Lady Aces turn defense into offense, set for third bout with Owensboro this season in district title game

February 21, 2023 | 12:04 am

Updated February 21, 2023 | 3:12 am

Photo by Gage Johnson

The Lady Aces ramped up the defensive intensity in the second half on Monday, helping them get out in transition offensively and defeat Daviess County 68-44 to advance and return to the 9th District Championship.

Owensboro Catholic tried to set the tone of the game on the defensive ends from the jump, as Lady Panthers turnovers led to an early 7-2 deficit. But a quick layup and three from senior Adylan Ayer knotted things right back up at 7-7 with 2:45 to go in the first quarter.

Senior Katie Riney responded with a three for the Lady Aces as well though, kickstarting a 12-0 run that carried into the second quarter for a 19-7 lead. Daviess County then proceeded to chip away at its deficit to as low as seven, but turnovers continued to prove costly as they went into halftime down 30-19.

Owensboro Catholic came out of the locker room on a mission though, as the Lady Panthers were held to just 25 points in the second half. The Lady Aces fullcourt pressure helped them get going on the offensive end, getting out in transition time and time again to come away with the 68-44 win.

As Daviess County finished its season with a 14-17 overall record, Ayer was the only player to finish in double figures by wrapping up her high school career by leading all scorers with 27 points. 

The next highest scorer on the night was Owensboro Catholic junior Jenna Krampe, who played a major role in the second half surge with 19 of her 21 points coming in the second half. She was able to do so by making hustle plays all night long, as well as getting some help from her teammates.

 “Jenna Krampe did a great job,” Robertson said. “She did what I’ve known she could do all year long. But to that, our guards and people who got the ball were also looking up and finding her and able to make good outlet passes. All in all, it was a great team game. Still gotta finish some of those underneath. We gotta be stronger and keep playing tough. It’s just going to get harder each and every game.”

She also had plenty of help from her teammates on the offensive end too, with junior Hailee Johnson adding 12, sophomore Karmin Riley adding 10, senior Maddie Hayden adding nine and a total of eight different players scoring in the win. Robertson was proud of his team’s execution offensively, noting that they applied what they studied in film and in practice to the game very well.

“It was fun,” Robertson said. “It was back to Owensboro Catholic basketball, the way we’ve played forever. That’s what makes us hard to guard, when we’re sharing the ball, we’re cutting, we’re making the extra pass, we’re making that shot and we’re going and playing hard… We played well tonight, but we need to carry it over to Thursday.”

Robertson and company know it will be no easy task to come away with a win against the Lady Devils with some hardware on the line, as both of the regular season district games went down to the wire. Owensboro Catholic will have to battle a hungry Owensboro team at their place once again at 7 p.m. on Thursday, knowing that they’ll need to be tough mentally and physically to grab a 9th District Championship.

“They’ll have a big crowd on Thursday night and they play well here,” Robertson said. “We’ve gotta cut that noise out… It’s a game of runs and we’re really going to have to really work to control their runs. They’ve got great guard play. They’re solid.”

February 21, 2023 | 12:04 am

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