Lisa Hack, Lafayette; Maggie Wilson, Lexington Catholic; Ashley Decker, Franklin Co.; Elizabeth Horn, Berea

Coach of the Year: Justin Cheatham, Tates Creek

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