January 18th, 2019

Sacred Heart vs Assumption Basketball Preview

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer

Sacred Heart vs Assumption Basketball Preview
file photos

Assumption will host one of the biggest rivalries in the city on Sunday as they host Sacred Heart on the hardwood.

The Rockets are under new leadership in head coach Stacey Pendleton. Though, Pendleton has faced off against Donna Moir and the Valkyries while he was the coach at Manual he’s never fully experienced the true rivalry of these two all girls catholic rivals, SHA vs AHS.

Donna Moir knows all too well what this means to the young ladies at both schools. Moir has been coaching the Valkyries against the Rockets for 28 seasons and she has experienced the game first hand as player and coach. (Donna Bender Moir also played in the rivalry for SHA from 1975-1979) 

“This is a game we look forward to every year. We look forward to compete with Assumption in every sport so when the basketball team gets on the court we always come ready to play ... we will be ready,” said Moir.

Pendleton is no stranger to basketball rivalries in girls basketball. This maybe Pendleton’s first SHA vs AHS game but he remembers  what it was like when he was coaching at Manual during the Male vs Manual games. He says he really never thought of it (the rivalry) till he actually realized the depth of the rivalry and traditions of both schools. Make no mistake just because he is new to this rivalry doesn’t mean the Rockets won’t be prepared. He comes ready to win. 

Both teams will be competing and will battle hard to win for bragging rights.          

Pendleton had a lot of success while coaching at Manual, but felt that Assumption was the best fit for him now that he has checked off marks on his bucket list.

“I had accomplished everything that I had set out to accomplish at Manual. I got a state championship, coached the Kentucky All- Stars, State Coach of the Year, and all those things that I put on my bucket list. I was just wore out. Afterwards the coaching fire got rekindled in me and I coached a couple of years at Brown, it wasn’t as competitive as I would have liked,” said Pendleton. “I am four years from retirement in the public school system, the resources,and  the support is really good here (Assumption), and Angela Passafiume ( Assumption AD) has been awesome. I weighed my options and Assumption was the best fit for where I am in my life right now.”

Both teams have had a tough schedule thus far. Sacred Heart has gone up against George Rogers Clark (12-5), Eastern (11-6), Conner (18-1), E-town (17-2), Owensboro Catholic (12-6), and will be playing Ryle (18-2) tonight.

“Our motto is we will play anybody anywhere so we purposely put together a challenging schedule so that we are prepared for postseason,” said Moir. “We are a pretty young team and I am proud of how the team has played so far this season.  They work hard in practice and are good teammates.”

Assumption has had their fair share of tough match ups as well with games against Notre Dame (12-5), Oldham County (12-6), Butler (12-5), Mercy (10-7), Anderson County (15-5), (16-4), and tonight they will play Male (10-4)

“ We started off with four losses in the beginning of the season ( besides a win against Presentation) I feel like there was one that was a big slip up and that was the Notre Dame game, we should have won that game. We laid a big egg with Butler, we were terrible,” said Pendleton. “We turned it around against Mercy and were able to lay three really good quarters. I think we kind of found ourselves against Mercy. When we played Butler we realized we have to play hard to be good, we are going to have to really get after people, be intense and no one should be able to match our intensity.

Over the past 10 years SHA leads the series 10-3. We will see if the Valkyries can continue the streak over the Rockets this Sunday when the two teams tip off at 6 p.m.



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