Friday, March 03, 2000

Simon Kenton girls reach district final

Enquirer contributor

        FLORENCE — Simon Kenton hoped Thursday its lack of postseason experience wouldn't hurt too much.

        As it turned out, it didn't. Senior forward Leila Barnes' 14 points and senior guard Allison Bell's 13 helped in a 55-45 win over Conner in a 33rd District semifinal at Boone County.

        Simon Kenton (11-14) meets Boone County for the title at 7 p.m. Saturday. Both are in the Ninth Region tournament that begins Wednesday at Holmes.

        The last time Simon Kenton reached the Ninth Region tournament was in 1993.

        “All week we've talked about (the district tournament),” Barnes said.

        Barnes and her teammates will have plenty to discuss today.

        Three times Conner erased Simon Kenton leads, and the game wasn't over until a 14-1 fourth-quarter run gave the Lady Pioneers a 51-40 lead with 34.8 seconds to go.

        “I knew our lack of tournament experience would be a disadvantage for us,” coach Dana Morningstar said. “But we had beaten Conner before.”

        Barnes' 17.7 points a game led the team going into Thursday, and her six points in the fourth quarter and senior forward Melissa Deaton's four free throws secured the win.

        The Lady Pioneers were in foul trouble in the last period. Junior forward Danielle Corbin, sophomore guard Mandy Kelsay and senior guard Jessica Dougherty all fouled out.

        Conner (7-16) didn't capitalize, though. The Cougars were 11-of-26 from the free throw line for the game, and they were scoreless for nearly six minutes of the fourth quarter.

        “We didn't shoot the ball well all year,” Conner coach Carmen Shannon said. “We were lucky if we shot 30 percent. We were getting careless down the end, just throwing stuff up.”

        Morningstar doesn't know how her team will handle Boone County's tournament toughness, but Bell is happy to still be playing.

        “My goal was to end on a good note my senior year,” Bell said. “I don't want the season to end.”

        CONNER (45): Hicks 1 0 2, Michels 4 3 11, Martin 2 5 10, Stasie 2 5 7, Williams 5 2 12, Lillard 1 0 3. Totals: 15 11 45.

        SIMON KENTON (55): Dougherty 1 0 3, Bell 5 3 13, Corbin 3 3 9, Barnes 5 4 14, Klaine 0 2 2, Deaton 1 8 20, Kelsay 2 0 4. Totals: 17 20 55.

        Conner ....... 13  14  12   6—45

        Simon Kenton ....... 13  12  12  18—55

        3-point goals: C-Stasie 2, Lillard, Martin. SK-Dougherty. Records: C 7-16, SK 11-14.


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