UK Women's Basketball

Girls' all-star game kicks off a Kentucky-Louisville rivalry

** EMBARGOED FOR USE UNTIL 7 A.M. EDT BY SOURCE ** Bria Goss, of Indianapolis Ben Davis, who was named Indiana Miss Basketball, poses for a photo in Indianapolis in mid-March 2011. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Frank Espich)
** EMBARGOED FOR USE UNTIL 7 A.M. EDT BY SOURCE ** Bria Goss, of Indianapolis Ben Davis, who was named Indiana Miss Basketball, poses for a photo in Indianapolis in mid-March 2011. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Frank Espich) ASSOCIATED PRESS

For the opposing Miss Basketballs, the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star games mean more than a border war.

It's the start of a Kentucky-Louisville rivalry.

The annual all-star games featuring this year's high school seniors will be played Friday at Louisville's Bellarmine University and Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Indiana's Miss Basketball is 5-foot-10 swing player Bria Goss, a University of Kentucky recruit out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

Her Kentucky counterpart is 6-3 Sara Hammond, a University of Louisville signee out of Rockcastle County.

They were roommates, as well as teammates, for the McDonald's All-American game in Chicago last March.

"She's got great athletic ability, a very hard worker on the floor but also off the floor," Hammond said of Goss. "She's very friendly, outgoing and we just got along very well from my perspective."

From Goss's perspective, too.

"That was pretty cool; got to know her a little bit," Goss said of rooming with Hammond. "Good, solid player, She's strong, she's tall, she knows basketball. ... She knows how to move without the ball."

Hammond already is taking a class at U of L. Goss will report to UK on Sunday.

A year ago, Indiana won 93-83 at Bellarmine. The next night at Conseco, Kentucky won 94-87 in overtime.

Indiana leads the all-time series 39-31 and has won eight of the last 12.

Bullitt East's Chris Stalling, coach of the Kentucky stars, thinks he has a mix of inside-out scorers. He is concerned about Indiana's quickness and defensive pressure.

However, he says his players are ready.

"It's a goal for most high school girls to play in this game and I think this group of kids, they grasp the magnitude of playing in this game," Stalling said. "We've got a great collection from across the state. ... I think they all realize, too, that we're playing for Kentucky first and foremost."

Both teams have four players at least 6 feet tall.

With Hammond, Kentucky has Averee Fields (Calloway County/West Virginia) and Chasity Gooch (Franklin-Simpson/Western Kentucky) at 6-0, and 6-4 Lauren Tibbs (Scott/Marquette).

"I think people are going to see a lot out of us," Hammond said. "We're not very individualistic. We're very team-oriented."

Indiana can counter with Mallory Ladd (Evansville Memorial/Valparaiso) and Torrie Thornton (Carmel/Purdue), both 6-1, and the 6-2 tandem of Liza Clemons (Fort Wayne Snider/Purdue) and Liz Stratman (Heritage Christian/Xavier).

"Hopefully we can be solid defensively, block out and get out and have some opportunities in transition," said David Miller, coach of the Indiana stars and at Concordia Lutheran in Fort Wayne. "That gives you an opportunity to get some easier baskets when the defense isn't set up."

The "No. 1" jersey that goes to Miss Basketball will add attention to Hammond, as well as Goss.

Hammond, who averaged 16 points and seven rebounds in leading Rockcastle to the state championship, has the ability to post up and score inside. But she also has been effective from outside with a decent three-point shot and the skill to drive inside.

"She communicates really well with me and her teammates," Stalling said. "She's a nice leader. She does it in a positive way ... and that's beside she's a pretty darn nice player. She's strong, she's physical, she runs well."

Goss, who won back-to-back state titles as a sophomore and junior, averaged 21.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 3.2 assists this season. Known for her quickness, she can play the one, two or three spots on the floor. And, Miller says, "she loves defense."

Said Stalling: "They might as well get that kicked off — that UK-U of L rivalry — hadn't they?"

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