High School Basketball

Lexington Catholic girls' defense smothers Clark County in 57-29 win

WINCHESTER — When shots sometimes seem unwilling to fall, Lexington Catholic's girls have the will to rise.

The 15th-ranked Lady Knights overcame a slow start Tuesday night and went on to crush Clark County 57-29 on the Lady Cardinals' court.

"I think our defense got us going the whole night," Coach Chelsea Chowning said. "We didn't shoot tremendously well from the outside. We got a lot of good looks; they just weren't falling.

"And we always talk about 'our defense has to be what we hang our hat on.' I think our defensive intensity, from the beginning to the end, was good and finally opened up some transition points for us."

Lexington Catholic, which committed half of its 12 turnovers in the last six minutes, forced 20 errors by the Cardinals. Catholic finished with a 23-2 advantage in points off turnovers.

While the Lady Knights shot a modest 19-for-53 (35.8 percent), Clark County went 10-for-44 (22.7 percent).

"I felt like, defensively, we did some good things," Cards Coach Scott True said. " Obviously they've got a great team. They shoot the ball well, they play extremely hard. Chelsea does a great job.

"But we couldn't put the ball in the basket. That's been our bugaboo all year long. The score's really lopsided, but if we shoot 35, 40 percent from the floor, we're in the ball game. We missed probably 15 shots in the paint tonight. We've got to finish better."

Catholic missed five of its first six shots.

But the make was a three-pointer by Elizabeth Walton, which gave Catholic a lead (3-2) it would never lose.

Walton, a 6-foot senior, scored all eight of Catholic's first-quarter points. She finished with 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.

"I just came out ready to play," said Walton, who shot 6-for-10 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from three-point range. "We had a long weekend off. We had Friday off practice, and then we came back in the gym (Monday) and I just felt it, and I was just ready to play."

Leading 8-5 through one quarter, Catholic scored the first nine points of the second quarter and led 29-15 at halftime.

A 6-0 start to the third pushed the lead to 20.

"The pressure wears on you," True said. "And it's hard not to look at the scoreboard and say 'OK, it's not really getting better in a hurry.' Again, credit to (Catholic) for that."

The Lady Knights (13-5) got 13 points and four steals from Octavia Wilson. Rachel Blake came off the bench to grab nine rebounds, a category Catholic won 44-33.

Clark County (10-8) was led by 5-9 freshman Sandra Skinner with eight points, nine rebounds and three assists.

An 11-0 flurry to open the fourth quarter gave Catholic its biggest lead of the game, 54-22.

What enables Catholic to overcome an off night is, Walton said, "just our teamwork. We all get along very well as a team. We're all best friends, and I think just playing together as a team helps us win."

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (13-5) Botkin 6, Johns 9, Walton 15, Rhule 7, Wilson 13, Blake 2, Browning 3, Pippen 1, Miller 1. Totals 19-53 14-20 57.

CLARK CO. (10-8) Rose 2, Skinner 8, Parido 1, Graham 6, Taylor 2, Hamlin 5, Hammonds 5. Totals 10-44 7-16 29.

Lexington Catholic 8 21 14 14—57

Clark Co. 5 10 7 7—29

Three-point goals — LC 5-21; CC 2-10.