Dominant is the only way to describe the Indiana girls’ 81-62 victory over the Kentucky All-Stars on Sunday in Louisville.
Following a 106-69 win in Indianapolis the day before, Indiana swept the All-Star high school basketball event.
Defense was the deciding factor as Indiana blanketed Kentucky’s shooters on the perimeter and used its length to deny shots inside.
“Their defense was very good. I think it really prepares us for college and what we are going to see at the next level,” Owensboro Catholic’s Mikayla Berry said. “They all moved well and they communicated really well. It was very hard to get open shots.”
Blocked shots facilitated Indiana’s transition game, and the Kentucky girls had difficulties running with the Hoosiers. Kentucky had particular trouble tracking Indiana Miss Basketball and Notre Dame signee Jackie Young.
Young followed a 30-point, 12-rebound game in Indianapolis with 22 points and seven rebounds on Sunday.
The Kentucky player who will join her in South Bend next season, Miss Basketball Erin Boley, went down early in the game with a hip injury, robbing Kentucky of a major source of offense. She led Kentucky with 27 points in Game 1.
“I thought our kids relaxed a little bit more. I was just thrilled with how we competed today,” Kentucky Coach Mike Harper said of the team’s effort without Boley. “I wish Erin (Boley) would have been healthy, as far as her hip, and I thought we would have had a good chance to win the game.”
Kentucky, which trailed 38-26 at the half, weathered the loss of Boley and kept the deficit manageable thanks to Berry’s outside shooting.
Berry scored a team-high 17 points for Kentucky. She went 4-for-9 from three-point range. Former Jenkins standout Whitney Creech chipped in 15 points, all in the second half.
Without Boley, Kentucky couldn’t find enough scoring. And Indiana’s defense made sure there would be no comeback as it forced 16 second-half turnovers and notched its sixth straight victory in the series.