Manual improved to 10-0 while handing Sacred Heart its first loss this season, 67-53, Friday morning in the semifinals of the girls’ Traditional Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic.
Jaela Johnson led Manual with 30 points. The junior went 4-for-8 from the three-point line and 10 of 11 from the charity stripe. Nila Blackford (15) and Aniah Griffin (10) also finished in double figures for the Crimsons, who will face defending state champion Butler in the finals at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
For the second straight season Manual met Sacred Heart, a fellow contender in the 7th Region whom they’re scheduled to play at home on Jan. 7, in a regular-season tournament. The Crimsons defeated the Valkyries in last year’s Louisville Invitational Tournament.
Manual, the defending 7th Region champion, has won four straight versus Sacred Heart.
“We’re gonna see them plenty of more times this year,” Crimsons Coach Jeff Sparks said.
The Crimsons have lost four of their last five games against Butler dating back to 2012.
“Butler is obviously a great team and they’ve experienced a lot of success,” Sparks said. “We just want the opportunity to play the best teams out there and see where we are.”