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Local teams go 2-1 in opening round of Kentucky All “A” Classic girls state basketball tournament

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Two of the three Northern Kentucky girls basketball teams in the Kentucky All “A” Classic won first-round games on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the small-school state tournament.

Holy Cross defeated Middlesboro, 59-35, in the opening game at Eastern Kentucky University’s McBayer Arena on Thursday morning. Later in the day, Bardstown Bethlehem knocked off Brossart, 45-35, and Walton-Verona whipped University Heights, 70-37.

Walton-Verona senior Brooke Perry leads a fast break in her team’s All “A” Classic state tournament game against University Heights. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Holy Cross center Sydney Thomas had 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in her team’s victory.  The 6-foot-6 sophomore was the main reason the 9th Region champions outscored Middlesboro, 36-4, in the paint.

The Indians shot 45.6 percent (26 of 54) from the field compared to their opponent’s 28.3 percent (13 of 46) and they finished with 41-27 advantage on the boards.

Bethlehem took a 23-8 lead in the first quarter and extended it to 31-10 at halftime against Brossart. But the 10th Region champions rallied in the second half and pulled to within eight points, 35-27, with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter.

During the final four minutes, Bethlehem made one field goal and all eight of its free throws to maintain the lead. Brossart went 4-for-9 from the field and missed a free throw on its final eight possessions.

Brossart sophomore center Marie Kiefer had team-high totals of 18 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, four steals and three assists in her first state tournament game.

Offensive execution was the difference in Walton-Verona’s victory. The 8th Region champions shot 45 percent (30 of 26) from the field with 25 assists to outscore a University Heights team that shot 26.3 percent (15 of 57), committed 11 turnovers and made only one field goal during the second quarter.

Walton-Verona had 10 players in the scoring column. Junior forward Emma Gutman had 13 points and five assists for the Bearcats. Freshman center Maggie Buerger came off the bench to contribute 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The girls quarterfinal match-ups on Friday include Holy Cross (17-4) vs. Metcalfe County (16-3) at 8:30 a.m. and Bardstown Bethlehem (17-2) vs. Walton-Verona (16-5) at 11:30 a.m.  

The first round of the boys small-school state tournament will be played Thursday with Newport, Brossart and Walton-Verona in the field of 16 regional champion teams.

Kentucky All “A” Classic state tournament


HOLY CROSS (17-4) vs. Metcalfe County (16-3), 8:30 a.m.
Murray (18-2) vs. Owensboro Catholic (14-6), 10 a.m.
WALTON-VERONA (16-5) vs. Bardstown Bethlehem (17-2), 11:30 a.m.
Berea (19-4) vs. West Carter (18-3), 1 p.m.
Semifinal games, noon and 1:30 p.m.
Championship game, noon


Campbellsville vs. Mayfield, 8:30 a.m.
Lexington Christian vs. Owensboro Catholic, 10 a.m.
Middlesboro vs. Knott County Central, 11:30 a.m.
WALTON-VERONA vs. Louisville Holy Cross, 1 p.m.
Danville vs. Elliott County, 5 p.m.
Clinton County vs. Shelby Valley, 6:30 p.m.
NEWPORT vs. Kentucky Country Day, 8 p.m.
BROSSART vs. University Heights, 9:30 p.m.
Upper bracket quarterfinal games, 5 and 6:30 p.m.
Lower bracket quarterfinal games, 8 and 9:30 p.m.
Semifinal games, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Championship game, 2 p.m.

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