BY KEVIN HARRIS
LOUISVILLE – Indiana held off a Kentucky rally to win the Future Star Girls game in the 20th annual Battle of the Bridges on Saturday at MidAmerica Sports Center 38-36.
Indiana led 18-5 in the closing stages of the first quarter and was up 24-13 with 1:45 left in the second when Decatur Central junior Ajulu Thatha made a putback.
Kentucky responded with an 8-2 run to end the first half to pull within 26-21 at halftime. The Bluegrass Stars continued that momentum into the third. They sliced their deficit to 31-29 when Louisville Male’s Joelle Johnson converted a layup.
With about 50 seconds left in regulation, Kentucky got within three points at 37-34 on a steal and a layup by Louisville Mercy’s Hope Sivori.
But Jeffersonville junior Jasmine Lilly knocked down the front end of a 1-and-1 to put Indiana up four points at 38-34. Kentucky made a bucket in the closing seconds, but could not get any closer.
Thatha led Indiana with eight points, while Jeff junior Tori Handley had seven. Lilly and Bedford North Lawrence junior Jacy Hughes each tallied six.
Lexington Catholic’s Jay Ballard paced Kentucky with nine points, followed by Shamaria Stikes from Louisville Central with seven.
Charlestown sophomore Jackie Biscardi earned the Indiana Team MVP award. Johnson was named the Kentucky Team MVP.
BATTLE OF THE BRIDGES
FUTURE STAR GIRLS GAME
INDIANA 38, KENTUCKY 36
Kentucky 7 14 8 7-36
Indiana 18 8 7 5-38
Kentucky: Jay Ballard (Lexington Catholic) 9, Shamaria Stikes (Louisville Central) 7, Hope Sivori (Louisville Mercy) 6, Joelle Johnson (Louisville Male) 4, Kennedy Igo (George Rogers Clark) 3, Trinity Shearer (Lincoln County) 3, Dejah Chatman (Louisville Manual) 2, Taziah Jenks (Mercy) 2, Kennedy Griffin (Bullitt East) 0, Jordy Stephens (Casey County) 0, Alana Striverson (Male) 0.
Indiana: Ajulu Thatha (Decatur Central) 8, Tori Handley (Jeffersonville) 7, Jacy Hughes (Bedford North Lawrence) 6, Jasmine Lilly (Jeff) 6, Chelsea Gibson (Jeff) 4, Ally Willis (New Albany) 4, Gracie Hale (Floyd Central) 2, K’Ja Talley (Warren Central) 1, Jackie Biscardi (Charlestown) 0, Makenna Fee (Seymour) 0, Kalissa Fosskuhl (Floyd Central) 0, Lucy Robertson (North Harrison) 0.
3-point field goals: Kentucky 4 (Ballard 1, Igo 1, Shearer 1, Stikes 1); Indiana 4 (Hughes 2, Handley 1, Lilly 1).