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Prep Sports Notebook: Talented teams playing in girls basketball scrimmage games at Ryle

By Terry Boehmker

NKyTribune sports reporter 

Three of the final four teams in the 9th Region girls basketball tournament last March will play scrimmage games against Ohio opponents in the Battle of the Border Preseason Shootout on Saturday at Ryle High School and Gray Middle School.

Maddie Scherr

The nine games on the shootout schedule include teams that expect to be ranked among the top 10 in Kentucky and Ohio going into the 2018-19 season.

One of the scrimmage games will be Ryle, the defending 9th Region champion, taking on Pickerington Central, last year’s Ohio Division I state champion.

With all five starters returning, Ryle will likely be ranked among the top teams in Kentucky preseason coaches polls. The Raiders’ veteran lineup includes senior guard Lauren Schwartz, a Rice University recruit, and junior guard Maddie Scherr, who has received scholarship offers from several Division I college teams.

Conner, Dixie Heights, Highlands and Boone County are the other local teams playing in the shootout. Last season, Conner and Dixie Heights made it to the 9th Region semifinals and Highlands lost in the first round of the tournament.

Admission to the shootout will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Here is a complete schedule of Saturday’s games:

Ryle High School gym – Conner vs. Lakota West, 10 a.m.; Louisville Male vs. Kings, 11:30 a.m.; Louisville Sacred Heart vs. Mason, 1 p.m.; Ryle vs. Pickerington Central, 2:30 p.m.; Louisville Eastern vs. Loveland, 4:30 p.m.; Highlands vs. Roger Bacon, 6 p.m.; Dixie Heights vs. Sycamore, 7:30 p.m.

Gray Middle School gym – Boone County vs. Wyoming, 2 p.m.; Bullitt East vs. West Clermont, 4:30 p.m.

Highlands runner wins team’s first girls state cross country title

Maggie Schroeder became the first Highlands girls cross country runner to win an individual state championship on Saturday when she placed first in the Class 2A race at Kentucky Horse Park.

Maggie Schroeder

The sophomore completed the 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes, 7 seconds, the fourth fastest time in all three classes at the state meet. This is the fourth straight year that Schroeder has been among the top finishers in Class 2A. She placed second, fifth and seventh the three previous years.

Northern Kentucky girls have now won 17 individual state championships in cross country. Fourteen of the previous state titles came before 1999 when the distance for the girls race was extended to 5,000 meters.

Schroeder’s winning time was better than the ones posted by Jenna Siemer of St. Henry, the first local girl to win a state title at 5,000 meters. Siemer won back-to-back Class A state meets in 2003 and 2004 with times of 19:39 and 19:51.

CovCath basketball player makes commitment with Bellarmine

Nick Thelen, the top returning player on Covington Catholic’s defending state champion basketball team, has accepted a scholarship offer from Bellarmine University in Louisville.

Nick Thelen

Thelen played in all 39 games for CovCath last season, mostly as a substitute coming off the bench. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 65 percent (99 of 152) from the field.

In the team’s four state tournament games, Thelen scored 21 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and made all seven of his field goals attempts.

Thelen will be joining a Bellarmine program that won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2011 and has made 10 consecutive appearances in the post-season playoffs. His older brother, Jake Thelen, averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds on the Bellarmine team that made it to the national semifinals in 2015.

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