LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Indiana boys All-Stars held off a stingy Kentucky team to win 90-85 in the first matchup of the two-day high school basketball border war.
Down 86-85, Kentucky had a 3-on-2 fast break broken up along the baseline by Indiana’s Kevin Yogi Ferrell with about 15 seconds to play. Ferrell started a break of his own as the ball was kicked ahead to Indiana Mr. Basketball Gary Harris. Harris set up a Glenn Robinson III dunk with a behind-the-back bounce pass, giving Indiana an 88-85 lead with 10.5 seconds left.
Kentucky’s Alan Stenzel missed a contested three on the next possession to tie it in the final seconds, and Indiana’s R.J. Hunter grabbed the rebound. He was fouled and hit two free throws.
Harris led Indiana with 20 points. Robinson had 13 points and Hunter added 12. Ferrell, the Mr. Basketball runner-up, had 10 points and six assists.
Kentucky’s top player Nathan Dieudonne led his team with 24 points and six rebounds. Mr. Basketball runner-up Tamron Manning had 23 points, 17 coming in the first half.
The win extended Indiana’s dominance of the long-running series between Kentucky and Indiana senior high-school basketball stars. Indiana has now won 26 of the last 29 meetings, including the last seven.
In the girls game, a stifling defense and Miss Basketball Sydney Moss pushed the Kentucky girls’ All-Stars past their Indiana counterparts 75-47.
Boone County’s Moss, the daughter of NFL star Randy Moss, had 14 points – 12 in the first half – and 12 rebounds. She will play collegiately at the University of Florida next season.
For Indiana, Snider grad Akilah Sims scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting Rachael Gregory added 10. Miss Basketball Jessica Rupright from Norwell scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting and collected six rebounds, two blocked shots and a team-high three steals.
Kentucky missed its first 10 field goals but held Indiana scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the first half en route to a 39-37 advantage at the break. They stretched the lead to 23 before a 9-0 Indiana run made it 53-39 with about 10 minutes to play. But Indiana would draw no closer, shooting just 26 percent in the half.
It was the second largest win margin for a Kentucky squad and the second lowest output from an Indiana squad in the game’s 36-year history. The annual doubleheader between the states’ top seniors concludes today in Indianapolis.
Leasia Wright added 12 points for the winners.
Kentucky coach Stacy Pendleton expects to see a different Indiana mentality today when the teams face each other at 5 p.m. today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
I expect them to coming out fighting, he said. If you win by a margin like this you’ve got to make sure your kids’ heads are right and that they’re ready to come back and fight like they’re backed in a corner. Kind of like Indiana’s going to come out and fight tomorrow.