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DDN - Alter, Kenton Ridge earn regional final

March 5, 2014
Archbishop Alter High School

Alter, Kenton Ridge earn regional final

By Marc F. Pendleton Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD — If it weren’t proclaimed before, it’s official now: Alter has something special brewing this girls basketball season.

Lights-out shooting and shut-down defense are its trademarks. And those traits were at their season’s best in Tuesday’s 56-33 rub-out of Clinton-Massie in a showdown of unbeatens in the Division II regional semifinals at a capacity-filled Springfield High School. Alter had six players knock down 3-pointers by halftime.

“This is a special team,” Alter junior Maddie Bazelak said after leading the Knights with 15 points and hitting three 3s. “We knew it from the beginning that this was a special team. We’ve worked all season to be able to hit those shots in pressure situations like this. Any one of us at any time can be the big player like that. That’s what’s special about us.”

Kenton Ridge nearly squandered all of a 17-point second-half advantage but held on to dismiss Columbus Eastmoor Academy in the opener, 59-58. Alter (27-0) and Ridge (26-1) will return here in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. regional final. The winner advances to next week’s D-II state final four in Columbus.

Massie, fueled by 6-foot-1 seniors Sydney Brackemyre (a University of Louisville signee) and Kasey Eutrecht (Northern Kentucky), trailed throughout.

By the end of the first quarter Alter led by 10 and had hit four of five 3s by four players. The Knights’ advantage was 31-12 at halftime and ballooned to 44-18 after three quarters. Ball game.

Emma Bockrath, Libby Bazelak, Braxtin Miller, Hayley Combs and Kara Bockrath joined Maddie Bazelak in busting 3s for Alter.

“We shot the ball well,” conceded Alter coach Chris Hart. “The kids who hit those 3s can hit those any night.”

Miller, an outstanding freshman shooting guard, added 12 points for the Knights. Brackemyre led Massie with 11 points. Alter hit eight treys, Massie none.

“We were able to get in their heads a little,” said Maddie Bazelak.

Sara Thornton hit 10 free throws, the last with 17 seconds remaining, to secure Kenton Ridge’s win. Eastmoor hit a 3 to close within one with seven seconds left but couldn’t foul on the inbounds. That allowed Ridge to run out the clock on Eastmoor’s season.

“We’re happy to go on,” Ridge coach Ed Foulk said. “Now it’s going to be a tough one. We’ve got to play better than we just played, too. Way better.”

Thornton led the Cougars with 18 points.

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