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Simon Kenton Falls in Sweet Sixteen

The Simon Kenton girls basketball team fell to Graves County in the first round of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls Sweet 16 Tournament at the E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green 52-43 on Thursday night.

Simon Kenton jumped out to a 19-8 lead by the 4:00 mark of the second quarter, behind 12 early points from Freshman guard Allison Niece. Graves County responded with a 13-0 flurry over the next three minutes, however, to take a 21-19 lead.

Allison Niece scored right before halftime to stop the bleeding for the Pioneers, tying the game at 21 at the break. Niece led all scorers at halftime with 14 points.

Simon Kenton outrebounded Graves County 19-11 in the first half, but the Lady Eagles made five first-half three-pointers, including three during their second quarter run.

Graves County scored the first two baskets of the second half to take a 26-22 lead. Simon Kenton’s leading rebounder and third-leading scorer, Sophomore Maddi Meier, picked up her fourth foul at the 5:00 mark of the third quarter. Simon Kenton did not miss a beat on the glass, however, continuing to nearly double the Lady Eagles’ rebound numbers as the third quarter concluded.

The Pioneers scored four straight points to tie the game at 34 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Graves County answered on the other end by converting a conventional three-point play to retake the lead. The foul marked Maddi Meier’s fifth of the game as well, forcing her to sit for the game’s final six minutes.

Graves County made stopping Allison Niece a focal point of their defense in the second half. Senior forward Maggi Bosse took on the scoring load for Simon Kenton, keeping the game within two possessions until the final minute.

The Lady Eagles never surrendered the lead after regaining it with six minutes to play hitting virtually every free throw down the stretch to secure the win.

The charity stripe told the story of the game as Graves County shot 88% (21-24), while the Pioneers shot just 33% (7-21).

Freshman guard Allison Niece led Simon Kenton offensively with 18 points, followed by senior forward Maggi Bosse with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Senior guard Bailey Hawkins led Graves County in the scoring column with 18 points.

Senior forward Alyssa Barnard was named the Player of the Game, as she scored 17 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, and iced the game at the free throw line down the stretch.

With the win, Graves County improved their record to 26-5. The loss drops Simon Kenton’s final season record to 27-4. 

- Story by Alex Valentine, RCN Contributor/Photo: Team prepares to board the bus to Bowling Green (Facebook)

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