Jaelynn Penn had 18 points and five steals to lift Butler to a 62-50 win over Manual in the girls’ Traditional Bank Holiday Classic championship game Friday night at Lexington Catholic.
Penn, who’s signed with Indiana University and should contend for Miss Basketball honors, was named MVP of the finals. She averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds through four tournament games.
Bre Torrens and Tasia Jeffries each scored 10 points for the Bearettes (9-1), who handed Manual its first loss this season. Torrens ended the night with five rebounds and six of Butler’s 20 assists.
It was Butler’s fifth win in the last six meetings between the two Louisville programs, both ranked in the preseason top 10. The Bearettes — who won last season’s state championship and two of the last three — boast four Division I signees in Penn, Jeffries (St. Louis), Teri Goodlett (Eastern Kentucky) and Janna Lewis (Tennessee State), who didn’t play this week. Torrens has signed with Bellarmine.
Bearettes Coach Larry Just thought Manual wore down in the final period after getting to within 44-40 at the end of the third quarter.
“When they had to go man, it kind of told you something,” Just said. “They hadn’t played man all week so I think they felt like, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta try something different.’ We were getting some shots against the zone.”
Just wished Butler had gotten more touches in the paint throughout the night. Molly Lockhart, a junior post player who’s just now starting to get meaningful minutes for the team, is growing into a reliable post presence for the Bearettes on both ends of the court. She finished with nine points, five rebounds and three blocks in a little more than 14 minutes.
“She’s come a long way in a short amount of time and I think she’s got a huge upside,” Just said.
Jaela Johnson, a junior, scored a game-high 19 points for Manual.
Butler 62, Manual 50
Manual (10-1) — Johnson 19, Howard 7, Riley 3, Griffin 3, Curry 5, Blackford 13.
Butler (9-1) — Torrens 10, Jeffries 10, Cain 6, Penn 18, Goodlett 9, Lockhart 9.