Trying to keep Pikeville at bay in the fourth quarter, Marshall County Coach Aaron Beth called a play the Marshals hadn’t run all season.

Forward Jada Driver sprung out to the wing off the inbounds screen from teammate Sophie Galloway and drained her third 3-pointer of the game to provide the Marshals enough cushion to hang on for a 56-52 win on day two of the first round of the Girls’ KHSAA State Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena.

Pikeville had cut the Marshals’ lead to four points on three different occasions in the fourth period and trailed by five, 47-42, with 4:18 remaining after a free throw resulting from a technical foul assessed to the Panthers’ bench.

Cue Driver’s three-pointer and a 50-42 lead with 4:05 to play. Pikeville wouldn’t get as close as four again until 16 seconds remained.

BETHLEHEM 70, BULLITT EAST 65The game between No. 1 Bethlehem and No. 3 Bullitt East should have been the best first-round game of the girls’ state basketball tournament. It did not disappoint.

Bethlehem defeated Bullitt East 70-65 in Thursday’s matchup in the Girls’ KHSAA State Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena in a game that came down to the final seconds.

Bethlehem’s Ella Thompson had a team-high 25 points, including a Bullitt East momentum-sapping 3-pointer from the right wing midway through the fourth quarter that pushed the Banshees’ edge to four. Bethlehem never led by more than six down the stretch.

A Lilly Reid 3-pointer with 24.4 seconds left cut the Bullitt East deficit to 66-65. It was her first 3-pointer of the game. After a pair of Bethlehem free throws, Bullitt East had a chance to tie, but another Reid 3-pointer bounced off the rim and into Thompson’s hands.

RUSSELL 58, DIXIE HEIGHTS 44A star wasn’t born Thursday night, but she shined about as brightly as possible in her debut on the state’s biggest stage.

Behind a stat-stuffing display from freshman Shaelyn Steele, Russell defeated Dixie Heights, 58-44, in the final first-round contest of the Girls’ KHSAA State Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.

Steele, who has offers from Eastern Kentucky and Marshall, ended the night with 18 points, six rebounds, six blocks, three assists and two steals to lead the Red Devils in their first state-tournament win since 1976, when it reached the semifinals. The lone blemish on her stat line was in the turnover column; she was tagged with six of Russell’s 13 as a team.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.