Meade County’s defensive pressure and offensive balance were too much for Owensboro Catholic to overcome Monday night, as the Lady Aces fell 59-42 in a girls high school basketball matchup at the Sportscenter.
Hailee Johnson scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed four rebounds for Catholic (18-6), while Karmin Riley added 14 points, three steals and a pair of assists.
The Lady Aces carried a 24-23 lead into intermission following a back-and-forth first half, but the Lady Waves (17-8) pulled away after halftime.
“They played very hard, very connected,” OCHS coach Michael Robertson said of Meade County. “Because they were playing so hard, every one of those loose balls went right to the right spot, and they knocked down 3s. I think they hit three or four of those and they were big, the one right at the end of the third quarter was big.
“They hit timely shots that were almost backbreakers. You could see it in our emotion and our body language, we didn’t like the physicality of it, let’s just be truthful with it. We didn’t like when they were physical with us. ... We just got to learn to play stronger.”
Johnson scored on a layup with 4:53 left in the third period that gave Catholic a 30-29 lead, but a 3-pointer moments later by Paige Medley put the Lady Waves ahead — and they never trailed again.
Meade County closed the quarter on a 12-3 run, capped off by Mattie Clanton’s corner 3 at the buzzer, to take a 42-32 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Johnson’s layup with 5:25 remaining pulled the Lady Aces to within 44-36, but another Clanton 3 sparked a 12-2 scoring burst that put the lead out of reach for good.
“I probably should’ve went back to the 2-3 zone,” Robertson said. “I felt like that kind of slowed them down a little bit (in the first half), but we got behind and couldn’t go back to it. We got to get back to the drawing board.”
Medley scored 14 points to lead Meade County, while Annabelle Babb finished with 13 points, Katie Durbin produced 12 points, and Clanton chipped in 11. Sophomore standout Peyton Bradley, averaging a region-best 22.7 points per game, was limited to only nine points.
The Lady Waves shot 40.4% from the field, including 7-of-20 from 3-point range (35%), and converted 14-of-19 foul shots (73.6%) with 11 turnovers.
Aubrey Randolph led Catholic on the boards with nine rebounds, along with two steals. Maddie Hayden hauled in four boards, and Katie Riney dished three assists with a trio of rebounds.
The Lady Aces shot 36% from the floor, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc (25%), and made 8-of-12 free throws (66.7%) with 16 turnovers.
“I’ve got to figure them out a little bit more,” Robertson said of Meade County. “I like what they got. They’re legit. They’re connected, they know each others’ role and they don’t try to do too much.
“We got to play with confidence. We didn’t play with confidence. They screamed confidence. When they stepped on the court, they felt they were going to win this game. I thought we played hard.”
MEADE COUNTY 14 9 19 17 — 59
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 13 11 8 10 — 42
Meade County (59) — Medley 14, Babb 13, Durbin 12, Clanton 11, Bradley 9.
Owensboro Catholic (42) — Johnson 15, Riley 14, La. Keelin 4, Randolph 4, Hayden 2, Le. Keelin 2, Riney 1.
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