Game 3: Newport Central Catholic vs. Butler, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Game 3: Newport Central Catholic vs. Butler, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

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Game 3: Newport Central Catholic vs. Butler, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

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NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC

NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC

* George Stoll.Coach:

* 2011 (lost to Calloway County 62-57 in OT in first round).Last trip to State:

* No. 14 Newport Central Catholic never has won a Sweet 16 game and faces a tough first-round matchup Wednesday against Butler. The Thoroughbreds don’t have much size but are stingy on defense, allowing just 42.1 points per game. Ware was the hero of the Ninth Region final, making a layup at the buzzer to beat Notre Dame 48-46 in overtime. Neace (37 of 107) and Mayes (27 of 74) are the top shooters from 3-point range.What to look for:

* Just a couple of rebounds shy of averaging a double-double, Kiernan makes the Thoroughbreds go and is among seven finalists for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball award. Her greatest improvement, Stoll said, has come in her perimeter game. “Her freshman year she didn’t shoot much from outside of 8 feet,” he said. “Now she’s one of the better 3-point shooters we have.”Key player:

* “Butler likes to trap you and use their athleticism to turn you over, so we have to make sure we take care of the basketball against them. We know they’re probably picked to win, but we’ll be prepared and ready to go.”Coach-speak:

NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC

NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Starters

11-Michaela Ware

5-3, Jr., 7.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg

3-Ansley Davenport

5-2, So., 5.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg

12-Stephanie Lewis

5-4, Sr., 5.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg

21-Alexus Mayes

5-8, Jr., 10 ppg, 4.8 rpg

24-Nicole Kiernan

5-10, Sr., 16.6 ppg, 9.9 rpg

Key reserves

15-Loren Zimmerman

5-5, Jr., 4 ppg, 1.5 rpg

25-Sarah Neace

5-5, Jr., 4 ppg, 0.7 rpg

4-MiKayla Seibert

5-5, Jr., 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg

BUTLER

BUTLER

* Larry Just.Coach:

* 2012 (lost to Paul Dunbar 70-52 in quarterfinals).Last trip to State:

* No. 2 Butler enters with a 16-game winning streak and one of the deepest rosters in the state. Perhaps the only knock on the Bearettes is that they’re young, as there are four freshmen and two sophomores among the top nine players. Still, they’ve played beyond their years by winning the Louisville Invitational Tournament and the Sixth Region title. There is some big-time talent on this squad, and if they can stay together as a team the sky is the limit.What to look for:

* Lawrence, who has signed with IUPUI, said she was “heartbroken” when she wasn’t named among the seven finalists for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball award and has used that as motivation the rest of the season. Just said Lawrence’s strength is the ability to affect the game in several ways, whether it be scoring, rebounding or defensively.Key player:

* “If we can somehow relax and go in comfortable and confident, I would take my team and my chances against anyone who’s down there this week. I feel we have more depth than anybody who’s going to walk into the tournament … and that depth factor makes a difference.”Coach-speak:

Starters

3-Bre Torrens

5-1, Fr., 4.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg

23-Jaelynn Penn

5-6, Fr., 11.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg

40-Allison Just

5-8, So., 6.6 ppg, 2 rpg

14-Danielle Lawrence

5-10, Sr., 14.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg

33-Miah Casey

5-11, Jr., 4 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Key reserves

4-Tasia Jeffries

5-6, Fr., 6.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg

31-Madison Winebrenner

5-7, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg

35-Janna Lewis

5-8, Fr., 5.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg

12-Micaiah Bowden

5-9, So., 4.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg

TEAM COMPARISON

School W-L Nickname Location Region Enrollment Litrating Sweet 16
NEWPORT CATHOLIC 29-4 Thoroughbreds Newport Ninth 353 93.5 4th (0-3)
BUTLER 28-3 Bearettes Louisville Sixth 1,688 103.9 15th (15-11)

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