The Lebanon (Ky.) Marion County High School girls basketball team is young and talented. It also is the top-ranked team in Kentucky.

The Lebanon (Ky.) Marion County High School girls basketball team is young and talented. It also is the top-ranked team in Kentucky.

With a lineup that includes a junior and two sophomores who are considered three of the top players in the country, coach Trent Milby has his team's striving for the highest goals.

"We have a chance to win the state tournament," said Milby, whose team opens the KeyBank Holiday Classic against Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit on Tuesday. "That's something we're looking forward to."

Last season, Marion County was the top-ranked team in Kentucky but lost in the first round of the state tournament to finish 33-2. There is only one division for girls basketball in Kentucky.

Fortunately for the Knights, they have returned starting guards Bre Elder and Makayla Epps and forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers from last season.

Those three players key Marion County's power triangle offense. A 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard, Epps was leading the team in scoring, averaging 16.2 points, as the Knights started 5-0. She also was averaging 4.4 rebounds. Last year, a few recruiting services had her as the top-ranked freshman in the country.

"She can take a game over," Milby said. "She can get you 30 points or can get you seven, eight, nine assists. She's athletic, strong and has a nice shot."

Elder, a 5-foot-9 junior, is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.6 points, and was averaging 5.4 rebounds. She is used at both the guard and forward positions and is known as a "slasher." Milby said she has worked to improve her jump shot this season.

Goodin-Rogers is a 6-1 sophomore forward and had 18 points and 11 rebounds in last year's state tournament loss. She was averaging 12 points and 6.4 rebounds through five games.

"(The three returning starters) have been together for four years," Milby said. "The good thing about them is they all play different spots and they all do different things. They play well together."

Last season, the Knights won their fourth consecutive district title, which would be the equivalent of a league tournament title in Ohio. They also won their second consecutive region championship. In Kentucky, a regional tournament is comprised solely of area district champions and runners-up.

Shakila Goodin (5-6) and Brooke Roberts (5-7) are Marion County's only seniors. Also on the team are juniors Ashley Bridgewater (5-5), Emily Fenwick (5-10), Coco May (5-9) and Tessa Simpson (5-7), sophomores Logan Powell (5-9) and Patrice Tonge (5-8) and freshman Alexus Calhoun (6-0).

Calhoun has been a key contributor, averaging five rebounds through five games, with Marion County averaging 62.4 points and allowing an average of 43.6 points in those games.