Posted On: 03/11/19 11:03 AM
The last week of the season is upon us. The KHSAA State tournament tips off at noon on Wednesday and continues until a champion is crowned on Sunday afternoon. For the first time, the Sweet 16 is happening at Rupp Arena. The field for this year’s tournament is loaded. Let’s take a look at Wednesday’s contests!
Noon Game: Knott County Central vs Scott County
Scott County enters the game with a 33-1 record and many people’s favorite to win it all. They have multiple stars with Maaliya Owens, Morgan DeFoor and Malea Williams. All three average 13 points per game or more and Kenady Tompkins and Juliette Smith add 9 points per game. The Lady Cardinals have the type of depth you need to win 4 games in 5 days. Knott comes into Rupp Arena with a record of 25-7 and got revenge over Letcher Central to win the region after losing to them in the district finals. Jada Higgins was named the regional player of the year and will play her college ball at EKU. Keara Mullins joins Higgins as a double figure scorer. The Lady Patriots have had a great season but it’s hard to see them keeping up with Scott County for the full 32 minutes.
1:30 Game: Owensboro Catholic vs Bethlehem
The Lady Aces went undefeated against 3rd region foes at 17-0 and finished 27-7 overall on the season. Winners of the All A State tournament back in January, Catholic has great size and depth. Hannah McKay, MacKenzie Keelin and Sarah Clemens all average double figures and they are a legit threat to advance to the Final 4 or deeper. Bethlehem shocked Elizabethtown in the 5th region title game to get to Rupp Arena. The Banshees ride an 11 game win streak into Rupp Arena and have won 9 of those 11 by double figures. Amelia Hodges and Ella Thompson lead Bethlehem into Rupp Arena and their game against Catholic could be the best of the opening round.
6:30 Game: George Rogers Clark vs Mercy
Coach Robbie Graham returns much of last season’s Final 4 team to the Sweet Sixteen but the season has been full of injuries for the Lady Cardinals. They are starting to hit their stride and come into Rupp Arena with Hayley Harrison, Kennedy Igo, Maleaha Bell and Jasmine Flowers all averaging at least 9 points per game. Mercy limped through a 12-13 regular season before winning the district semifinals and rattling off 3 wins to get to Rupp. T’Aziah Jenks and Hope Sivori are two of the highest scoring Juniors in Kentucky and Jenks is a high major caliber recruit. The depth of GRC will give Mercy trouble but the Jaguars are more than capable of pulling the upset over GRC.
8:00 Game: Ryle vs Murray
Ryle is one of the more battle tested teams in the field as they have played a tough schedule and won the Louisville Invitational Tournament just last month. Lauren Schwartz and Maddie Scherr are two of the best players in the state, regardless of class and Brie Crittendon is also a double figure scorer and tremendous third scoring option for the Lady Raiders. Murray enters Rupp Arena with a 28-3 record and they haven’t lost since January. Elizabeth Curtis and Calli Carver are a formidable 1-2 punch for the Lady Tigers and the ability to make threes as a team could be the difference in Murray pulling a minor upset over Ryle on Wednesday night. Murray shoots 33% from 3 as a team but could beat Ryle if they can get even hotter from outside.