The Holy Cross Indians and Bishop Brossart Mustangs girls basketball teams won their All “A” state first round games in different fashions at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
Holy Cross (18-5) jumped out to a 22-4 lead on the Leslie County Eagles (13-6) from the 14th Region and cruised to a 71-38 victory in the game that started at 8:30 a.m. The Indians led 39-20 at halftime and 59-31 entering the fourth quarter.
“We tried to keep our same routine the best we could meaning at the All “A” Regionals, we always had the first game so we tried to arrive at the gym the same amount of time beforehand and go through the same pregame routine,” said Ted Arlinghaus, Holy Cross head coach. “Down here is a little bit different where you’re not allowed to get on the court with a basketball until about 20 to 25 minutes before a game so you can get out and stretch so that’s a little bit different. It worked out.”
The Indians had been shooting just below 27 percent from the 3-point line entering the tournament. But in this game, Holy Cross made 12 of 19 three-point tries. Senior guard Elizabeth McCoy made all three 3-point shots on her way to 10 points with junior post Julia Hunt and junior Aaliyah Hayes hitting two each on their way to 18 and 10, points respectively.
“(The outside shooting) freed us up,” said Nejai Lewis, Holy Cross senior. “They gave us opportunities to have one-on-ones and high-lows. We put in the time and we use our athleticism.”
Holy Cross made 25-of-45 shots overall. Senior Sarah Bottom added 11 points.
The Indians come back to play 8th Region champion Owen County (14-6) at 8:30 a.m. Friday, in a rematch of last year’s semifinals, a 37-36 Owen County victory on their way to the All “A” title.
Bishop Brossart (17-5) rallied from down 24-17 at halftime to beat the Jackson County Generals, 51-42 in one of the late games. The Mustangs outscored the Generals, 19-9 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
All five starters had at least eight points as Brossart made 39 percent of its shots including 47 percent from three-point range and 67 percent from the free-throw line. Senior guards Olivia Lloyd and Jill Planeaux led the way scoring 15 and 10, respectively. Senior guard Bella Rowe and sophomore guard Zoee Meyers scored nine each with senior forward Molly Kramer scoring eight.
“We all kind of shared the ball and passed it equally,” Meyers said. “We tried to get it in the post at first and we were struggling. Toward the end, we were finishing.”
Both teams grabbed 31 rebounds with Jackson County starting a 6-foot-4-inch center and 6-2 forward and playing a wide 2-3 zone defense. Kramer had 15 rebounds and Meyers added four steals.
“Usually if we hit five or more three’s, we’re pretty good,” said Steve Brown, Brossart head coach. “(Kramer) worked extremely hard inside and all the kids did. We kept yelling to rebound. But it’s a challenge when you’re facing 6-4.”
Brossart takes on Bardstown Bethlehem (15-6) in the All A Quarterfinals on Friday at 1 p.m.
Cooper 65, Assumption 32
The Jaguars (16-2) downed the Rockets (16-6) in the first round of the Louisville Invitational at Valley High School for their 14th straight win. The take on Mercy (16-7) on Friday.
Cooper had its usual balanced scoring. Seniors Whitney Lind and Kay Freihofer led the way scoring 15 and 14 points respectively.
Other Girls Scores
Grant County 65, Boone County 21
Newport 1, Cincinnati (Ohio) School for Creative Performing Arts
Beechwood 52, Newport 41
The Tigers (9-12) pulled off the big win at home against the Wildcats (16-6) 15 days after losing 81-50 to them in the All “A” Quarterfinals.
Beechwood shot 47 percent from the field including 39 percent from three-point land and made 8 of 10 free throws for 80 percent. Senior Cameron Boyd led the Tigers with 21 points and nine rebounds having to handle the ball with freshman Cash Harney out with an injury.
“We’re awfully young and inexperienced,” said Erik Goetz, Beechwood head coach. “I think that showed when we played in them in the All A. We looked awestruck, didn’t respond to the moment. We’ve been up and down since then. We won three straight last week and felt pretty good. For us to respond and win against one of the best team in Northern Kentucky was great for us. They played awfully hard and awfully well.”
The Tigers saw six different players score. Freshman Logan Wermuth followed with 11 points.
“I one of four seniors,” Boyd said. “It was definitely a leadership game and some of the younger kids stepping up really helped us. That gives me a lot of confidence in them. I feel like I can trust them to make big plays now.”
The Wildcats made 34 percent of their shots including 35 percent from three-point range and 60 percent of their free throws. Senior Marquez Miller led Newport with 14 points.
Beechwood travels to Bracken County on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game. Newport plays host to Holy Cross on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Campbell County 65, Walton-Verona 60
The Camels (13-9) hit the road in non-region play and downed the Bearcats (13-7).
Campbell County saw three different players score in double figures. Senior forward Aydan Hamilton led the way scoring 22 with senior guard Jake Gross scoring 17 and junior forward/guard Nathan Smith adding 10 points.
The Bearcats also put three players in double figures. Junior Julian Dixon and senior Carter Krohman scored 16 points each and sophomore Aaron Gutman scored 14.
Campbell County plays at Scott (9-12) on Friday to determine the top seed in the 37th District Tournament at 5:30 p.m. Walton-Verona plays at Dixie Heights (3-13) on Friday in a 7:45 p.m. game.