Sacred Heart captures basketball program's fifth state title

Les Dixon, The Times-Tribune, Corbin, Ky.
·3 min read

Apr. 11—LEXINGTON — Sacred Heart joined Laurel County, and Louisville Butler as the lone girls' high school basketball programs to have won five state basketball championships after pulling off a thrilling 49-47 win over Marshall County.

The Valkyries trailed 47-44 with 2:57 remaining in the game before using a 5-0 run to capture their first state championship since 2004. Sophomore Triniti Ralston led Sacred Heart with 18 points and finished with four rebounds and four assists while Alexandra Wolff scored 10 points.

Halle Langhi led the Lady Marshals with 19 points and seven rebounds while Cayson Conner added 16 points.

Sacred Heart coach Donna Moir captured her 700th career win earlier Saturday during semifinal action of the 2021 Mingua Beef Jerky Girls' Sweet 16 and then capped the day off by winning her fourth state championship as coach of the Valkyries.

Despite shooting only 4-of-11 from the floor in the first quarter, Sacred Heart built a 12-9 advantage going into the second quarter thanks to a four-point effort from Ralston.

The Lady Marshals hit 4-of-9 shot attempts and were led by Langhi and Conner, who scored five points and four points, respectively.

The Valkyries were able to extend their lead to 26-22 at halftime thanks to their defensive play. Sacred Heart limited Marshall County to an 8-of-17 shooting effort in the first half despite seeing Langhi scored 12 points and Conner added 10 points.

Ralston, who hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter, led the Valkyries with seven points while Wolff followed with six points. Sacred Heart hit on 10-of-22 shot attempts, including a 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

Marshall County used a 9-2 run to begin the third quarter to take a 33-28 advantage with 4:37 remaining. Langhi scored five points during the run while Conner and Driver each scored as well.

Sacred Heart responded with a 7-0 run that saw Ralston hit a 3-pointer while Bender and Pelayo each score to give the Valkyries a 35-33 advantage at the 3:23 mark.

The Lady Marshals closed out the period with a 4-0 run as Galloway and Conner scored to give their team a 37-35 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Sacred Heart regained the lead in the fourth quarter's opening minute after a 3-pointer by Ralston and a layup by Bender gave their team a 40-37 lead. Marshall County reclaimed the lead and built a 47-44 advantage with 2:57 remaining in regulation before seeing Ralston hit three consecutive free throws to tie the game at 47 apiece at the 2:33 mark.

The Lady Valkyries reclaimed the lead for good after Wolff rebounded a missed 3-point tip by Ralston and scored to give her team a 49-47 lead with 55 seconds left.

2021 Mingua Beef Jerky Girls' Sweet 16

At Rupp Arena

Sacred Heart 49, Marshall County 47

Marshall County 9 13 15 10 47

Sacred Heart 12 14 9 14 49

Marshall County (47) — Driver 4, Conner 16, Jezik 2, Langhi 19, Galloway 6.

Sacred Heart (49) — Ralston 18, Bender 8, Gilvin 4, Wolff 10, Kaufman 5, Pelayo 4.