Teammates turned friendly rivals

Scott County’s Maaliya Owens, left, and Malea Williams went from being teammates to opponents in an all-star game between Kentucky’s top 2019 and 2020 stars.

Still soaring from a wild, fourth-quarter comeback win over after their age group counterparts from Indiana earlier in the week, the Kentucky girls’ basketball junior all-stars didn’t back off Wednesday in a showdown with the top recent graduates from their home state.

The rising seniors rolled past the departing seniors, 107-83, in a game at Buliitt East High School that featured a head-to-head battle between Scott County High School stars.

Malea Williams, SC’s highly recruited forward in the Class of 2020, contributed 10 points and seven rebounds to the victory.

Maaliya Owens, who was 11th Region player of the year and a Miss Basketball finalist this past winter for the Lady Cardinals, finished with eight points, five rebounds and two assists.

Owens will play at Tennessee Tech University beginning in the fall.

The game was a relative breeze for the juniors, who had the advantage of two hard-fought games in the Kentucky-Indiana series under their belts.

Maddie Scherr of Ryle, committed to the University of Oregon, led the junior stars with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists. Whitney Hay of Elizabethtown added 19 points and five boards.

Hope Sivori (Mercy) and Shelby Calhoun (Christian Academy Louisville) joined Williams in double digits with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The reigning Kentucky Miss Basketball, Savannah Wheeler of Boyd County, led her senior squad with 18 points. Ryle’s Lauren Schwartz served up 14 points and five rebounds. Cameron Browning of Male mustered a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Williams’ team never trailed after Hay’s five consecutive points on a 3-pointer and a layup gave the juniors a 19-17 cushion.

They increased that margin to 45-31 at halftime, and a quick flurry out of intermission inflated that advantage to 20 or more for the duration.

The boys’ battle was a vastly different story, with Kentucky’s highly decorated 2019 stars stomping the younger set, 107-78.

Isaiah Cozart of Madison Central led the attack with 20 points. KyKy Tandy chipped in 19, while David Johnson delivered 16. 

Those three players are headed to Western Kentucky, Xavier and Louisville, in order.

Jackson Sivills topped the juniors with 12.

Kentucky-Indiana’s senior all-star games take center stage this weekend.

The first round was played Friday at Bellarmine University in Louisville. Saturday’s final round at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis tips off at 5 p.m. (girls) and 7 p.m. (boys).

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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