Season Ends for Campbell Co., Holmes in Girls Sweet 16
Northern Kentucky was eliminated from the St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls Sweet 16 on Friday afternoon at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.
Campbell Co. and Holmes each bowed out in the tournament's quarterfinals.
After winning their first state tournament game in school history on Wednesday night, the Campbell County Camels looked to add another win to their resume in the quarterfinals, but were halted by the Franklin County Lady Flyers, by a score of 41-38.
“I’m really proud of how our team played, especially in the second half; especially in the fourth quarter,” Campbell County Head Coach Beau Menefee said. “We fought very hard to stay in the game and to get back into the game.”
The game was reminiscent to the ending of the Camels’ season last year, when Campbell County was called for an offensive foul within 10 seconds of the end of the game.
“Same exact call as last year against Mason County,” Menefee said. “That’s how our season ended. We had the ball and an offensive foul was called; the first all game.”
Despite getting the ball back with nine seconds left in the game, a turnover by Campbell County’s Taylor Clos sealed the victory for the Flyers, advancing them to the semifinals on Saturday night.
Campbell County was led in scoring by Mackenzie Schwarber, who tallied another double-double, here second in the state tournament, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Clos added 11 points for the Camels. Taylor Jolly was held to just six points, despite draining 17 points in the win against Trimble County on Wednesday.
Franklin County was led in scoring by Princess Stewart with 14 points and eight rebounds. Malaka Frank added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Flyers.
Franklin County dominated the game off the boards, out-rebounding the Camels 28-21, leading to 10 second chance points for the Flyers, while the Camels had zero second chance baskets in the game.
With the win, the Flyers will face the Mercer County Titans, who beat the Holmes Bulldogs in the second game of the afternoon session in the quarterfinal.
Despite being down by 14 in the third quarter, Holmes attempted to mount a comeback, coming back to within four points when the final buzzer sounded.
“I thought we played hard,” Holmes Head Coach Tony Perkins said. “We played okay in the second half. We tried to get back in the game, just didn’t make enough shots.”
Mercer County came out shooting to begin the game, taking a seven point lead with 2:27 left in the first quarter on a three-point basket by Seygan Robins.
Holmes cut into that lead before the quarter ended, coming to within one after Holmes’ Jynea Harris knocked down two free throws late in the quarter.
The second quarter was less friendly to the Bulldogs, who only made eight points in the quarter compared to Mercer County’s 14. Mercer County took a 34-22 lead into halftime.
Holmes began to comeback in the second half, slowly cutting into the lead, while trying to fend off the powerful Mercer County offense.
Despite inching closer and closer, costly turnovers and missed shots cost the Bulldogs a chance at going to the semifinals.
Holmes had three players in double-figures in points: Jynea Harris (19 points), Jaynice Stovall (13 points), and Kamari Graham (13 points.) Tyrah Englemon led Holmes in rebounds with 16 boards, including six on the offensive side of the ball.
Mercer County was led in scoring by Seygan Robins, who contributed 21 points In the win, while Lyric Houston added 10 points, despite fouling out with over four minutes left in the third quarter.
For the first time since 2014, Northern Kentucky will not have a representative in the girls semifinals.
Mercer County will face Franklin County on Saturday night. The title game will take place on Sunday, both at BB&T Arena.
Story & photos by Clayton Castle, RCN contributor