GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Lexington Catholic bombs away to defeat Lady Bearcats

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By John Herndon

No matter how much the game changes, the main object of basketball has remained the same since Dr. Naismith was looking for a peach basket.

Make shots. It is still that simple.

Lexington Catholic made 11 shots from beyond the three-point line to defeat host Anderson County 60-51 in a battle of girls' basketball teams ranked in the pre-season Top 15 on Friday night.

“We didn't defend the three at all,” Anderson coach Tony Kays said.

Senior guard Bonnie Rhule got Lexington Catholic going with a home run just 16 seconds into the contest, then after Anderson had come back to take a brief lead, Rhule gave Catholic the lead for good with another 3-ball that made it 14-11 late in the first quarter.

The Lady Knights' advantage expanded to 11 points on two separate occasions, but Anderson rallied to cut the lead to two with a chance to tie or take the lead twice but turnovers and poor shot selection did the Lady Bearcats in each time.

“The team that won tonight deserved to win,” said Kays. “Some of our kids thought they were ready to play but they weren't. Lexington Catholic was just the better team tonight.”

Emily Johns, who ironically did not hit a three-pointer all night, led Catholic, which was playing in its season opener, with 15 points. Sydney Brown led Anderson with 11.

The Lady Bearcats fell to 1-1.

Catholic jumped to a quick 6-0 lead, but Anderson ran off nine points in 50 seconds to go up 9-6. But after Rhule's second bomb, the Lady Bearcats never regained the lead.

With Anderson sophomores Makenzie Cann and Eriel McKee, both ranked among the state's best in their class, sitting on the bench with two fouls each, Lexington Catholic spurted to a 25-15 lead, prompting Kays to signal for a timeout midway through the second quarter. After Brown sank a jumper, Elizabeth Walton buried her third straight 3-pointer to make it 28-17.

Anderson made a run to cut the margin to 33-30 when Corrin Robinson made a steal, passed to Destiny Stewart, then took Stewart's return pass for a basket as time expired in the first half.

Robinson, a freshman, got Anderson within 33-32 with a drive to start the second half, but Anderson could get no closer. After Catholic surged ahead again Anderson rallied, pulling within 44-43 when Cann banked one home with 15.6 seconds left in the third frame but Catholic took total control again early in the fourth frame.

The lead reached 10 points just over three minutes into the fourth frame, and the Lady Bearcats were never closer than seven the rest of the way.

“Some things didn't go as we thought they should,” Kays said. “This was probably good for us. I schedule games like this to see where we are. Tonight, we failed the test.”

The Lady Bearcats host 12th Region favorite Lincoln County on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, they travel to Bryan Station to take on Tates Creek at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Lady Bearcats travel to Paul L. Dunbar.

Junior varsity rallies late to win
Alex Avritt scored all five of her points in the final minute as the Anderson junior varsity defeated Lexington Catholic 27-23.

Avritt hit a big three-pointer to put the Lady Bearcats up 24-23 with 58 seconds to play, then hit a couple of free throws to ice the win.

Kali Whiteside led Anderson with 11 points.

LEXINGTON CATHOLIC 14 19 13 14 –60
ANDERSON COUNTY 11 19 13 8 – 51
LCHS – Johns 15, Walton 11, Wilson 11, Rhule 8, Botkin 7, Blake 4, Cawood 3, Miller 1. ACHS – Brown 11, Cann 10, McKee 9, Whiteside 8, Stewart 7, Robinson 6. Three-point goals: Walton 3, Wilson 3, Rhule 2, Cawood, Blake, Botkin, McKee, Stewart. Records: Lexington Catholic 1-0, Anderson County 1-1.