The Lady Aces took over both ends of the floor in the second quarter, limiting Butler County to single digits in the quarter and setting the tone for a monstrous 71-28 first round victory in the 3rd Region Tournament.
Owensboro Catholic got off to a strong start, going on an 11-3 run for the first four minutes of the night. This was sparked by the Lady Aces fullcourt pressure, as defense led to offense and a 21-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Bears luck didn’t change in the second either, suffering a near six-minute scoring drought to close the quarter. A putback just before the buzzer ended the scoreless streak, but Owensboro Catholic had grown their lead to 45-15 with nine different players scoring by halftime.
With running clock ensuing in the second half, Owensboro Catholic handled business and walked away with a 71-28 win. Head Michael Robertson said following the win that he felt that while the Lady Aces may not have had the best start with a rough two minutes out of the gate, he was pleased with how they turned things around to grab a strong first round win.
“We did a good job,” Robertson said. “We actually started running some stuff and were able to execute. Our defense got us some turnovers and some easy buckets. It kind of got away from them early in the second half and we were able to put them away.”
Junior Hailee Johnson led the way with 16 points, while sophomore Aubrey Randolph chipped in 12 and senior Lauren Keelin added 10 points. Robertson said that he was happy with his team’s awareness of the floor offensively throughout the contest, allowing everyone to get in on the action on both ends of the floor.
“They didn’t put a lot of pressure on us,” Robertson said. “I anticipated them too, but they didn’t and we were able to keep our heads up a lot of the time to find the open person and get an easy bucket… I felt like it was pretty balanced overall. We got a lot of contributions from multiple players.”
The Lady Aces now have a tough matchup to look ahead to in the 3rd Region Semifinals, taking on a 22-9 Meade County team. The two met on the Owensboro Sportscenter floor once already this season, with the Lady Waves topping Owensboro Catholic at home 59-42 on Feb. 6.
Robertson said his team will need to come ready to play mentally and physically, needing to leave it all on the floor with a confidence that they can come away victorious. In what they expect to be a packed house, Robertson said the Lady Aces are capable of grabbing a semifinals win if they play focused for all 32 minutes on Friday.
“They won 90% of the fifty-fifty balls,” Robertson said. “If that happens again we’ll be done. We have to match their intensity. We have to play as hard as they do. We probably did that for about two quarters last time, but then the second half we just kind of took it off. You can’t take it off against them. They play so hard.”