Lady Camels cruising into regional tourney

Their play has warranted top rankings in the state.

They’ve lost three games in the season by a total of five points. No one has come within 15 points of them in regional play.

There’s no doubt about it, Campbell County enters the 10th Region Tournament Monday night as the favorites.

They’ve won the 10th Region title in 2003 and ’16 and Ninth Region titles in 1977 and ’79. Beau Menefee started coaching the team in 2014, leading them to their first ever state tournament win in 2016 and has compiled a 95-37 record in that span. He feels this is his best team yet.

“I think so, skill-wise. It points to the advancement of Taylor Clos. Then you add in Mackenzie Schwarber and Lexie Stapleton too,” Menefee said.

Clos is the catalyst of the team’s storybook season so far. The 10th Region Player of the Year and Miss Kentucky Basketball finalist is all over the leaderboards in nearly every statistical categories in the region. She’s second in points, fourth in field goal percentage, fifth in 3-point percentage, second in free throw percentage, tops in assists and third in steals. Her play speaks for itself.

“From her sophomore to her junior year she started to get attention, got an offer from NKU and her game has just taken off from there. It just clicked, her work ethic is like none other, she’s upped her game over the years as much as anyone I’ve ever been around,” Menefee said.

Then throw in Morehead State signee Mackenzie Schwarber and sharpshooter Alexis Stapleton, the Lady Camels have as dangerous a trio as any in the state. Schwarber is categorized as “one of the best defensive players in the state” according to Menefee as she scores 15.2 points and pulls down 8.2 rebounds a night for the Lady Camels. Stapleton provides deadly shooting from long range, knocking down 40 percent of her 3-point attempts and scoring 14.3 points a night. 

Outside of the big three, Mallory Holbrook and Tamara Wells help round out the team in the scoring department. Holbrook provides more perimeter shooting while Wells is one Menefee points to as “the key to the season”, playing the center spot.

“She takes an immense amount of pressure off Mackenzie. She’s getting more confident and has answered the bell many of games. She’s been a big force in the middle for us,” Menefee said.

McKinlee Miller and Kylie Koeninger provide defensive prowess as the Lady Camels lead the state in scoring differential, outscoring teams by 27.1 points per game, holding opponents to 45.8 points per game while they score 72.9 points per game, good for third in the state.

As a team, the Lady Camels efficiency is through the roof. They shoot 50.4 percent from the field, good for third best in the state, their 76.8 percent shooting from the free throw line is tops in the state and their 37.2 percent clip from the 3-point line is good for seventh in the state. How do they remain so efficient?

“It points to our conditioning. Having our legs at the end of the game makes it easier to shoot. We’ve changed our style a bit this year wanting to get more up and down the floor, so we committed to a big time conditioning program,” Menefee said. “A lot of running, I’d be surprised if anyone ran more than we did.”

After breezing through the 37th District last week with a 75-point win over Calvary Christian and a 26-point win over Scott, the Lady Camels open up regional tourney play with Bracken County, Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Bears may come in with a 10-21 record, but that won’t stop Campbell from focusing on the task at hand.

“We’re going to approach it the same way we have all year and that’s focusing on the next game. We don’t look behind and we don’t look ahead. All the success we’ve had this year, I’ve told the girls to forget about it,” Menefee said.

If they get by the Lady Bears, a possible semifinal matchup looms with George Rogers Clark, the defending 10th Region champs. It was early in the season, but the Lady Camels dismantled the Lady Cards, 70-44 on December 8.

DATE; OPPONENT; SITE; RESULT

Dec 1; Cooper; away; (W) 75-56

Dec 2; Montini Catholic, IL; at Dixie Heights; (W) 44-33;  Hoops for Harvest

Dec 5; Male; home; (W) 75-66

Dec 8; George Rogers Clark; home; (W) 70-44

Dec 9; Nicholas County; home; (W) 74-22

Dec 12; Ryle; away; (W) 71-54

Dec 14; Mount Notre Dame, OH; home; (W) 60-57

Dec 16; Boone County; home; (W) 67-35

Dec 19; Central; at Bullitt East; (W) 88-32  Queen of the Commonwealth

Dec 20; Elizabethtown; at Bullitt East; (W) 62-50  Queen of the Commonwealth

Dec 21; Mercer County; at Bullitt East; (L) 74-71; Queen of the Commonwealth

Dec 22; Bullitt East; away; (W) 80-64; Queen of the Commonwealth

Dec 28; Warren Central; at South Warren; (W) 87-28;  FNB Holiday Bash

Dec 28; Jenkins; at South Warren; (W) 111-29;  FNB Holiday Bash

Dec 29; Hopkinsville; at South Warren; (W) 68-49; FNB Holiday Bash

Dec 30; South Warren; away; (W) 82-62;  FNB Holiday Bash

Jan 3; Newport Central Catholic; away; (W) 69-38

Jan 5; Bishop Brossart; home; (W) 67-18

Jan 9; Dixie Heights; away; (W) 83-50

Jan 17; Conner; home; (W) 69-58

Jan 20; Highlands; away; (L) 53-52  (OT)

Jan 22; Harrison County; home; (W) 70-43

Jan 27; Mason County; home; (W) 81-51

Jan 29; Holmes; away; (W) 74-72

Jan 31; Scott; home; (W) 67-52

Feb 2; Sacred Heart; away; (L) 59-58

Feb 6; Simon Kenton; home; (W) 80-59

Feb 12; Notre Dame; away; (W) 68-28

Feb 16; Newport; home; (W) 81-29

Feb 20; Calvary Christian; home; (W) 89-14; 37th District Tournament

Feb 22; Scott; home; (W) 67-41; 37th District Championship

Feb 26; Bracken County; at Mason County; 7:30 PM; 10th Region Tournament

NO.; NAME; POSITION; GRADE

33; Kaylee Angel; G; Fr.

23; Hope Russell; F; So.

4; Taylor Clos; G; Sr.

5; Mackenzie Schwarber; F; Sr.

31; Olivia Crowl; C; Fr.

21; Jada Scott; F; Sr.

1; Leah Fleckenstein; G; Fr.

15; Chloe Seckman; G; Sr.

35; Mallory Holbrook; G; So.

45; Lexie Stapleton; G; Sr.

24; Jalyn Jackson; G; So.

32; Haley Turner; F; So.

3; Kylie Koeninger; F; 8th

11; Taylor Watson; G; So.

10; McKinlee Miller; G; Jr.

34; Tamara Wells; C; Jr.

Head coach: Beau Menefee

POINTS FOR: 2,260

POINTS ALLOWED: 1,420

POINTS PER GAME: 72.9

POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME: 45.8

FIELD GOAL %: 50.4

3-POINT %: 37.2

FREE THROW %: 76.8

REBOUNDS: 783

REBOUNDS PER GAME: 25.2