Rockcastle girls win state championship
Rockcastle County won its first Girls Sweet Sixteen championship tonight, beating duPont Manual 62-60 in overtime in the championship game at Bowling Green.
(Click here for the box score and play-by-play.)
Angie Lawrence hit an off-balance leaner in the lane with just over 1 second left to give the Lady Rockets the win in only the third overtime game among 50 state finals. Manual called timeout with :00.5 seconds left but was unable to get off a shot.
Rockcastle finished 36-1 and went 33-0 against Kentucky schools to give the 12th Region its seventh state championship since the girls state tournament was revived in 1975 and its first 1991, when Laurel County won the last of its five titles. Rockcastle is also the first state champion in 10 years that isn’t from Lexington or Louisville.
Sara Hammond had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the title game and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. But the hero will forever be Lawrence, whom Hammond hoisted into the air as the celebration erupted after her winning shot. Lawrence hit two free throws with 28 seconds left in regulation to give the Lady Rockets a 55-53 lead before Manual’s Kayla Stiles hit a tying layup with 2 seconds left.
The Lady Crimsons led by nine points with 6:21 left in the third quarter, but it was a one-point game just 4 minutes later, and neither team led by more than four after that. Rockcastle shot 50 percent for the game, while Manual (33-5) shot 53 percent in the first half but 34 percent thereafter to finish at 43 percent
The largest crowd ever for a girls championship, 5,122 fans, watched the game at E.A. Diddle Arena. The total tournament attendance of 43,679 was also a record, surpassing the standard set in 2000 by more than 3,000 fans.