Sunday, March 04, 2001

Henderson, Boone Co. give championship performance




By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer contributor

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Ciara Henderson
(Mike Simons photos)
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        ERLANGER - When Boone County senior guard Ciara Henderson left the court near halftime of Saturday's 33rd District championship game against Conner, the first thing coach Nell Fookes did was massage Henderson's shooting arm.

        It was hardly necessary. Henderson scored 29 points, and the Lady Rebels cruised to an 83-32 victory at St. Henry.

        Boone County (25-4) advanced to the Ninth Region tournament that begins Wednesday at Conner. The Lady Rebels have become the favorites to make the state tournament March 21-24 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

        “I think that's the best I've seen us play this season with this team,” Henderson said. “We were just ready to play.”

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Christian Stefanopoulos battles for a loose ball.
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        Conner (7-19) also will advance to the regional tournament, on its home floor. First-round regional pairings will be announced at 2 p.m. today at Conner.

        Fookes was so happy with the way her team played Saturday, she even danced with her players in a post game celebration. Which was the opposite of what she did after the Lady Rebels' 47-23 semifinal win over St. Henry on Thursday.

        “We shot very poorly on Thursday,” Fookes said. “I felt we played uninspired. I thought we forgot what got us here.”

        There were few flaws in Saturday's performance. The Lady Rebels shot 51.8 percent from the field (29-of 56); they hit 13-of-23 3-pointers (Henderson had seven and junior guard Christian Stefanopoulos added four); and the defense held Conner to 29.7 percent from the field (11-of-37) and forced 25 turnovers.

        “We knew where they were going to cut before they knew,” Fookes said.

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Casondra Milner pulls down rebound.
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        Conner coach Carmen Shannon sensed trouble early.

        “They were on,” Shannon said. “They didn't miss, and they get up for this game. We didn't show up, bottom line.”

        Henderson started strong with a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the game, part of her 8-of-12 shooting - including 5-of-8 from 3-point range - for the half.

        Conner's highlight was a 5-0 run on junior guard Missy Suter's 3-pointer and junior forward Amanda Turner's field goal. Conner had a 5-3 lead a little more than a minute into the game.

        Henderson and Stefanopoulos practically turned the rest of the quarter into a two-girl game.

        Shannon wanted to try a box-and-1 defense, in which one player stayed with Henderson and the other four played a zone. Stefanopoulos stuffed that: in a 5:31 stretch of the first quarter she hit three 3-pointers, had one assist and scored 13 points.

        Henderson added six more points, junior guard Shannon Matheny hit a three, and junior forward Chrissy Isaac had two points.

        The results: 24-0 run; 27-5 lead with 1:07 left in the quarter.

        Henderson scored 10 of Boone County's first 15 second quarter points and finished the first half with 23 points..

        “We'll have to have those type of games (in the regional),” Fookes said.

        CONNER (32) — Michels 1 0 2, Suter 3 0 9, Turner 2 0 4, Martin 2 0 5, Murphy 1 0 2, Williams 0 2 2, Dooley 1 2 4, Vonhandorf 1 2 4. Totals: 11 6 32.

        BOONE COUNTY (83) — Boswell 1 0 3, Matheny 2 0 5, Molleson 2 1 5, Isaac 4 1 9, Stefanopoulos 5 3 17, Grobmyer 3 0 6, Bishop 0 1 1, Sellers 0 2 2, Henderson 10 2 29, Lindeman 0 2 2, Milner 1 0 2, Madden 1 0 2. Totals: 29 12 83.
       Conner ....... 8 11 7 6 - 32
       Boone County ....... 27 22 18 16 - 83

        Three-point goals: C-Suter 3, Martin; BC-Henderson 7, Stefanopoulos 4, Boswell, Matheny. Records: C 7-19, BC 25-4.

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