BOWLING GREEN, Ky.
Freshman Kiara Pankins had 18 points and the Lafayette High girls’ basketball team used a quick start to defeat Glasgow 61-47 in the first round of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Sweet 16 at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Lafayette won in its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1984 and came out ready after a pregame pep talk from former Generals’ All-State player Lea Wise Prewitt, who played on the school’s 1979 state runner-up team.
She told the team, “You’ve got to want it more than anyone else,” Lafayette coach Allison Denton said, and was “talking basically about being tough and hard-nosed. And she was very proud of them.”
Lafayette (28-3), No. 3 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, advanced to face No. 2 Butler at 2:30 p.m. EDT Friday in what should be a high-level quarterfinal.
No. 10 Glasgow (29-7), the champion of the Fourth Region, had its state-best 18-game winning streak snapped.
The Lady Scotties, whose school is a 40-minute drive from Diddle Arena, had a big crowd on hand, but it was the Generals who started fast.
Lafayette took a 15-5 lead after just five minutes. The Generals started by hitting 13 of 20 from the floor as the lead grew to 35-18 midway through the second period.
“I think part of it was their focus, and part of it was the adrenaline,” Denton said. “They had no fear.”
Lafayette, which prides itself on the balance of its starting five, also got 15 points from Kenyale Demus, nine points from Ashanti Thomas and seven from Sarah Cooley.
Pankins finished 4 of 10 from the floor and 9 of 10 at the foul line.
“I’ve heard that all season long, ‘She’s just a freshman,’ ” she said. But “I’ve been playing varsity since seventh grade, so I feel like I have the experience.”
Sophomore Breanna Glover had 20 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Glasgow, which was trying to become the first All “A” Classic champion since Lexington Christian in 2007 to also win the Sweet 16.
Western Kentucky signee Shalika Smith, playing on her future home court, had 16 points and eight rebounds in her final high school game and battled early foul trouble.
Glasgow coach Justin Stinson heaped praise on his team in an emotional postgame news conference.
Afterward, some of the Glasgow players walked to the back of the Diddle media room to collect a dollar bill that they had tacked on the wall on the first day of practice this season and planned to retrieve when they made it back to the state tournament.