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St. Henry boys, Walton-Verona girls advance to All “A” Classic championship games on Saturday

By Chad Hensley
NKyTribune contributor

The St. Henry boys and Bardstown Bethlehem girls basketball teams are one win away from repeating as All “A” Classic state champions after both advanced to Saturday’s finals in Richmond.

Bethlehem, though, will have to defeat Walton-Verona to earn its second straight All “A” Classic title.

Walton-Verona’s Audrey Carrico (13) drives to basket against Berea defenders Mati Stepp (2) and Chesney Lovins (14) on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Carla Martin)

Bethlehem takes on Walton-Verona at 9 a.m. Saturday in the girls title game. That contest will be followed by St. Henry playing Clinton County at 11:30 a.m.


Bearcats sink Pirates
Walton-Verona (15-6) needed little effort in dismantling Berea (9-8) by a 56-18 score in one semifinal contest. Maggie Buerger of Walton-Verona led all scorers with 10 points.

Walton-Verona held Berea to just 17.9 percent shooting from the field, including a 0-for-12 performance in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats never trailed throughout the contest and invoked the 35-point running clock when McKaila Hatton sank two free throws with 2:45 remaining in the game.

Walton-Verona started out with a cold first-quarter shooting performance, going just 3-for-10 from the field. The Bearcats, however, turned up their offensive output by knocking down 16-of-23 shots during the final three quarters.

Bethlehem cruises past Crittenden County
Taylor Guess led all scorers with 26 points but it was not enough as Crittenden County (13-4) fell to Bethlehem by an 80-54 score.

Bethlehem (19-4) forced Crittenden County into 23 turnovers, and it was just too much for the Lady Rockets to overcome. Ella Thompson led the Banshees with 18 points and was accompanied by 15 points each from Amelia Hodges and Xaviara Smalley.


St. Henry knocks off Lexington Christian
St. Henry defeated a feisty Lexington Christian team, 72-49, in one semifinal contest. St. Henry led the nightcap 23-5 at the end of the first quarter before LCA outscored the Crusaders 36-27 in the second and third quarters combined.

Wyatt Vieth led St. Henry with 21 points. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Wyatt Vieth led St. Henry (14-2) with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The Thomas More University commit was 6-for-11 from the field and 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.

Jude Bessler added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Ryan Butler scored 10 points.

St. Henry forced LCA into 14 turnovers and held the Eagles (11-10) to just 11 percent shooting (1-for-9) in the first quarter and then 28.6 percent (4-for-14) in the decisive fourth quarter.

Tanner Walton led LCA in scoring with 23 points against the Crusaders. Tyler Hall added 13 points for the Eagles.

Bulldogs squeak by Eagles
Clinton County (18-2) defeated Evangel Christian (8-10) 44-42 in the first boys semifinal game of the night despite Evangel’s Dawson Black leading all scorers with 16 points.

Blake Melton started off hot for Clinton County with eight first-quarter points to match his season average. Melton finished the night with 11 points before exiting the game with what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury.

Clinton County was the more aggressive team throughout most of the game and it showed as Cyr Malonga, Evangel’s 6-foot-11 sophomore center, was held to just six points on the night despite towering over the Bulldogs.

Nick Brown (11) and Nick Delk (10) accompanied Melton in double digits. Brown added nine rebounds while Delk hauled in eight of his own.

Meg Gamm of Walton-Verona goes up for a jumper against Berea on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Carla Martin)

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