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Photos from Girls Sweet 16: Holmes on to Semifinals; Simon Kenton Falls

A heartbreaker for Simon Kenton, and Holmes moves on at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Girls Sweet 16 basketball tournament.

Had both teams won, they would have met in the semifinals on Saturday for a clash of Northern Kentucky titans. 

The Pioneers' game was tight the whole way, with neither Simon Kenton nor Franklin County ever leading by more than seven points. The game was tied eleven times and there were ten lead changes. 

But Franklin County's ability to score 11 second-chance points off 13 offensive rebounds was enough to send Simon Kenton (28-7)  home to Independence.

The game was tied with 9 seconds left but a foul called against Simon Kenton put Franklin County (32-5) on the line with just 4 seconds left. Both free throw shots were good, and a last-second three-point attempt from Simon Kenton banged off the rim as time expired. The final score was Franklin County 51, Simon Kenton 49.

Allyson Neace led the Pioneers with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Franklin, champions of the 11th region, will face Holmes in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (29-5) held off Henderson County (28-6), champions of the 2nd Region, 58-48.

Holmes started the game slow, trailing by 7 at the end of the first quarter and by five at halftime. But the Bulldogs lit it up in the second half, starting with a 9-0 run in the third quarter.

Henderson threatened a couple times late in the game but was never able to erase the Bulldogs' lead.

Franklin County meets Holmes in the semifinals on Saturday at 8 p.m., while Murray (28-5) will face Mercer County (28-6) at 6:30 p.m.

This year's tournament is held at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights. It is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

-Brian Frey, RCN contributor

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