Alter girls meet Clinton-Massie in battle of unbeatens

Alter co-coaches Chris Hart and Kendal Peck have groomed a perfect girls high school basketball season. But the Knights haven’t come close to consistently hitting game goals.

There are five goals that Hart and Peck challenge the Knights with; all are tailored to that specific opponent. It’s a combination of offense, defense and everything in between.

They feel that helps the Knights stay focused, even when the outcome has long been decided. Only twice has Alter succeeded in achieving those goals.

“We don’t talk about the big picture, so to speak,” Hart said. “We talk about this game, then this game, then this game.”

Fair enough; leave it to everyone else who follows area girls basketball to talk about today’s matchup of unbeaten Division II powers.

Alter (26-0) will play Clinton-Massie (26-0) in a girls basketball regional semifinal showdown at Springfield High School at 8 p.m. today. Kenton Ridge (25-1) is matched against Columbus Eastmoor (20-6) in the 6:15 p.m. opener. The winners return to Springfield in Friday’s regional final. That winner advances to the state final four at Columbus the following week.

Both Alter and Massie are geared up for a state-title run, even if they’re not saying so. Alter was No. 2 in the final Associated Press state poll; Massie No. 3.

“If we don’t look at what’s right in front of us, we’ll let it slide by,” Alter’s Emma Bockrath said. “We have to make sure we’re focused on the next task.”

Massie is led by 6-foot-1 seniors Kasey Uetrecht (a Northern Kentucky University signee) and Sydney Brackemyre (Louisville). Brackemyre dislocated a finger in 60-30 blowout of Tippecanoe in last Saturday’s district final. A decision for her to play will be made today.

Alter lost to Massie in a sectional final last season.

  • Balanced scoring has been the key to Kenton Ridge’s success. The Cougars can turn to Sydney Bates (16.3 points), Baylee Bennett (12.0), Stefanie Davis (11.1), Sara Thornton (10.3) or Jamari McDavid (9.7).

“I think it’s important because (Eastmoor) can’t key on one girl,” said Cougars coach Ed Foulk.

In today’s other area games:

  • Stivers (13-9) vs. Badin (13-11), D-III boys district final, 6 p.m. at UD Arena.

Former Thurgood Marshall assistant Shawn McCullough is the Tigers’ fourth head coach in four years. Led by the high-scoring Caldwell brothers - Robert and Rodrick, both at 18 points – Stivers has a shot at a rare district title. Said McCullough, “it’s been many years.”

Badin beat Purcell Marian to win its first sectional title since 2002.

  • Anna (15-10) vs. Summit Country Day (20-5), D-III boys district final, 8 p.m. at UD Arena.

Shelby County League members Anna, Fort Loramie and Russia all alive in the tournament. Summit won the 2012 D-III state title.

  • Marion Local (19-5) vs. Upper Scioto Valley (22-1), boys D-IV sectional at Wapakaneta, 8 p.m.

Midwest Athletic Conference rivals Marion Local, St. Henry and Delphos St. John’s also are still playing. Local has won six of seven games and is coming off an offensively challenged 27-23 defeat of MAC member Fort Recovery.

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