The Girls Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena
The Girls Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena
by Steve Thompson
It’s been a long-time coming, a common venue for both the Boys and Girls Sweet 16. The Kentucky High School Girls Basketball championship has been somewhat of a traveling roadshow over the last 10 years, and this year’s debut at Rupp arena was a tournament to remember. There were teams that everyone expects to be in the final 16, and then, there were some surprises. The Bethlehem Banshees shocked the 5th Region with their amazing season, capped off with the upset of the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers in the Regional Championship.
Although they lost in the first round to Owensboro Catholic, 53-47, it was one of the more competitive games of the tournament and the Banshees had multiple opportunities to win. Their poise and focus were acknowledged by all in attendance and this team returns all but two starters next season.
Barren County, the 4th Region Champion, proved they were the real deal by advancing through the first round, beating a solid Pikeville team, 65-47. Advancing has its privilege and its cost, as Barren County lost in the second round to the tournaments eventual champion, Ryle, 63-49.
Ryle was never really tested. Owensboro Catholic, the 3rd Region powerhouse, held their own against Ryle early, but Ryle’s aggressive offensive posture got the Lady Aces out of rebounding position and Ryle took advantage with multiple second chance points.
The George Rogers Clark, Mercy game was a one point win for GRC, the tightest game of the tournament. There were the typical one-sided victories we see in Regional disparity, however the tournament did not disappoint, and the Ladies rose to the occasion, living out their hoop dreams on the floor of Rupp arena, at the Girls sweet 16 championship.