Butler bounces Bowling Green

March 10, 2016 FieldsColumn

Bowling Green's Ta Mia Matthews tries to stop a shot attempt by Butler's Janna Lewis. (Photo by Jim Osborn)

Bowling Green’s Ta Mia Matthews (2) tries to stop a shot attempt by Butler’s Janna Lewis. (Photo by Jim Osborn)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS — Four-time state champion Butler, which seems to always look comfortable on the big stage, turned in another winning performance in the first round of the St. Elizabeth HealthCare/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Thursday afternoon.

The Bearettes, getting a big boost from their bench, notched their 11th victory in a row by beating Bowling Green 64-52 in BB&T Arena.

Butler, whose state titles came in 2014, 2008, 1980 and 1975, advanced to Friday night’s quarterfinals and will face the Elizabethtown-Henderson County winner.

Jaelynn Penn led the way against Bowling Green. The 5-foot-9 junior had 20 points and 9 rebounds.

Janna Lewis and Molly Lockhart helped Butler’s bench outscore Bowling Green’s bench 30-8. Lewis had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Lockhart had 10 points and 6 rebounds.

“Our bench gave us a major spark, a big lift, in the first quarter,” Coach Larry Just said.

Bowling Green was led by Keely Morrow’s 18 points and Oneisha Turner’s 16. Ta Mia Matthews had 10 rebounds for the Purples.

Just said one of Butler’s goals was to wear down Bowling Green “if we kept pushing them, and I think we got a lot of easy buckets in the second half.”

Do the Bearettes ever wear down?

“Yes, mentally,” Penn said, “but you gotta keep playing.”