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  • Regis-Monarch girls


    Mae Williams and her Monarch teammates found traffic everywhere they went Monday night against top-ranked Regis Jesuit. TaeKenya Cleveland (No. 11) and Anna Ptasinski flank Williams here.

  • _DSC3250.JPG Monarch High School's Mae Williams (43) is boxed in...

    Paul Aiken

    _DSC3250.JPG Monarch High School's Mae Williams (43) is boxed in under the hoop by Regis Jesuit High School's Ann Ptasinski (5) and TaeKenya Cleveland (11) during their basketball game at Monarch High in Louisville on December 9, 2014. For more photos go to Photo by Paul Aiken



LOUISVILLE — The Monarch girls basketball team would have simulated this during practice, but the Coyotes didn’t have access to an available tornado.

That’s essentially what nationally ranked Regis Jesuit represented on an ice-layered Monday night, as the Raiders breezed into the Monarch gym and handed the Coyotes a season-opening 66-27 loss.

The Raiders, top-ranked in the statewide poll and No. 8 in the nation by in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, were playing their third game of the season and mostly appeared fine-tuned.

As for Monarch . . .

“We definitely knew we had a lot to work on,” Monarch senior forward Mae Williams said. “This shows us exactly what those things are.”

With a roster featuring six Division-I bound players — including two off the bench — Regis already appeared in midseason form. Justine Hall, who recently committed to Purdue, sizzled throughout for the Raiders (3-0), nearly matching Monarch’s output with 25 points of her own. Texas-bound power forward Diani Akigbogun added 14 points and eight rebounds to help sour Monarch coach Gail Hook’s return to the bench after a one-year sabbatical.

“I play with a lot of these girls in club,” Williams said, “and it’s definitely a challenge when you’re looking through the scouting report and they not only have five starters that have amazing skills, but they have people coming off the bench that are the same way.”

Regis Jesuit has outscored its first three opponents by a composite 218-70. Despite the lopsided final, Raiders coach Carl Mattei believes the Coyotes will be a solid squad this season, perhaps better than that.

“It was difficult, because our first two games were against competition that wasn’t ‘Monarch’ competition,” Mattei said. “Greeley West and Mullen are obviously rebuilding, and Monarch has a fantastic coach in Gail, and she scripts a good game plan to try and slow you down.

“That’s what she tried to do with their half-court traps and tried to keep the ball to the middle the best she could. But we had a pretty good game plan to pressure them as much as we could, too.”

The Coyotes started stone cold, with a bucket by Williams all they had to show during a first quarter that featured several open looks. They trailed 12-2 after one and 36-12 at the half.

Freshman Jasmine Jeffcoat started the second half for the Coyotes and finished with one point, but showed she wasn’t afraid to get physical with the Regis post players.

Things undoubtedly will smooth out for the Coyotes, who are cycling many new and inexperienced players into Hook’s rotation.

“They’re strong, and with Gail at the helm, they’re going to be good,” Mattei said. “I’ll see them in the final four I bet.”


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Regis Jesuit 66, Monarch 27

At Monarch HS

Regis Jesuit (3-0)

Hall 9 5-5 23, Lewis 1 0-0 2, Akigbogun 4 6-7 14, Lidge 0 4-4 4, Molyneaux 2 0-0 4, Ptasinski 3 2-2 9, T. Cleveland 0 2-2 2, C. Cleveland 1 0-0 2, Lockley 2 0-1 4. Totals 22 19-21 66.

Monarch (0-1)

Payne 1 1-2 3, Rohn 3 1-2 9, Scott 3 0-0 6, Williams 2 1-2 5, O’Flannigan 0 0-0 0, Mendicino 0 0-0 0, Cendali 1 0-0 2, Jeffcoat 0 1-4 1, Sroge 0 1-2 1, Yesualov 0 0-0 0, Beswick 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-12 27.

Score by quarters:

Regis Jesuit 12 24 14 16 — 66

Monarch 2 10 9 6 — 27


3-point field goals — Regis Jesuit (3): Hall 2, Ptasinski; Monarch (2): Rohn 2. Total fouls — Regis Jesuit 12, Monarch 18. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.

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