Sports

Ky. All-Star girls enjoy rare height advantage

Tommy Adams can't hide his glee.

The coach for this year's Kentucky All-Stars, who were announced Wednesday, already is dreaming of defensive schemes to use against Indiana's stars in June.

"With our big girls and their long wing spans, we might be able to extend all the way across the floor," Adams said.

For the first time in a long time, Kentucky's 12-player girls' team is bigger than its Indiana counterparts.

A part of that size advantage includes two Lexington stars in Miss Basketball Sarah Beth Barnette and Paul Laurence Dunbar's 6-foot-2 Ebony Rowe.

Barnette, a 6-2 swing player, will be joined on the team by fellow University of Kentucky signee Samantha Drake, a 6-3 star from Nelson County.

In all, six of this year's 12 Kentucky stars are taller than 6-foot-1.

By contrast, Indiana has only one player, 6-3 Butler signee Sarah Hamm, taller than 6-1.

But it's not necessarily the commonwealth team's vertical advantage that has Adams ready to start his mini-camp immediately.

It was the size of the players' efforts in the tryouts last weekend at Campbellsville.

"If they have to dive into the stands or jump over a pile, they'll do it," he said of the group.

"From players one through 12, they dove on the floor, played hard," Adams said. "Actually from player one to 24, they played so hard, that's what made this such a hard decision."

Five girls from the Louisville area made the team, including University of Louisville signee Antonita Slaughter. Others were Portia Durrett of Seneca, Therese Montano of defending state champion Mercy, Ondrea Shaw of Moore and Kayla Thacker from nearby Bullitt East.

Other team members include Rockcastle County's Jackie Alexander, Montgomery County's Mary Jehlik, Boone County's Heather Sandlin and Highlands' Katie Allen.

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