The hot-shooting Butler High School girls basketball team rolled into the semifinals of the Republic Bank/Coca-Cola Consolidated Louisville Invitational Tournament on Friday.
The Bearettes shot 61.7 percent from the field – including 73.9 percent in the second half – as they rolled over South Warren 70-39 at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall for their 21st straight victory.
“When they shoot like that, I don’t care what team you’re playing against, any team that shoots 70-something percent in the second half you’re probably going to lose, unless you just light it up, too,” South Warren coach Blane Embry said.
Butler (21-1) – No. 1 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – started the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back. The Bearettes shot 50 percent (12 of 24) in the first half in building a 31-18 lead. Butler outscored the Spartans 24-6 in the third period to put them away.
Indiana University signee and Miss Basketball candidate Jaelynn Penn paced four Butler players in double figures with 14 points. Butler will face the Sacred Heart-Simon Kenton winner in Saturday’s 10 a.m. semifinal at Assumption High School.
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Butler, which entered shooting a state-best 52.1 percent from the field, was especially effective from the outside. The Bearettes were 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) from 3-point range, hitting 5 of 8 from long range in the first half.
“They really shot it well from the perimeter and I told (Butler coach) Larry (Just) at the end, ‘You guys shoot like that I just don’t know how (you can be beat),’” Embry said.
Junior guard Amaya Lasley scored a game-high 21 points, including 16 in the second half, for the short-handed Spartans, who played without two starters (junior guard Peyton Ferry and junior guard Sarah Dennison) due to injury.
“You’re probably not going to come up here and beat Butler, but you might be able to play with them with two more starters, two really good players,” said Embry, whose team shot 31.6 percent (12 for 38) from the field and was only 3 for 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range.
BUTLER 70, SOUTH WARREN 39
South Warren (13-6) – Deanna Taylor 1p, 10r; Amaya Lasley 21p, 3a; Jordan McDonald 8p, 7r; Natalie Pierce 7p; Embry Weaver 2p.
Butler (21-1) – Bre Torrens 3p, 5a; Tasia Jeffries 8p, 3a; Jaelynn Penn 14p, 6r; Teri Goodlett 10p, 3stl; Molly Lockhart 10p; Janna Lewis 11p; Kiara Cain 7p, 5r; Jabriel Kelly 5p; Jasmine Elder 2p.