The Lady Aces had a big 84-46 victory over the Lady Red Devils in the final district game of the season. Hailee Johnson’s 24 points in the game earned her the Player of the Game Award.
Jenna Krampe opened the night’s scoring with a simple layup, and Owensboro Catholic would score two more times before Keeley Harris put Owensboro on the board with a single free throw. Karmin Riley hit an open 3 on the following play to jumpstart the Lady Aces’ big run in the first quarter. OCHS utilized a full court press to force OHS to have multiple turnovers. They capitalized by accumulating a 20-point lead early on at 31-9 by the end of the first quarter.
Owensboro Catholic head coach Michael Robertson said the team’s depth in scoring was a huge factor in gaining the big lead.
“One thing that I think about our team: we’ve got a lot of players that can put the ball in the basket,” he said. “I’ve got to find a few of them that want to play a little bit of defense, so that’s the big thing I’ve got to find. We’ve got a lot of people that can score and a lot of people that can shoot, so that makes it really hard to guard us.”
With the Lady Red Devils having 4 players out and missing key parts of their offense, Harris fought to keep OHS in the game by fighting for 2 offensive boards and then the basket in the first play of the second quarter. Owensboro Catholic’s defense was too solid for them to maneuver around however, as their high pressure led to 3 straight baskets. Delaney Cooper then hit an open three before a steal gave her another basket right after to take the score to 37-11. Owensboro Catholic’s defense was too solid for Owensboro to maneuver around, and OCHS had 3 straight baskets thanks to their high pressure.
The OHS offense began to find more success as they scored 16 in the second quarter, but OCHS led at halftime with a 63-27 lead. Aynari Carbon opened the second half with a basket from the paint, and Heleina John scored two more baskets to try and kickstart a comeback. Although the Lady Red Devils tightened their defense in the second half, Johnson still couldn’t be contained as she made 3 straight threes to end the third quarter at 74-37.
Despite extending their lead, Robertson said that the Lady Aces let the lead get in their heads, and they didn’t play as aggressively in the second half.
“I was frustrated that we kept giving up offensive rebounds,” he said. Once we did get that big lead, we kind of let off the gas. We kind of sat back. When we sat back in our half to play defense we did not play very aggressively, and I didn’t like that. That part of it I wasn’t happy with, but I was happy with how we got up and down the floor.”
Shalyn Sprinkles and John made one 3 after another to open the fourth quarter. After Catholic answered back with 2, Emma Wilkins followed suit and made a three of her own. The Lady Aces continued to fight hard until the buzzer sounded despite holding a big lead. Taylor Mannahan drew contact while driving in for a layup. She missed her free throw, but Aubrey Randolph was right there for the offensive rebound and the second-chance bucket. The game ended with Catholic taking the win at 84-46.
Johnson’s 4 threes and 24 points led the Lady Aces, and it earned her the Player of the Game Award. Cooper made 3 threes as part of her 20 points, and Krampe scored 13 on the night as well. Leading the Lady Red Devils in scoring was John with a three pointer and 9 points. Aynari Cooper followed behind with 7 points. Sprinkles and Wilkins both had 2 threes to make up their 6 points on the night.
This win put Owensboro Catholic at the 1st seed in the district, but Robertson said the team will still have to come ready to play as they are still in the toughest district.
“Well, we get the one-seed, but we’re still playing in the toughest district,” he said. “We’re going to have to come ready to play against Apollo at the end of this month. That’s a big deal. We’re playing them at their place, though. I mean, they were up 23-22 here on us at halftime, so we got to stay focused on the task at hand and be ready to play the first round of district.”