Sports

Girls' Sweet Sixteen roundup: Boone Co. ousts Rowan Co.

BOWLING GREEN — Boone County Coach Nell Fookes didn't have to work hard this weekend to get her team's attention before the state tournament.

The Rebels knew they'd be facing a Rowan County team that had beaten them by 20 points in late December.

Fookes did nearly as much to get the Rebels prepared mentally as she did on the physical side, even joking to trainers to "make sure you ice their brains because they've gotten a workout."

It was clear that the Rebels were ready on both counts as they grabbed a 13-4 lead after one quarter and used strong defense to seal a 39-26 win in the first round of the Houchens Industries Sweet Sixteen.

Boone's defense never let up, holding the Vikings to 16.7 percent shooting and 26 points, which tied for third fewest points scored in a state tournament game.

"When you've got those kinds of numbers on this kind of stage against this level of competition, you're going to have a tough night," said Coach Scott Tackett, whose Rowan team came into the tournament averaging 65.4 points a game.

Boone County, which won its seventh straight, was led by Lauren Bowling's 17 points and 10 rebounds.

"Coach said we had to outhustle them and be tougher than them in all aspects of the game and I think we did that," she said.

The hustle showed in the rebounding numbers.

The Rebels outrebounded Rowan County 42-26. It was only the "fourth or fifth" time the diminutive Rebels have outrebounded an opponent this season, Fookes said.

The Vikings' season, which started with a 17-game win streak that made them the last undefeated team in the state, boys or girls, ended the year with a record of 26-4.

Ohio County 59, Clay County 56: The Eagles started down a player but finished strong to overcome a 12-point first-half deficit and advance.

Arielle Keown, the Eagles' second-leading scorer, went down with a knee injury in team warmups but sat on the bench with ice packs on her left knee to watch Ohio County's comeback.

Coach Brad Johnson said she tweaked the same knee in the region finals, but he didn't believe it was a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Clay used strong inside play from Kayla Smith and Sabrina Smith to grab a 12-point lead late in the first half.

It was back and forth from there, but Ohio County responded with a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory, its seventh straight.

Murray State signee Mariah Robinson had 16 points and six rebounds to lead Ohio.

The Tigers, who struggled with turnovers at times, got balanced scoring and double figures from Kayla Smith (13 points) and 12 points each from Whitney Belle Jackson, Sabrina Smith and Jordan Phillips.

With no seniors on the team, Burchell has to like his Tigers' chances of making it back to state soon.

"I really thought we had a chance to win this game, maybe two or three games down here, so I'm disappointed, but I'm very proud of my team," he said.

Henderson County 53, Marshall County 45: The Colonels' "bigs" came up big and helped the team win its sixth straight game and advance to the quarterfinals.

They will advance to face Ohio County Friday night.

Danielle Dixon had 14 points and eight rebounds and Alyse Poindexter contributed 13 points and seven rebounds for Henderson County (23-5), which shot almost 40 percent from the field. Guard Olivia Fruit did her share of damage, too, adding 14 points and seven rebounds.

For the Marshals (25-8), Jessica Holder added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

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