Hobbled by an ankle injury for the majority of this season, Emma Wesley plans to play through the pain and make the most of the final weeks of her Christian Academy of Louisville basketball career.
Wesley showed her value Tuesday, finishing with 10 points, four steals and three assists and hitting two key baskets in the fourth quarter as the Centurions beat North Bullitt 57-45 in the first round of the Republic Bank/Coca-Cola Consolidated Louisville Invitational Tournament at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall.
Wesley was CAL’s top scorer last season (19.0 ppg) but has played in just seven games this season after suffering a severe ankle sprain Dec. 5 against Fern Creek.
“She’s so good, even when she’s on the floor injured,” said CAL coach Perry White, who also is nursing an injury after having Achilles surgery last month and is using a knee scooter for support.
Freshman Shelby Calhoun led CAL with 16 points – including the 1,000th of a career that began as a seventh-grader – nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Summer Conti and Sarah McDonald both added 12 points as CAL (15-6) advanced to face Butler – No. 1 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in a second-round game.
Hailey Free scored 17 points to lead North Bullitt (13-6), and Bellarmine signee Lauren Deel added 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
Down 35-20 in the third quarter, North Bullitt clawed within 41-40 on Caroline Janes’ basket with 6:15 left but then hit a scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes.
“We knew we played more kids than they do, and we thought we could wear them down,” Eagles coach David Marion said. “It looked like the plan was working, and then I don’t know what happened. Maybe we hit a wall, but I don’t know why we would.”
Wesley scored four straight points to spark a 14-0 run that gave CAL a 55-40 lead with 2:38 left. Wesley said her ankle is only “about 60 percent.”
“It’s to the point where there’s a limited amount of games left, so I don’t care,” Wesley said. “It’s difficult, but this is my last season and I’m going to play through it.”
White was pleased with the way his team responded after North Bullitt pulled within one point.
“We were confident we could handle their run, and thank goodness we answered the call,” White said. “They’ve done that several times this year. There have been a couple of times as a coach that I start to panic a little bit, but all we have to do is take care of the ball.”
Mercy 70, Fern Creek 48: Sophomore guard Raquael Reese celebrated her 17th birthday with 17 points, seven rebounds and three steals to lead the No. 9 Jaguars (12-10) over the Tigers (13-9).
Known more as a strong defender, Reese hit 6 of 10 shots and 5 of 5 free throws as Mercy advanced to face No. 6 Sacred Heart at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s good to see that from her because we’ve always had to work on her with confidence and being an offensive threat,” Mercy coach Keith Baisch said. “But she’s working on it, and she’s getting in the gym and shooting a lot.”
Danielle Feldkamp added 14 points and eight rebounds for Mercy. Baisch said he wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive effort after taking a 24-13 first-quarter lead.
“We kind of went into cruise control,” he said.
Nsasa Makando had 16 points and six assists to lead Fern Creek. Alexis Smith added 10 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Eastern 56, Assumption 42: Bre Anthony scored 15 points and Mikayla Kinnard added 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to lead the No. 18 Eagles (15-6) over the Rockets (10-13).
Anthony, a 5-foot-5 junior point guard, entered the game averaging 4.4 points per game.
“She can shoot the ball and get on the floor, and she doesn’t care if she scores a point,” Eastern coach Josh Leslie said. “But she can make shots. And the thing I love about her is that if she turns it over or makes a mistake, she’ll get it back. She doesn’t hang her head.”
Eastern shot 61.1 percent (11 of 18) in the second half and advanced to face No. 2 Male at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Abby McQueary posted 10 points and seven rebounds to lead Assumption.
Bullitt East 62, Central 31: Kirstie Henn scored 14 points and Lindsey Duvall and Emmy Ralph both added 10 points to lead the No. 13 Chargers (19-4) over the Yellowjackets (8-7).
Bullitt East forced Central into 28 turnovers and scored 39 points off of them. The Chargers advanced to face No. 4 Manual (15-5) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Precious Hereford and Stephonie Cole both had eight points and eight rebounds to lead Central, which shot just 27.5 percent (11 of 40).
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 57, NORTH BULLITT 45
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (15-6) – Emma Wesley 10p, 4s, 3a; Summer Conti 12p, 3a, 3s; Shelby Calhoun 16p, 9r, 3a, 3s; Sarah McDonald 12p, 8r; Mia Beam 7p, 3a.
NORTH BULLITT (13-6) – Lexi Mouser 3p; Hayley Free 17p; Lauren Deel 10p, 11r, 4a, 4b; Sarah Janes 2p, 6r; Caroline Janes 8p; Kayli Davis 5p.
MERCY 70, FERN CREEK 48
FERN CREEK (13-9) – Nsasa Makando 16p, 6a; Maelyn Ridener 6p; Aliyah Stallard 8p; Alexis Smith 10p, 10r, 4s; Tiana Austin 8p, 6r.
MERCY (12-10) – Jaylyn Shorter 2p; T.T. Jenks 1p; Hope Sivori 4p, 7a; Regan Berger 8p; Josie Woods 9p, 7r; Camryn Muss 9p; Raquael Reese 17p, 7r; Grace Walsh 6p; Danielle Feldkamp 14p, 8r.
EASTERN 56, ASSUMPTION 42
ASSUMPTION (10-13) – McKenna Schelb 2p; Abby McQueary 10p, 7r; Samantha Babey 2p; Jenna Calhoun 7p; Maggie Metzger 2p; Piper Gray 1p; Kristin Olinick 4p; Taylor Allen 7p, 3a; Payton Cronen 7p.
EASTERN (15-6) – Bri Mishler 7p, 3a; Bre Anthony 15p; Mikayla Kinnard 11p, 10r, 3a; Natalie Collins 3p; Kiara Pearl 6p; Destiny Houseal 6p; Jayden Townsend 2p; Devin Beach 6p.
BULLITT EAST 62, CENTRAL 31
CENTRAL (8-8) – Thelisia Beasley-Guin 4p, 4s; Precious Hereford 8p, 8r; Darian Neal 8p; Stephonie Cole 8p, 8r; India New 3p.
BULLITT EAST (19-4) – Lauren Masden 3p; Amber Higdon 2p, 3s; Lindsey Duvall 10p, 8r, 3s; Cori Etherton 3p; Alexis Taylor 6p; Allie Rae Thompson 2p; Alyssa Peak 4p; Kirstie Henn 14p, 3s; Kathleen Scott 8p, 4a, 3s; Emmy Ralph 10p.