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Lady Hawks Welcomed Home From Bowling Green

By: Julie Maloney Email
By: Julie Maloney Email

An Eastern Kentucky high school team is still celebrating after placing in the Girls Sweet Sixteen Tournament in Bowling Green. The Pike Central Lady Hawks came back to the mountains Sunday.

The Lady Hawks are still cheering after making history Saturday placing third in the Girls' Sweet Sixteen Tournament.

"Wow! That's my first thought. There's really no words to describe an experience like this, once in a lifetime and we'll never forget it," said Junior Kayla Lowe.

For the first time ever, Pike Central made it to the Final Four after beating out Rose Hill Christian in the first round and Notre Dame in the second. But the winning streak came to an end in a loss to Lexington Christian 64 to 50.

"Wins and loss records are for coaches with egos. My ego's just fine. I'll take 22 to 10 every year and make the semi-final tournament. I'd take that every year," said Coach Stephen Butcher.

"We made history for our school. We won a game. We won two games down there," Lowe said.

"The past four years have been amazing. We made it to the regional championship every year. My freshman and this year we made it to the state tournament. It's just amazing, unforgettable," said Senior Haley Ratliff.

Ratliff is the teams only senior. Coach Butcher says her leadership will be greatly missed next year, but he has high hopes of making it to state once again.

"I'm sure she had words of encouragement for them like a senior leader should. I'm sure they'll do all they can to get back next year and for many years to come," Butcher said.

"Girls next year, just keep playing hard. You'll make it back to state, I promise," Ratliff said.

Coach Butcher says this is the first time since 1990 that a team from the 15th Region has made it to the state semi-finals.

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