March 19th, 2018

The 2017-18 basketball season was one to remember

Block_0 conor revell

Conor Revell

Managing Editor


The 2017-18 basketball season was one to remember
file photo by Conor Revell

Sunday marked the end of the 2017-18 basketball season and in my six years, there has never been a more exciting and unpredictable season than this year.

From covering the double-overtime thriller in which Presentation stunned Holy Cross to win their fourth straight All “A” Sixth Region title to Sacred Heart and Trinity capturing Louisville Invitational Tournament titles to Mercy’s stunning run to the state championship game.

Who can’t forget DeSales beating St. Xavier for the time in eight years to the Holy Cross ladies winning their second straight 21st District title for a second straight year after missing the regional tournament just two years.

So many memories were made this season, but nothing will top Mercy’s run to the St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16 State Basketball Tournament championship.

It was a run few outside of the Mercy basketball community expected.

Six-foot-three center Danielle Feldkamp was a beast inside and despite being the lone senior, her leadership was enough to guide the Jaguars.

Regan Berger provided the vocal leadership and Raquael Reese did all the dirty week.  

Hope Sivori (point-guard) and Taziah Jenks (small-forward) proved that they’re two of the best sophomores in the state.

But, this team was fun, and always smiling. Jokes were always being told and the sarcasm between the coaches and players ran rampant.

It was a run I won’t forget for a longtime, perhaps never.

Trinity had a phenominal season winning the Seventh Region title and losing on Cooper Robb’s three-point shot with 5.3 seconds to go in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen® Basketball Tournament.

Sure, the Rocks aren’t the most talkative bunch, but the team chemistry was evident, and you could tell they enjoyed being together.

Jay Scrubb was arguably the best player in the state and David Johnson is a superstar that can do it all from being an athletic point-guard to being able to shoot the three and playing good hardnosed defense.

Sophomore Justin Powell is one of the best guards in the state and Stan Turnier established himself as one of the best three-point shooters in the city while Jamil Hardaway is an undersized power-forward that can dominate the inside.

The Rocks were runners-up in the King of the Bluegrass won the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic in Roebuck, S.C. and the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament.

It was a stellar memorable season that ended in heartbreaking fashion.

But, nobody had a more heartbreaking end to their season than Sacred Heart. Ranked in the top-three all season and in January, it looked like nobody was going to stop this train.

Grace Berger, Kiki Samsel, Kia Sivils, Kristen Clemons, Ashlee Harris, Cierra Scott, Erin Toller, and Natalie Fichter highlighted the most deepest squad in the state.

The Valkyries dominated the Louisville Invitational Tournament cruising to a 77-37 win over Manual in the semifinals and beating defending state champion Mercer County 83-48 in the championship.

Everything was going to plan until Sacred Heart lost Toller for the season when she tore her ACL in their overtime win against Mercy.

But, the Valkyries were still the team to beat rolling through the 27th District Tournament and winning their first two Seventh Region Tournament games.

However, Manual pulled off one of the biggest upset in state history ending Sacred Heart’s season with a 55-52 victory in the Seventh Region championship, a score that sent shockwaves throughout the state.

And, then there are the less heard stories.

Pierce Kiesler capped off his high school career with a stellar senior season leading St. Xavier to a 26th District championship and a run to the Seventh Region semifinals.

Ethan Driskell and Cade Crawley led the Holy Cross boys to a 16-13 record, their second straight All “A” Sixth Region title, and a winning season for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

DeSales, led by mid-range specialist Sam Weining, missed the Sixth Region Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season, but beat St. X for only the 16th time in the 67-game history of the series.

Presentation won their fourth straight small school regional tournament title and was led by Courtney Jackson who finished her with a bang scoring 29 points in her final high school game of her career as David Jackson coached his third and youngest daughter for a final time.

Assumptions often struggled, but were led by seniors Taylor Allen, Samantha Babey, and Grace Bringard.

The Holy Cross girls, led by seniors Halle Snyder, Kailey Reed, and Madison Turner, finished with an 18-11 record, their first winning season since the 2014-15 season and won their second straight 21st District championship.

All in all, it was a memorable season, and the playoffs once again showed that the unexpected becomes the ordinary.

The lights in the gym were turned off one final time yesterday and the countdown to Oct. 15th starts today. 

 

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