Lady Knights open season with Banshees

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Face highly touted Christian Academy on Saturday

By Jesse Osbourne

The Lady Knights will bring back much young talent this year from their district champion team last season.

Head Coach Trent Milby and the young Lady Knights opened their season Tuesday night against the Bethlehem Lady Banshees. Results were unknown at press time, however they can be seen at www.lebanonenterprise.com.

The Lady Knights faced a young Bethlehem team that includes five freshmen and no seniors. The Lady Banshees finished 10-16 last season and bowed out in the first round of the 19th District tournament against Nelson County.

"It's a hard place to play over there (Bethlehem)," Milby said. "I know they've had some injuries. They've got a new coach. They've got a young team. I think if we're ready to play it will be a good test, a good opening night for us and hopefully we'll come out of there with a win and we'll turn our sights towards Christian Academy out of Louisville on Saturday who's got  what some say is the best junior in the state, some say she's the second best junior in the state, but she's signed with Louisville so she's really good. We'll have our hands full next Saturday night."

That junior is Antonita Slaughter, who averaged 13 points per game and seven rebounds last season and has already signed to play at the University of Louisville.

The (Louisville) Courier-Journal has ranked her as the seventh best player in the state and the second best junior.

According to them, last season Slaughter had a tendency to rely on her outside shot, but her coach,  Don Rice, told The Courier-Journal she is a more complete player.

"She's a good shooter and a smart player," he said. "She's the whole package."

The Courier-Journal has Christian Academy ranked 21 in the preseason top 25, just behind Fifth Region contender Nelson County. According to them, Christian Academy installed a new motion offense to get more players involved instead of only relying on one or two players to score.

The C-J lists Christian Academy's other top players as forward Clair Buchanan (5-10 Sr., 9.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg), guard Allison Karst (5-10, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5 spg), guard / forward Anna Hart (5-11, Jr.) and center Hannah Bowman (5-11, Sr.).

They have also picked Christian Academy as one of two favorites to win the Seventh Region. Manual is the other contender for the region title.

This game will be a good measuring stick for Marion County as three Fifth Region teams are ranked in the C-J's preseason top 25. Elizabethtown ranks third, North Hardin is 10 and Nelson County is 20.

Tip-off for the Shively Sporting Goods Shoot-Out is at 6 p.m. at Central Hardin High School. The evening also features a battle between Nelson County and Paul Dunbar, which pits two of the state's top juniors - Nelson's Samantha Drake and Dunbar's Ebony Rowe - against each other. Tip-off for that game is 8 p.m. following the Marion County game.

The Lady Knights hit the road again Dec. 9 to face an Adair County team that went 12-16 last season and lost in the first round of the Fifth Region tournament. The young squad features two seniors, four freshmen and an eighth grader.