High School Basketball

Leslie County knocks out Sayre in hard-fought All 'A' opener

Sayre's Sydney Strup shoots over Leslie County's Emily Griffith, during the opening round of the girls Touchstone Energy All-A Classic, in Frankfort, Wednesday, January 29, 2014.
Photo by Tim Webb
Sayre's Sydney Strup shoots over Leslie County's Emily Griffith, during the opening round of the girls Touchstone Energy All-A Classic, in Frankfort, Wednesday, January 29, 2014. Photo by Tim Webb

FRANKFORT — Leslie County's girls did just enough Wednesday to edge Sayre 48-46 in the first round of the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic.

Emily Griffith scored 15 points, while Katie Moore had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Eagles (14-7).

Leslie County will face Owensboro Catholic in Friday's quarterfinals in the Frankfort Convention Center.

The win was Leslie's first ever in All "A" or Sweet Sixteen play.

"Probably the biggest win that I've been a part of, and any of these girls," Coach Mark Collett said. "Arguably maybe one of the biggest wins in school history."

The Eagles scored all 10 of their fourth-quarter points at the free-throw line on 8-for-10 shooting.

Griffith made one of two shots with 1:47 left to put Leslie on top 47-44.

Gabby Bowie, who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, pulled Sayre to within a point on a put-back with 42 seconds left.

Moore made one of two free throws with 13 seconds left for a 48-46 Leslie lead.

Sayre called a timeout with 4.1 seconds left to set up a final shot.

Molly Manella got a good look, but her shot from the left wing hit off the iron. A knock-'em-down battle for the rebound did not get a whistle.

"We played hard, we fought, battled," said Manella, who led Sayre with 18 points. "I think at the end the refs should have called that foul because that would have been a difference. But we did everything we could."

"I thought that everything that I asked them to do, we executed, even all the way down to the final play," said Scotty Sutton, coach of the Spartans (11-6). "We got a decent look. And then I thought we were there for the rebound and, unfortunately, it just didn't go our way."

Leslie scored the game's first seven points and led 15-8 after one quarter. Making matters worse for Sayre, Bowie picked up three fouls.

"We played our game instead of freaking out and, when we got down, stayed in it," Bowie said. "When I got in foul trouble, the team definitely stepped up."

Bowie returned briefly in the second quarter, and Sayre rattled off eight straight points to take a 21-20 lead.

Leslie came back to lead 28-26 at intermission and 38-35 through three quarters.

"We just had so many shots just in and out right down the stretch that I thought were there," Sutton said. "I can't ask any more from them."

Leslie County wound up 19-for-27 at the free-throw line, where Sayre went 11-for-18.

"I'm so excited. I'm so happy to have the win," Moore said. "I've been working for this for my whole life, and to finally have won a game in state is just huge."

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