Kentucky teams win big interstate match-ups
By Bob Corwin
Kentucky teams did not win all the interstate match-ups but the locals won the two big meetings involving teams with national ranking as Butler High School of Louisville defeated Montini Catholic High School of Chicago and nationally ranked Male High School of Louisville defeated Incarnate Word Academy (one of the top teams out of Missouri) of St. Louis.
The event, held annually beginning in 2008 at Mercy Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, and sponsored by Raatz Fence Company and O’Shea’s (two locally-based firms), took place on January 20 and 21 with 12 pre-set games.
About 10 colleges (a bit disappointing considering the talent) attended one or both days of the event. Perhaps more impressive was that about a half dozen regional and national scouting services had representatives there so quality performances did not go unnoticed.
Taking a look at the two big match-ups from Saturday.
Butler (KY) 43-31 Montini Catholic (IL)
These teams (both loaded with future D1 players) had a combined 39-1 record coming into the contest but to watch most of the game, it could only be called ugly with both teams struggling to score with the first half ending with Butler up 20 to 13. Montini won the third quarter leveling the score at 25. Here Butler’s Jaelynn Penn took over posting eight (of her game high 14 points) outscoring Montini (six points) by herself in the quarter. Call it good defense or bad offense but for the game Montini shot 21.6% (11/51) from the field (3/26 from behind the arc) and 6/12 from the charity stripe while Butler countered with a respectable 40% (16/40) from the field (0/6 from behind the arc) and 11/17 from the foul line. Montini was led in scoring by junior center Lindsey Jarosinski (6-5) with 12 points.
Male (KY) 58-55 Incarnate Word (MO)
These teams were a combined 30-3 entering the contest with Male’s only loss to consensus nationally ranked Paul VI of Virginia after Christmas in Florida. After the first half, Male was ahead 26-18. The lead was built on offensive rebounds (10-2) thus getting more shots (35 to 14) along with points off turnovers (11-3). Balanced Male scoring in the third stanza pushed the lead to a seeming secure 46-29 after the period and then the roof seemed to fall in on the locals. Incarnate Word stopped its excessive turnovers, started hitting three’s (three in the quarter) getting equal at 55 in the last minute but could not nose ahead. Ciaja Harbison (see below) led Male with 18 points and 7 assists. Kiki Britzmann (see below) led Incarnate Word with 14 points, also contributing 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks in what turned into an exciting game after being fairly one-sided for three quarters.
Looking at some of the individual talent in alphabetical order with listed height, position, graduation year and school . Location of school is in parenthesis. Players who have received write-ups on this site during this high school season were not written up in favor of others not previously mentioned.
Nila Blackford, 6-1, center, 2019, DuPont Manuel High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
With a mother who is one of the University of Louisville’s all-time leading scorers, Blackford has good basketball genes. She is light on her feet with a fairly solid frame able to finish with contact. She needs to build shooting range as it appears she currently scores just near the basket but has a Division I upside regardless.
Shelby Calhoun, 5-9, shooting guard, 2020, Christian Academy (Louisville, Kentucky)
Calhoun is a player you quickly notice on the court. She is athletic but plays under control. Besides her poise, she showed a nice hesitation move freezing defenders on her way to the rim. She posted 20 points and 15 rebounds in her team’s win over Princeton High School of Cincinnati. Power 5 programs should be monitoring her progress.
Tonysha Curry, 5-9, guard, 2017, DuPont Manuel High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
Curry’s team lost its game 80-55 to Mercer County but her performance (playing literally all over the court) was noteworthy with 14 points on 7/15 from the field. She also pulled in 11 boards and handed out 3 assists while committing only one turnover as the prime ball handler. Unsigned, word in the gym is that she has several D1 offers to choose from in the late signing period in April.
Lindsey Duvall, 5-9, shooting guard, 2017, Bullitt East High School (Mt. Washington, Kentucky)
Duvall, signed with Louisville, is a good athlete with a nice variety of offensive skills. She posted 53 points including 5/12 from behind the arc and 18/19 from the foul line in her teams two wins in Louisville. On a few drives to the basket she even showed some hang time.
Ciaja Harbison, 5-6, point guard, 2018, Male High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
Harbison, orally committed to St. Louis, certainly had one of the best individual performance of the event given the national level of opposition that Incarnate Word represented. Her team’s primary ball handler, she scored 18 points and handed out seven assists while committing only one turnover in her team’s win. Please add in five steals to top things off!
Ta’Ziah Jenks, 6-0, small forward, 2020, Mercy Academy (Louisville, Kentucky)
Two things that impressed most about Jenks were her ability to get out on fast break and score plus her ability to finish off (left) handed in traffic in the quarter court. Division I schools from the Power 5 level down should be monitoring her maturation.
Danielle Feldkamp. 6-3, center, 2018, Mercy Academy (Louisville, Kentucky)
Feldkamp has a fairly solid frame and a willingness to use it to bang down low. In team’s two wins at the event, she finished with 29 points and 17 rebounds. Currently, she has a couple of college offers in hand.
Molly Lockett, 6-3, center, 2018, Butler High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
Lockhart was one of the hero’s of Butler’s win over nationally ranked Montini. In spite of being in foul trouble for some of the game, she battled in the lower key against Montini’s two posts helping to keep them in check offensively. For her part, she finished with 11 points and six rebounds. She has several DI offers in hand.
Jaelynn Penn, 5-10, forward, 2017, Butler High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
Penn, signed with Indiana, was the #1 star of her team’s victory over Montini. She posted a double double of 14 points on 6/13 from the field plus 10 rebounds. She did a bit of everything to score hitting the offensive glass, driving to the basket and hitting mid-range shots.
Seygan Robins, 5-9, point guard, 2018, Mercer County High School (Harrodsburg, Kentucky)
Robins, orally committed to Louisville, posted 40 points (including six threes) plus handed out eight assists as her team split two games at the event. A lefty, she also showed no fear in attacking the basket.
Kiki Britzmann, 5-11, power forward, 2019, Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis, Missouri)
Britzmann posted 28 points and 17 rebounds as her team split two games at the event. A physical player with a good work rate, she scored by attacking the basket and in doing so getting to the foul line.