High School Sports

Girls’ basketball preview: Henry Clay looks to continue 42nd District dominance

Henry Clay kept is close in the first quarter with hustle plays like this save by Lexi Long, as Franklin County played Henry Clay in the 11th region tournament semi finals on Friday March 4, 2016 in Richmond, Ky
Henry Clay kept is close in the first quarter with hustle plays like this save by Lexi Long, as Franklin County played Henry Clay in the 11th region tournament semi finals on Friday March 4, 2016 in Richmond, Ky mcornelison@herald-leader.com

Last season: 21-10 (lost to Franklin County in semifinals of the 11th Region Tournament)

Coach: Eric Sanford (sixth year)

Three key contributors

Lexi Long: Senior guard who has been with the program since eighth grade. Sanford said her leadership will be vital this season. “She’s looking to go out with a bang. She wants to go out on top and she’s been helping us tremendously, especially with the younger players.”

Braxton Price: Junior guard who’s one of two starters returning from last year’s team. Sanford said Price is a fantastic ball handler who will be crucial to the implementation of the Blue Devils’ new style of play, deemed “fast and furious,” which he said is modeled after the Arkansas teams of the early 1990s under Nolan Richardson.

Kiya Thompson: Sophomore guard who was a starter as a freshman. Sanford said, “We’ll be looking to her to make a big impact this year.” Sanford said Thompson, Long and Price are all talented shooters who will allow the Blue Devils to spread the floor.

Others to watch

Korryn Davis is the only senior besides Long on the Blue Devils’ roster. She played as a freshman and sophomore but sat out her junior year. Long said Davis will have a major role this year. Sanford said the Blue Devils will get a spark from junior guard Alexis Lutz, who will be one of the first players off the bench this season.

Games you gotta see

Henry Clay will be tested early as it travels to Bryan Station for the second game of the year on Dec. 6 then hosts Scott County two days later. The Blue Devils edged the Defenders 79-72 in last year’s 42nd District championship game. Henry Clay and Scott County split their two matchups last year with each team winning on the opponents’ home floor. The Blue Devils visit last year’s state runner-up, Franklin County, on Jan. 5. The Flyers ended Henry Clay’s postseason run in the semifinals of last year’s 11th Region Tournament.

Fast fact

The Blue Devils will be seeking their fourth straight 42nd District title. They’ll have to replace the production of last year’s top scorer and third-team All-State selection T’laya Lyvers, who graduated last spring. Henry Clay won its lone state championship in 1990.

Josh Sullivan: 859-231-3225, @sullyjosh

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