With 3 starters back, can any­one make a run at Scott County?

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - Basketball - BY JOSH MOORE

No team in the 11th Re­gion came close to slow­ing down Scott County last sea­son. It av­er­aged nearly 80 points per game and outscored the next-clos­est 11th Re­gion team — Lafayette — by more than 700 points.

The Car­di­nals were 15-0 against re­gion com­pe­ti­tion and 31-3 over­all. Scott County is ex­pected again to han­dle the 11th Re­gion — no other team re­ceived a first-place vote among bal­lots re­turned to the Her­aldLeader in a pre­sea­son sur­vey of the re­gion’s coaches — and con­tend for a state cham­pi­onship.

“I think we have a chance. There’s a lot of things that go into a sea­son, though,” said Scott County Coach Steve Hel­ton. “We’ve gotta stay healthy and we’ve gotta de­velop some depth be­cause we’re gonna have one of those nights where we get in foul trou­ble early, and also, de­fen­sively right now we’re be­hind where I’d like to see us. But we can score.”

One of the Car­di­nals’ losses was their opener in the girls’ Sweet Six­teen: A unit that shot 45.9 per­cent from the floor as a team was held to 32.7-per­cent shoot­ing in a 60-45 loss to Man­ual, it­self still rid­ing high from an up­set of Sa­cred Heart five days ear­lier in the 7th Re­gion fi­nals.

That was one of two games last sea­son — the other a 70-33 loss in

Ohio — in which Scott County “just couldn’t throw it in the ocean.”

“And we paid the price on it,” Hel­ton said.

Three of last sea­son’s starters — Morgan DeFoor, Maaliya Owens and Juli­ette Smith — are back along with ju­nior Malea Wil­liams, a 6foot-2 stand­out who over the sum­mer picked up sev­eral Di­vi­sion I col­lege of­fers.

DeFoor, also a ju­nior, has of­fers from More­head State and Ten­nessee-Martin. Owens, a se­nior who’s signed with Ten­nessee Tech, av­er­aged 15.6 points per game last sea­son, just a tick be­hind lead­ing scorer Pey­ton Rid­dle

ALEX SLITZ [email protected]­ald-leader.com

Fred­er­ick Dou­glass’ Destyne Jack­son av­er­aged 26 points last sea­son, fifth-most in the state.

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