RICHMOND — Lexington Christian held the state's top scorer to 20 points below her average, but Owensboro Catholic proved it's much more than just Rebecca Greenwell on its way to the championship game of the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic.
Greenwell, a sophomore averaging 35 points, was chased around the Eastern Kentucky floor by two defenders most of the game Saturday.
Her teammates seized the opportunity in a 60-41 win.
Laura Riney hit six three-pointers on her way to a career-best 20 points to lead the Aces to the small-school state title game on Sunday where they will meet fellow first-timer Monroe County.
"Once I made the first one, I got a lot of confidence," Riney said. "I haven't been on lately, but I felt like I had to step it up today."
Greenwell added 15 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Aces. Guard Lauryn Yevincy had nine points off the bench. Leah Greathouse added eight points and eight assists, and Mary Kate Clemens had eight points and six boards.
"We've never been here before, and we're excited," Greenwell said.
Showing slight nerves, LCA missed its first six shots of the game, and the Aces opened with a 13-2 run, including back-to-back three-pointers by Riney.
The Eagles responded with a 13-1 run — including six straight points by Kristen Jacob — to grab their first lead 15-14, in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
With an aggressive triangle and two (chasing Greenwell), the Eagles were able to keep the sophomore in check, holding her to seven points in the first half.
But the other Aces made their shots, including three straight three-pointers that extended the Catholic advantage to 23-15.
LCA trailed 27-21 at the break and got as close as 27-26 on Jacob's putback before Riney hit two three-pointers to extend the lead back to double digits for good.
The Eagles (14-8) weren't hitting enough shots to keep up. Jacob led them with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. No other LCA player finished in double figures, and the team went 3-for-13 from three-point range.
"We had to be really, really good on offense, and we weren't," Coach Jason Seamands said.
By contrast, Catholic (18-7) was really good on offense, making 59.1 percent of its shots in the second half and 46.7 percent for the game.
"Laura took over the game and knocked down some big shots," Aces Coach Ray Zuberer said.
But he didn't want to downplay Greenwell's effort. Just by dragging two defenders with her most of the game, she created open looks for everyone else.
"I told Becca today that I was maybe more proud of her today than in any other game she's played because she was willing to sacrifice her points ... for the good of the team," he said.
Rachel Cox, a senior guard for the Eagles who was charged with guarding Greenwell most of the game, said she was impressed.
"She's very good offensively," said Cox, who said her goal was to hold Greenwell under 20 points. "Her cuts were quicker than anyone we've played against. All I can say is, it's really tough, but I did my best."
Monroe County 54, Newport Central Catholic 50: The Falcons downed the defending state champion using a team effort and balanced scoring, with four players in double figures.
Two players had double-doubles: forward Caylan Bybee (15 points, 16 rebounds) and guard Madison Clements (13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists).
The Falcons took a one-point halftime lead and stretched it to nine in the third quarter.
NewCath chipped away at that lead and had a chance to tie it in the final 10 seconds, but Kiley Bartels missed a contested 15-footer. She had 11 points. Nicole Kiernan led the Breds with 13.