Sweet 16 | Butler vs. Sacred Heart

Sweet 16 | Butler vs. Sacred Heart


Sweet 16 | Butler vs. Sacred Heart


Butler guard Jaelynn Penn comes between Mercer County forward Faith Lake, left, and Mercer County forward Lyric Houston on the way to the basket. 07 January 2017

Butler guard Jaelynn Penn comes between Mercer County forward Faith Lake, left, and Mercer County forward Lyric Houston on the way to the basket. 07 January 2017



* Coach: Donna Moir.

* Record: 29-5.

* Nickname: Valkyries.

* Location: Louisville.

* Region: Seventh.

* Enrollment: 830.

* Litkenhous Rating: 111.5 (No. 5 in state).

* Sweet 16 trips: Seventh (16-2).

* Last trip to State: 2014 (lost to Elizabethtown 76-61 in first round).

* What to look for: Sacred Heart has boom or bust in its six previous trips to the Sweet 16, winning four championships and going one-and-done twice. So if the Valkyries can get past Butler in the first round, look out. They will have plenty of confidence to do so, as the Valkyries beat the Bearettes 58-49 on Feb. 8. Led by junior guard Kiki Samsel, Sacred Heart is a solid shooting team from 3-point range (37.1 percent for the season). Over three regional tournament games, Sacred Heart shot 44 percent (22 of 50) from 3-point range. There’s only one senior on the roster (Danielle Wethington), but these Valkyries play beyond their years.

* Key player: Junior Grace Berger is a flashy ballhandler who leads the Valkyries in both scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.6 rpg). She’s the top rebounder to make it to the Sweet 16. Berger, an Indiana University commit, does most of her scoring in the paint and is shooting 55.7 percent this season. She’s also a steady free-throw shooter (73.8 percent).

* Coach-speak: “(Butler’s Larry Just) is a great coach, and I’m sure he has something planned for us,” Moir said. “Hopefully we have a few things planned for them. It’s going to be a great game. They have five (Division I) kids, and so do we. It’s going to be really interesting.”


5-Ashlee Harris

5-5, So., 6.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg

10-Kiki Samsel

5-5, Jr., 12.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg

20-Kia Sivils

5-7, Jr., 6.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg

34-Grace Berger

5-11, Jr., 14.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg

22-Kristen Clemons

6-0, Fr., 4.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg


12-Erin Toller

5-6, Fr., 8.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg

43-Natalie Fichter

5-9, Jr., 4.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg

4-Cierra Scott

5-10, Jr., 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg

► ​MORE SWEET 16:Meet the top scorers, rebounders in the tourney


* Coach: Larry Just.

* Record: 32-2.

* Nickname: Bearettes.

* Location: Louisville.

* Region: Sixth.

* Enrollment: 1,683.

* Litkenhous Rating: 117.9 (No. 1 in state).

* Sweet 16 trips: 17th (30-11).

* Last trip to State: 2016 (beat Franklin County 62-36 in final).

* What to look for: Butler is shooting for its third state title in four years and its sixth overall, which would break a tie with Laurel County and Ashland Blazer for the most in state history. The Bearettes certainly have the talent to pull it off, as five seniors have signed to play college basketball – Jaelynn Penn (Indiana), Tasia Jeffries (Saint Louis), Teri Goodlett (Eastern Kentucky), Janna Lewis (Tennessee State) and Bre Torrens (Bellarmine). Those five have a wealth of experience, as they all played in the state tournament as freshmen. There’s plenty of incentive right off the bat, as Sacred Heart was the last team to beat the Bearettes (58-49 on Feb. 8). If the Bearettes can turn the tables on the Valkyries, they’ll be heavy favorites the rest of the tournament.

* Key player: There’s a ton of talent, but senior guard Jaelynn Penn makes the Bearettes go. She leads the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) and shoots well from the field (60.2 percent) and the free-throw line (81.8 percent). The Indiana University signee is a top contender for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball award.

* Coach-speak: “For these seniors, their winning percentage (88 percent) over these four years is just absurd,” Just said. “Without question this would be the cap for them if they can figure out how to get through it. Even if they don’t, they’ve done some awfully impressive things during their time at Butler.”


3-Bre Torrens

5-4, Sr., 7.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg

4-Tasia Jeffries

5-8, Sr., 10.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg

24-Teri Goodlett

5-6, Sr., 9.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg

23-Jaelynn Penn

5-10, Sr., 14.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg

30-Molly Lockhart

6-3, Jr., 11.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg


35-Janna Lewis

5-9, Sr., 7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg

14-Kiara Cain

5-8, Jr., 5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg

-Jason Frakes


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