December 8, 2001
© 2001 Ron Harrison
The Lady Defender Classic has been in existence for 18 years. Eight Miss Basketball, eleven State Tournament M.V.P.s, two Parade Magazine All-Americans, and eleven state champions have participated in this one day showcase event. This year’s slate of games should carry on the fine tradition of this event. Teams scheduled to participate are Harrison Co., Madison Central, Clinton Co., Perry Co. Central, West Carter, Henry Clay, Muhlenberg North, and Bryan Station. Muhlenberg North, West Carter, Clinton Co., and Henry Clay are all ranked in the Lexington Herald-Leader top ten. Some of the top players in the state are scheduled to perform today. Jade Perry and Holly Mills (Muhlenberg North), Megen Gearheart and Meghan Hillman (West Carter), Nastassia Alcius (Henry Clay), Angela Brown (Clinton Co.), and Tracy Harbut (Bryan Station) are all ranked in the Lexington Herald-Leader pre-season top twenty five list of players.
Game No. 1 Harrison Co. (2-1) vs. Madison Central (1-1)
Harrison Co. coach Mac Whitaker started the following lineup: 5-6 Jr. Allison Snedeker, 5-8 Jr. Amanda Linville, 5-8 8th grader Brooke Faulkner, 6-0 So. Megan Gray, and 5-10 Sr. Kim Furnish. Madison Central coach Kent Miller countered with 6-0 Sr. Tiffany Green, 5-11 Sr. Jeannie Vorbeck, 5-8 So. Olivia Terry, 5-5 Jr. Lori Parsons, and 5-4 Jr. Heather Rose.
Madison Central defeated Harrison Co. 42-38 in a game that remained close from horn to horn with the lead changing several times. Madison Central was led in scoring by Olivia Terry with 13 points. Jeannie Vorbeck and Lori Parsons added 10 and 9 points respectively. Harrison Co. was led by Amanda Linville and Megan Gray with 11 points each. Allison Snedeker and Brooke Faulkner added 8 and 6 points respectively.
Harrison Co. 13 12 9 4 - 38
Madison Central 12 11 11 8 - 42
Harrison Co. (38) - Snedeker 8, Linville 11, Faulkner 6, Gray 11, Furnish 2.
Madison Central (42) - Green 4, Vorbeck 10, Terry 13, Parsons 9, Rose 2, Bosley 4.
Game No. 2 Clinton Co. (3-1) vs. Perry Co. Central (5-0)
Clinton Co. coach Gary Abbott started the following lineup: 5-7 Sr. Rachel Matthews, 6-5 Jr. Angela Brown, 5-6 Fr. Paige Guffey, 5-6 Fr. Amber Guffey, and 5-8 Fr. Brittany Abbott. Perry Co. Central coach Randy Napier countered with 6-0 Fr. Britta Maggard, 5-11 Sr. Ashley Shouse, 5-7 Sr. Kristel Hamilton, 5-7 So. Polly Sebastian, and 5-8 Sr. Bertha Sebastian.
Two Clinton Co. starters Joann Vitatoe and Kristina Curry stayed home to take their college entrance exams but the Lady Bulldogs came out red hot and raced to a 45-29 halftime lead. They maintained their intensity in the second half and rolled to a 81-55 victory. All five Clinton Co. starters reached double figures led by Paige Guffey and Rachel Matthews with 19 and 17 points respectively. Angela Brown, Amber Guffey, and Brittany Abbott added 12, 12, and 11 points respectively. Perry Co. Central was led by Britta Maggard with 12 points. Bertha Sebastian and 5-10 So. Brittany Baker added 8 points each.
Clinton Co. 20 25 20 16 - 81
Perry Co. Central 17 12 11 15 - 55
Clinton Co. (81) - Matthews 17, Brown 12, P. Guffey 19, A. Guffey 12, Abbott 11, Ballinger 4, Ferguson 3, Papineau 3.
Perry Co. Central (55) - Maggard 12, Shouse 2, Hamilton 2, P. Sebastian 6, B. Sebastian 8, Brashear 6, Davis 7, Baker 8, Napier 4.
Game No. 3 West Carter (5-0) vs. Henry Clay (4-0)
West Carter coach John “Hop” Brown started the following lineup: 5-9 Jr. Brooke Mullis, 5-9 Sr. Kayla Jones, 6-1 Sr. Meghan Hillman, 5-6 So. Stephanie Hall, and 5-6 Jr. Megen Gearheart. Henry Clay coach Scott Cromwell countered with 5-9 Sr. Katie Columbus, 6-1 Jr. Leah Hill, 6-0 So. Mary Tobin, 5-5 So. Johnna Carlisle, and 5-7 Sr. Nastassia Alcius.
West Carter defeated Henry Clay 64-59 in a championship caliber game. The lead changed hands several times with West Carter finally claiming the victory thanks to a sparkling performance from the free throw line. The Lady Comets shot 95.6% (22 of 23) from the free throw stripe. West Carter was led today by Megen Gearheart with 17 points and she was the primary ballhandler against Henry Clay’s pressure defense. Kayla Jones added 15 points including six key free throws down the stretch. Meghan Hillman added 10 points. Henry Clay was led today by their guard duo of Nastassia Alcius and Johnna Carlisle with 18 and 14 points respectively. Mary Tobin added 10 points and rebounded well.
West Carter 16 20 11 17 - 64
Henry Clay 15 18 13 13 - 59
West Carter (64) - Mullis 8, Jones 15, Hillman 10, Hall 6, Gearheart 17, Rayburn 8.
Henry Clay (59) - Columbus 5, Hill 6, Tobin 10, Carlisle 14, Alcius 18, Currens 2, Wilson 4.
Game No. 4 Muhlenberg North (2-0) vs. Bryan Station (2-1)
Muhlenberg North coach Mike Harper started the following lineup: 5-10 Sr. Jasmine Perry, 5-5 Sr. Amanda Burden, 6-2 So. Jade Perry, 5-8 Sr. Holly Mills, and 5-10 Sr. Lindsey Sparks. Bryan Station coach Jackie Williams countered with 6-0 Jr. Tracy Harbut, 5-10 Sr. Ashlee Crump, 5-9 Sr. Demecia Combs, 5-9 Sr. Diana Arnett, and 5-9 Sr. Sharia Young.
Bryan Station evened the score 38-38 early in the third quarter before Muhlenberg North pulled away for a 70-61 victory. Muhlenberg North shot 52% from the field and forced 30 Bryan Station turnovers to overcome great performances by the talented Bryan Station duo of Tracy Harbut and Sharia Young. Muhlenberg North was led by Jade Perry with 23 points. Holly Mills, Amanda Burden, and Jasmine Perry added 15, 14, and 10 points respectively. Bryan Station was led by Tracy Harbut and Sharia Young with 26 points each.
Muhlenberg North 21 15 17 17 - 70
Bryan Station 18 14 10 19 - 61
Muhlenberg North (70) - Jas. Perry 10, Burden 14, Jade Perry 23, Mills 15, Sparks 6, Wilcox 2.
Bryan Station (61) - Harbut 26, Crump 5, Combs 0, Arnett 0, Young 26, Clark 2, Nichols 2.
This was a great day of basketball. The teams were as good as advertised and the players lived up to their reputations. Some of the teams appearing in this event could very well be in the final hunt for the state championship in March. Clinton Co. has a solid team and the Guffey twins bring a lot of excitement and great outside shooting to the game and Angela Brown adds strength inside the paint. Henry Clay should be a top contender for the 11th region championship and Bryan Station has a lot of firepower in Tracy Harbut and Sharia Young. Muhlenberg North has a very balanced team with excellent outside shooting and a real inside force in Jade Perry. West Carter has an excellent team with a great floor leader in Megen Gearheart. Harrison Co., Madison Central, and Perry Co. Central all have the talent to make waves in their respective regions.
A special thanks to Bryan Station coach Jackie Williams and athletic director Susan Montgomery for the hospitality extended me Saturday. Ms. Montgomery has always been one of the strongest supporters of girls’ basketball. The girls’ game gets better every year and the sky is indeed the limit. I’ll repeat a phrase I used in covering AAU basketball this summer ---“the girls got game.”