Trimble County’s Mila Consley (above, 35) and Kaylee Clifford celebrate toward the end of the Raiders’ 57-49 win over Walton-Verona in the All “A” Classic Eighth Region Championship on Sunday. Trimble freshman Shelbe Black (below) led all scorers with 18 points, including 10 in the big fourth-quarter comeback. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Trimble County’s Mila Consley (above, 35) and Kaylee Clifford celebrate toward the end of the Raiders’ 57-49 win over Walton-Verona in the All “A” Classic Eighth Region Championship on Sunday. Trimble freshman Shelbe Black (below) led all scorers with 18 points, including 10 in the big fourth-quarter comeback. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Walton-Verona focused much of its defense on high-scoring Trimble County guard Paige Black. As it turned out, the Bearcats should have paid more attention to her younger sister.

Freshman Shelbe Black scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead Trimble to come-from-behind 57-49 win in the championship game of the All "A" Classic Eighth Region Tournament Sunday at Carroll County.

The Raiders trailed by nine points entering the fourth quarter but rode Shelbe Black's hot hand to a 24-7 game-closing run. Sister Paige may have been named the tournament's most valuable player, but it was Shelbe who was MVP on Sunday.

"I really wanted to win it for Paige because she's my sister and she's been wanting it so bad," said Shelbe Black, a 5-foot-10 freshman center. "I thought we were out of it but we started to come back and I started to believe. That's all you have to do."

"I'm so happy for Shelbe. She gets kind of nervous but she does good in crunch time," said Paige Black, a 5-foot-9 senior guard. "I'm just glad she was on today because we needed her."

Trimble County (12-5) now heads to the All "A" Classic State Finals in Frankfort for the first time since 2008. The Raiders will play the First Region champs on Wednesday, Jan, 29 at 6:30 p.m.

For three and a half quarters Sunday it looked like Trimble had no chance to cut down the nets. Walton-Verona (8-9) took an early 11-2 lead and the Raiders got no closer than six until the fourth quarter.

The Bearcats built their cushion thanks to hot-shooting from outside and steady defensive pressure. Walton knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter and two more in the second while keying on Paige Black and freshman guard Kaylee Clifford.

The combination of outside shooting and defense gave Walton-Verona its biggest lead of the game, 12 points (34-22) early in the third quarter. The lead was still nine to start the fourth.

Shelbe Black scored just two points in the first half but showed signs of what was to come with a strong third quarter, including baskets on back-to-back possessions late in the frame.

Trailing 42-33 at the start of the fourth, Paige Black got the comeback started with baskets on the Raiders' first two possessions. After the Bearcats' Shelby Mulliken missed a bonus free throw, Clifford scored on the other end to cut the lead to three with 5:19 to play.

Coming out of a timeout, Walton-Verona's Hailey Ison hit a basket to end the run, but Shelbe knocked down a 3-pointer on the other end to pull Trimble to within two (44-42).

"When I saw that 3-pointer I knew we were starting to roll," Trimble coach Kerrie Stewart said.

Mulliken hit a pair of free throws on Walton's end but by that time, the momentum had fully shifted. Jessie Dunlap hit a basket for the Raiders and Olivia Dezarn answered with a free throw to give Walton-Verona a 47-44 lead with 3:59 to play.

The rest of the game belonged to Trimble. Shelbe Black scored on a nice post move to close the gap to one and after a turnover, Dunlap gave the Raiders their first lead of the game with a short jumper.

Another strong move in the paint yielded two more points for Shelbe Black and on the next possession, she hit two free throws to push the Raider lead to 52-47 with 1:31 left.

"I figured I should have stepped it up a bunch. (Stewart) kept telling me to make some post moves and I just hadn't been throughout the season," Shelbe Black said. "I just felt like I needed to step it up a lot and I think I did."

Mulliken stopped the Raider run with a free throw and Walton began fouling, but the move back-fired. Erin Gonterman hit both of her attempts to push Trimble's lead to six and Shelbe Black and Paige Black each added free throws moments later.

Unable to stop the Trimble run, Walton-Verona fell apart down the stretch. The once hot-shooting Bearcats did not hit a 3-pointer in the second half and committed four turnovers in the game's final four minutes to allow the Raiders to pull away.

"I thought we just wore them down. We're a pretty well-conditioned team and we were still strong at the end," Stewart said. "I told the girls that even though we were down that we were the better team and eventually we would wear them down. And we did."

Shelbe Black came into the game averaging just 7.6 points a game but more than doubled that on Sunday. Paige Black, the area's leading scorer at 17.0, finished one point below her average.

"I don't really feel like it's real," said Paige Black, who has been playing varsity since the eighth grade but had never won the regional title. "I'm just so excited because we've been wanting this the entire season. This is what we've been working toward. We finally got to cut down some nets and it feels pretty great."

Paige Black averaged 14.7 points in the three tournament games and was named tourny MVP. Sister Shelbe as well as Clifford and Dunlap were named to the all-tournament team.

"Paige was the MVP but really any of them could have gotten the award," Stewart said. "Each one of them stepped up and did what needed to be done. They played as a team."

Trimble County will not find out its state finals opponent until Saturday when the First Region crowns its champion. But regardless of who the Raiders play, they're just happy to be moving on.

"This has been our goal all season, 'Nothing But Nets,'" said Stewart, reciting the team's motto. "This is big for us and it's big for the school. We're going to play for a state championship and that's all you can ask for."

Trimble Co. 71, Williamstown 41 (semifinals) - Trimble County jumped out to a 22-5 lead after the first quarter and cruised to the easy win in Saturday's semifinals.

Paige Black led all scorers with 18 points while Mila Consley scored 13 and Jessie Dunlap had 12. Rachel Montgomery had 15 points for Williamstown (5-12) and Katie Check scored 11.



Eighth Region Tournament

at Carrollton, Ky.

Sunday's Championship


TRIMBLE CO. 12 10 11 24 - 57

WALTON-VERONA 19 12 11 7 - 49

TRIMBLE CO. (12-5) - S. Black 18, (g)P. Black 16, (f)E. Gonterman 9, (g)Clifford 8, (g)Dunlap 5, Brierly 1, (f)Consley 0.

WALTON-VERONA (8-9) - (g)Ison 17, (g)Mills 9, (g)Mulliken 9, (f)Simpson 5, (f)Dezarn 4, Rodgers 3, Dixon 2, Ginn 0.

3-Point Goals - Trimble Co. 4 (Clifford 2, E. Gonterman 1, S. Black 1), Walton-Verona 5 (Mills 2, Ison 1, Simpson 1, Rodgers 1). Turnovers - Trimble Co. 13, Walton-Verona 13. Total Fouls - Trimble Co. 19, Walton-Verona 19. Free Throws - Trimble Co. 11-19, Walton-Verona 14-24. Fouled Out - Trimble Co.: Consley, Dunlap. Next Game - Trimble Co. visits Carroll County Thursday. Walton-Verona visits Williamstown Thursday

Saturday, Jan. 18


Saturday's Semifinals


WILLIAMSTOWN 5 9 17 10 - 41

TRIMBLE CO. 22 14 18 17 - 71

WILLIAMSTOWN (5-12) - (g)Montgomery 15, (g)Check 11, (g)Kennedy 9, (f)Marksbury 6, Chambers 0, Perkins 0, Johnson 0, (f)S. Souder 0, O. Souder 0, Hankinson 0.

TRIMBLE CO. (11-5) - (g)P. Black 18, (f)Consley 13, (g)Dunlap 12, (g)Clifford 9, S. Black 9, (f)E. Gonterman 7, Brierly 3, Brewer 0, K. Gonterman 0, Riddle 0.

3-Point Goals - Williamstown 6 (Kennedy 3, Montgomery 3), Trimble Co. 6 (P. Black 3, Brierly 1, Clifford 1, S. Black 1). Total Fouls - Williamstown 12, Trimble Co. 11. Free Throws - Williamstown 6-10, Trimble Co. 6-11. Fouled Out - Williamstown: S. Souder. Next Game - Williamstown hosts Walton-Verona Thursday.