By SCOTT WILSON
Glasgow Daily Times
It is not just “coach speak” when Justin Stinson talks about the importance of a team-first attitude. The Glasgow Lady Scotties got contributions from eight different players Saturday to roll over Owensboro Catholic 54-39 in the semifinals of the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic State Basketball Tournament at the Frankfort Convention Center.
“There are not a whole lot of kids that get the opportunity to play for a state title. At any level or in any sport, very rarely do kids get the opportunity to play for a state title,” Stinson said. “I am so proud of our kids and I told them after the game that no matter how things turn out tomorrow, we’re going to be proud of them. We’re already proud of them for what they’ve put into this program, for the sacrifice they’ve made”
The Lady Scotties (17-6) will play Danville (13-4) in the championship game at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday. The Lady Admirals beat Newport Central Catholic 71-55 in Saturday’s other semifinal.
Glasgow’s game was back and forth with Owensboro Catholic (19-2) rallying to pull with 37-32 with just under 6:00 to go in the game. The Lady Aces, the All “A” Classic defending champions, were making a charge and the Lady Scotties were reeling. Glasgow’s Bree Glover was called for her third foul, sending her to the bench.
But GHS quickly brought things back under control. Allie Chapman came off the bench to replace Glover and made an immediate impact. Chapman found a lane in the OCHS defense; drove to the basket and was fouled. She made both free throws to make it 39-32 with 5:40 on the clock. After another big defensive stop, Glasgow got a basket from Shalika Smith and the Lady Scotties had the game in hand at 41-32.
“I was really proud of Allie today. She was fearless out there,” Stinson said. “She attacked the basket and knocked those free throws down. That was a big play. For Allie to make that play, it kind of calmed the storm for us.”
The two teams exchanged basket and Owensboro Catholic was able to cut the Glasgow lead to 45-39 with 1:21 to go. That would be as close as the Lady Aces could get as Glasgow scored nine unanswered points to close out the game.
“The keys for us were to make sure we handled the ball against their pressure. I thought we did a good job of that. We also wanted to get back in transition defense because they want to get out and play so fast,” Stinson relayed. “We know our half-court defense is really good, but we didn’t want to give them anything in transition. We gave up some of that in the first half, but did a much better job of that in the second half.
“The third thing was we wanted to keep them off the offensive glass. In the first half, they had a few too many offensive rebounds, but in the second half we were much better at that.”
Shalika Smith led Glasgow with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She also had one assist, four blocks and one steal. Glover added another double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. She added four assists, four blocks and four steals. Elli Bartley had 10 points, while Emily Alexander scored six. Ashley Smith tallied four points, and Megan Shirley, Heidi Holgate and Chapman added two points each.
Kaylyn Pearson led OCHS with 17 points in the loss.
“It has always been team first with us and sometimes it takes teams a while to understand that and what everyone’s role is. I was really proud of Ashley Smith. She played great defensively for us. She gets loose balls, she tracks down rebounds. I was really proud of her, and Allie and Hydeia (Depp),” Stinson explained. “That’s three kids that come off the bench for us, and they gave us big time contributions on a big stage.
“Shalika has been big all week, but she has also been the recipient of some nice plays from our guards. They handled the ball well and Shalika finished it. She has been big all week and she was big again tonight. That’s what seniors are supposed to do.”
The game was close through most of the day. Glasgow led 14-13 at the end of the first period and held a 23-19 advantage at the intermission. The Lady Scotties were up 34-30 as the fourth period began.
And now, for the Lady Scotties, they are 32 minutes from the championship.
“We’ve worked very hard to get into this position and I feel like our girls will be ready,” Stinson explained. “We’re going to have to play well to win.”