It is way too early to be looking ahead to next season, but I’m going →
KSR Covers Kentucky Preps
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 19th, 2017 @ 4:00pm
Remember us telling you about “Us Against The World,” Uproxx’s documentary series about Rodrick Rhodes and the Cordia High School basketball team? All ten episodes of the docuseries dropped today on Watchable.com and are free to stream.
The documentary tells the story of how Rhodes rebuilt the Cordia High School program with transfers from across the country, which created tension with rival programs in Eastern Kentucky and led to racist acts and hate-mongering. In May 2016, Rhodes was removed as coach after the program was slapped with several KHSAA sanctions for violations ranging from recruiting to providing illegal benefits to players. Earlier that year, Cordia won its first ever All “A” Basketball Championship.
In the opening scene of the first episode, Rhodes recalls a conversation he had with former teammate Jeff Sheppard about taking the job back in 2011 and Sheppard’s initial concerns about the reception Rhodes would receive in Eastern Kentucky. Sheppard eventually reasoned that people would accept Rhodes because he was “blue,” aka a former Kentucky player, but in the documentary, Rhodes said that he found out his friend was right to be worried.
“To be honest with you, I think that wore off. The blue wore off,” Rhodes said.
All ten episodes are available now for free on Watchable. Drew Franklin will have a review of the series for you tomorrow.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 06th, 2017 @ 3:27pm
There are people who enjoy high school sports, and then there are people who take them waaay too seriously. This next guy I’m about to tell you about is definitely the latter.
Wilford R. Shell, 61, is (was?) the equipment manager for the Middlesboro High School football team, and on Friday, he was arrested after he allegedly kicked a player from Clay County in the nuts. According to WYMT, the incident took place after Clay County beat Middlesboro in overtime, 30-29.
Shell was charged with fourth-degree assault with minor injury. He was booked into the Clay County Detention Center Friday night and released Tuesday evening. Something tells me he’s still not over the loss.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 05th, 2017 @ 9:30pm
In 2013, the Cordia High School basketball team and its head coach, former Kentucky Wildcat Rodrick Rhodes, found themselves victims of racism and hate-mongering as they vied for the state title. That story is the subject of a new docuseries by Uproxx entitled “Us Against The World,” which debuts September 19:
The trailer is a little jarring, so here’s some background. Rhodes took the job at Cordia in 2011 and in February 2013, two players on his team, Canadians Emmanuel Owootoah and Marlon King, were tagged in Facebook and Twitter photos depicting a noose and a flag burning. Both were also the subject of “USA!” chants at games, which may seem harmless until you consider the social media posts and that their guardians reported multiple attacks on the boys, including gunshots at their door.
In May 2016, Rhodes was removed as coach after the program was slapped with several KHSAA sanctions for violations ranging from recruiting to providing illegal benefits to players. Earlier that year, Cordia won its first ever All “A” Basketball Championship.
The 10-episode docuseries will debut September 19 on Watchable, a streaming service. Something tells me it will get people talking.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 30th, 2017 @ 3:45pm
With the remnants of Hurricane Harvey headed to the Bluegrass, high schools across Kentucky are moving their football games to Thursday night or Saturday to avoid inclement weather. Josh Moore at the Herald-Leader has a complete running list of games that have been rescheduled, including the title town rivalry showdown of Danville vs. Boyle County. Here are a few of the marquee games that have been moved:
Moved to Thursday night
|Bath County||at Powell County||7:30 p.m.|
|Boyle County||at Danville||7 p.m.|
|Bullitt Central||at Southern||7 p.m.|
|Bullitt East||at Spencer County||7:30 p.m.|
|Clark County||at Paul Laurence Dunbar||7:30 p.m.|
|Doss||at Male||7:30 p.m.|
|Fairview||at Nicholas County||7 p.m.|
|Franklin County||at Woodford County||TBD|
|Highlands||at Scott County||7:30 p.m.|
|Johnson Central||at Henry Clay||7:30 p.m.|
|Louisville Holy Cross||at DeSales||7 p.m.|
|Nelson County||at Fairdale||7 p.m.|
|North Bullitt||at Jeffersontown||7 p.m.|
|North Oldham||at Waggener||7:30 p.m.|
|Pendleton County||at Bracken County||7 p.m.|
|Russell County||at Casey County||7 p.m.|
|Union County||at Webster County||6:30 p.m.|
Moved to Saturday
|Archbishop Moeller (Ohio)||at Trinity||1 p.m.|
|Bourbon County||at Madison Southern||8 p.m.|
|Madison Central||vs. Southwestern at Madison Southern||5:30 p.m.|
|North College Hill (Ohio)||at Frankfort||Noon|
|St. Xavier||at Bowling Green||Noon|
For a complete list, head on over to the Herald-Leader.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2017 @ 11:30am
A pair of Kentucky football commitments from the Peach State started their senior seasons with impressive victories.
Playing in a rivalry game between South and Central Gwinnett, Central Quarterback Jarren Williams‘ needed a fourth quarter touchdown to secure a victory. Eight plays and 60 yards later, Williams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach and give his team a 28-24 victory.
The future UK star completed 20 of 36 passes for 301 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Williams’ touchdowns came from 8, 11 and 20 yards and his lone interception was a diving “game-changing” catch by the defense. He added 43 yards on the ground.
Not far down the road from Williams, running back Chris Rodriguez had to put the team on his back in the second half. Trailing at halftime, the three-star prospect scored immediately to give Ola High School the lead. They never gave it back. Rodriguez scored two more second half touchdowns to finish the game with four and give his team a 41-25 win.
Williams and Rodriguez were the only two UK commits in action this week. High school football in Ohio, Michigan and Florida does not begin until next week.
Closer to home, a pair of 2019 UK targets were fantastic. Western Hills wide receiver recruit Wandale Robinson failed to lead his team to a victory over Franklin County, but he did account for 198 rushing yards in 27 carries and 35 yards in three receptions. He scored every touchdown for Western Hills on rushes of 48 and 57 yards, and a 30-yard touchdown reception.
Wandale Robinson atones for his early fumble with an explosive 60-yard touchdown gallop.
Western Hills 14
Franklin County 6 pic.twitter.com/rIGE3m9MOY
— Dave Lackford (@RivalsDave) August 18, 2017
CAL athlete Milton Wright doesn’t primarily play quarterback, but he still completed 4 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown as a wildcat quarterback. Wright ran the ball three times for 21 yards and a touchdown and he caught three passes for 29 yards in a 28-14 win over South Oldham.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2017 @ 10:00am
The longest major sports drought of the year is almost over. Next week the college football season gets an early kickoff on the West Coast. Two weeks from today, your Kentucky Wildcats will open the season in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss. Game prep begins soon, but first, a scrimmage.
UK Football’s Second Scrimmage
Today is arguably the most important day of preseason training camp. The intensity increases in the second scrimmage as players compete for positions. How they perform today will determine where they fall on the depth chart.
There are a few position groups where today’s scrimmage matters more. There should be some clarity in the crowded wide receiver room. Can Matt Elam play up into the No. 2 spot behind Naquez Pringle, or will Jacob Hyde and Quinton Bohanna earn the right to split reps with Mr. Pringle? Steve Clinkscale and will learn who he can trust to play safety while Mike Edwards is the nickel.
The first scrimmage provided mostly negative reviews, defined by red zone turnovers and a significant injury. Can the Cats stay healthy and protect the ball in scrimmage No. 2? We’ll find out today around 1:30.
High School Football is Back
Even though we are still waiting for college football, it’s officially football time in the Bluegrass. Kentucky high schools started their season last night. It was chalky for the most part, but there were still a few nail-biters.
- Louisville Central 7, Manual 0
- Perry County Central 64, McCreary Central 58 (3OT)
- Nicholas County 38, Bellevue 36 (OT)
- Campbell County 27, Dixie Heights 23
- Scott County 56, North Bullitt 19
- CAL 28, South Oldham 14
- Bell County 42, Middlesboro 21
- Knox Central 27, Letcher County Central 20
- St. X 35, Cathedral (In.) 28
- DeSales 37, Ballard 22
- Lafayette 28, Bryan Station 0
- Tates Creek 48, Henry Clay 0
One of those Tates Creek touchdowns came from Lamar Thomas’ son.
My son Miles' first TD catch .👍🏾You see me walk away in the background 😎 pic.twitter.com/XTAwMcLmol
— Coach Lamar Thomas (@LamarCoachT) August 19, 2017
If you couldn’t get to the games, there’s about a dozen left on this week’s schedule. See who’s playing in Saturday bowl games and find the rest of the scores form around the state here.
What in the World?
Meanwhile in Georgia high school football, they’re wasting no time to get to trickery. This attempt to trick the defense to jump offsides is one of the strangest plays ever ran in the history of football.
— Frank Sulkowski WJCL (@TheBigGuyWJCL) August 19, 2017
Who’s Going to Win the UK Legends Game?
That is a rhetorical question. The correct answer is Ryan and Drew’s team. It will not even be close. In fact, this matchup is so lopsided, David Stern is being accused of freezing the envelopes.
|Heshimu Evans||Julius Mays|
|Cliff Hawkins||Jarrod Polson|
|Shagari Alleyne||Bobby Perry|
|Andre Riddick||Perry Stevenson|
|Jon Hood||Ravi Moss (via trade)|
|Jeff Sheppard||Marquis Estill|
|Dale Brown||Lukasz Orbzut|
|Kyle Macy||Jared Prickett|
|Kenny Walker||Jared Carter|
|Goose Givens||Kevin Grevey|
|COACH: Chip Rupp||COACH: Joe B. Hall|
Yet shockingly, there are still a few hundred people who believe Matt and Shannon’s team will win. I don’t get it. Correct them by voting here and don’t forget to get your tickets for next week’s game here.
Former Cats Back in the Bluegrass
Ahead of next weekend’s alumni game, former players are returning to town and hosting meet and greets with fans. The first is about to begin. Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins will be signing autographs at All Sports today from 11:00 a.m. to noon. If the notice is too late, Keith Bogans will be at All Sports this Thursday from 6:00-7:30.
End Summer the Right Way
As we count down to the start of football season, we must start saying goodbye to summer. There are plenty of appropriate activities available to properly enjoy the final Saturday of summer.
You could head to your favorite Kentucky lake, or argue about which one is best in the comment section. In Hopkinsville, it’s never too early to start preparing for the Eclipse. For a more low-key Saturday, you can experience the Woodland Art Fair in Lexington. If you see Kindsey Bernhard working a booth, tell her “Sup.” In Louisville, the State Fair is underway. If you can’t enjoy fried food, award-winning agriculture and exceptional people-watching, you might need to reevaluate your standards for fun. Unfortunately, I can’t be there because I will be taking a ride on the Moon Taxi at the Iroquois Amphitheater to say so long to the summer of 2017.
School has already started for most, but you can still enjoy one final weekend of summer. Don’t waste it.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 4:54pm
Remember when Lexington’s new Frederick Douglass High School made its mascot the Stallions then had to reverse the decision after major backlash? Today, the school unveiled its new mascot, and thankfully, it’s gender-neutral.
According to the Herald-Leader, Frederick Douglass’ teams will go by the nickname “Broncos.” The nickname was selected by the student body and announced by principal Lester Diaz this afternoon as the first day of school ended. Sixty-three percent of students voted for “Broncos,” which beat out “Mustangs,” “Racers,” Thoroughbreds,” and “Stampede.” “Stallions” wasn’t on the final ballot after an online petition claiming the nickname was sexist forced the school to reverse its original decision and remove the name.
So, the Frederick Douglass Broncos. I dig it.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 19th, 2017 @ 4:30pm
For the first time in school history, Bowling Green won the Sweet Sixteen Title. The Purples ran away from Cooper in Sunday’s final 67-56. Terry Taylor was named Tournament MVP after scoring 16 points and grabbing ten rebounds against Cooper.
It seemed early on that both teams were rattled. Bowling Green missed a pair of contested three’s before Zion Harmon knocked down a pair of free throws and three to give BG a 5-0 lead. Cooper responded time and time again to Bowling Green’s athleticism in the first quarter from beyond the arc. Sean McNeil hit two three’s in the first quarter as Cooper got nine of their 11 first points on three point baskets. McNeil’s back-to-back jumpers got Cooper within two before Kyran Jones tipped in a bucket and Harmon hit one of two free throws to give BG a 16-11 lead after one.
Big triple for Bowling Green’s Kyran Jones gets Purples back up nine. pic.twitter.com/vkX5zFHlXW
— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) March 19, 2017
Cooper hit four of their first seven three pointers to start the game. The deep shot paced their offense and kept them on the heels of an oversized BGHS squad. Eli Thurman came off the bench for Bowling Green and drilled a three to start a 9-2 run for the Purples. McNeil hit his third three of the game to cut into the lead once again at 28-21. Harmon led BG with 11 first half points. The eighth grader finished with 21 in the championship after hitting yesterday’s game winner. BGHS allowed two buckets at the end of quarters against Scott County, but the Purples flipped the script today as DeAngelo Wilson hit a runner to end the half and give BGHS a 30-21 lead.
Tournament MVP Terry Taylor only attempted one shot in the first half for BGHS. Taylor began to get more touches in the third quarter. The big man scored four points out of the gate and finished with 11 points in the third quarter. BGHS began to pull away late in the third, but Cooper once again roared back to end the third and start the fourth.
Brayden Runion drilled a three to cut the lead to ten with 20 seconds remaining, but once again BGHS scored at the buzzer on Harmon’s floater.
Trailing 45-33, Cooper made one last push at the title. The Jaguars scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to cut the score to 45-40. From that point on, Bowling Green was in winning time. Kyran Jones hit his first three of the tournament with 3:25 to play to start a 12-0 run for the Purples.
From that point on, it was a free throw show by BGHS. Bowling Green hit 15/20 free throws in the fourth quarter to ice a 67-56 win over Cooper.
Bowling Green’s win today was their first Sweet Sixteen Championship in school history. This group of seniors went 10-3 in four appearances in the state tournament. Taylor was named MVP of the tournament after averaging a double-double in the state tournament. DeAngelo Wilson and Zion Harmon were both named to the All-Tournament Team as well.
The Purples lost only twice this season and only once to an in-state team. Coach D.G. Sherrill won his first title after coming so close the last four seasons. A senior-led BGHS team got some help from the top eighth grader in the country as they will hang a Sweet Sixteen Championship Banner in the Bowling Green High Arena for the first time in school history.
Fern Creek started playing varsity basketball in 1929. Eighty-eight years later the Tigers qualified for its first state tournament. Randall K. Cooper High School was established in 2008. In just nine years of existence, the Jaguars will be playing for the KHSAA state championship after beating Fern Creek 51-44 in Saturday’s semifinal contest.
Cooper’s methodical possessions disrupted Fern Creek’s attacking, fast paced intentions. Neither team shot the basketball very well: Cooper-43%, Fern Creek-44%. Fern Creek won the battle on the boards by a total of 27-15 but the Jaguar’s early three pointers kept the northern Kentucky squad in contention.
Fern Creek’s leading scorer was Anthony Wales’ with 13. Chance Moore was limited to 8 points off 2-5 shooting from the field. Cooper’s Sean McNeil’s 22 points were key for the Jaguars as it advances to take on Bowling Green for the state title.
The state championship game will be played on Sunday at 2:00pm.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 18th, 2017 @ 9:45pm
In one of the greatest finishes in Sweet Sixteen history, Bowling Green outlasted Scott 80-79 in the state semifinals. Zion Harmon hit a game winning layup with 21 seconds remaining to push away Scott on Saturday.
BGHS utilized their six-inch size advantage in the paint in the first quarter. Terry Taylor had ten points and four rebounds against the undersized Scott. The Purples raced out to a 21-9 lead headed into the final minute of the first quarter. Scott cut into the lead in last 45 seconds when Jake Ohmer hit a pair of free throws and Vincent Dumlao hit a three to cut the lead to 21-14 after one.
Dumlao’s three set the tone for the beginning of the second quarter. Scott hit three shots from beyond the arc in the first 2:45 of the second frame. Ohmer began to heat up as his team drew within one midway through the quarter. Ohmer hit one of his four three pointers get the ball rolling for Scott. The Purples struggled from deep today, but DeAngelo Wilson and Harmon both knocked down three’s in the second quarter to push BGHS’ lead back out to nine through two quarters.
Anytime Scott gets within a couple of possessions, Terry Taylor does something like this. Bowling Green 53-45 with 2:58 left 3Q. pic.twitter.com/objQ7R8bLJ
— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) March 18, 2017
Every time that Scott would draw closer to Bowling Green, the Purples would pull the lead back out to three possessions. Ohmer scored the first nine points of the half for Scott to put the Eagles in striking distance. BGHS was unable to adequately feed Taylor and Kyran Jones as Ohmer and Scott inched back in the third. But just as it seemed that Scott would take over, Bowling Green’s guards showed their merit. Trey Jones knocked down a jumper and Wilson scored five points in the less than two minutes to keep Scott off their heels. The Purples led 61-53 heading into a historic fourth quarter.
The story of this game came in the final 4:30 of the fourth quarter. Scott got all the momentum from the Rupp Arena crowd as they roared back from nine point deficit. A 15-5 run put Scott in front late as Bowling Green was seeing flashbacks of last year’s 17-point blown lead to Dunbar. Ohmer knocked down a deep three and Dumlao got an and one to tie the game. Scott got their first of the game when Jake Pusateri made one of two free throws with 1:32 remaining.
Dumlao extended Scott’s lead with a layup with a minute to go. After Harmon hit a pair of very composed free throws, Jarius Key made a tip in on transition to give BG the lead back with 40 seconds remaining. Scott made a quick move to the basket and had their shot blocked by Taylor, but a foul sent Jaycob Puncy to the line for two. Puncy knocked both shots down with 24 seconds left. In the biggest moment in his basketball career, the eighth grade Harmon stepped up on the biggest stage. Harmon sank a six foot running layup to give Bowling Green the lead. Scott had a chance to win with under 20 seconds on the clock. Ohmer drove in and missed a contested layup and BGHS got the rebound to finish off an astounding 80-79 win.
Bowling Green survives. 80-79. Incredible performance by Scott. pic.twitter.com/6rmjJWyXXq
— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) March 19, 2017
Not enough can be said about what Jake Ohmer did in the Sweet Sixteen. Ohmer dropped 41 and 32 in his first two games before scoring 33 in the semifinals. As a whole, Ohmer averaged 35.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in Scott’s three games. Ohmer was phenomenal on the biggest stage.
Bowling Green advances to their second title appearance in three years tomorrow against Fern Creek or Cooper. The Purples got big nights from all their stars. Taylor finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds and Jones added 18 and 6. Wilson nearly notched a double-double with 12 points and eight assists. Harmon had 18 points including the game winner.
Fern Creek defeated Ballard for the fourth time this season. Stakes for Friday’s matchup were high as the winner of the battle between Louisville’s top two teams would advance to the tournament’s Final 4. Creek overcame 30 turnovers to top the Bruins 55-52.
Fern Creek shot 48% for the game and out-rebounded Ballard 33-27. The Tigers were led by Chance Moore’s 18 points. Moore was 6-8 from the floor and 6-6 from the free throw line.
Ballard shot just 36% on the night and were paced by Clivonte Patterson’s 19 points-8 rebounds. The Bruins shooting woes carried over to the free throw line where it made just 47%.
Fern Creek advances to play Cooper on Saturday night.
By Freddie Maggard on ©March 17th, 2017 @ 8:08pm
The KSHAA Sweet 16 is a tournament that’s steeped in history and tradition. In a unique twist, Friday night’s first quarterfinal matchup consisted of two of Kentucky’s newest high schools. Cooper was established in 2008; Collins in 2010.
Cooper jumped out to a 17-4 first quarter lead behind Sean McNeil’s seven points. Ten of Cooper’s seventeen points came in the paint. Collins started the game ice cold. The Titans made just 22% of its field goals. Poor shooting plagued Collins for four quarters.
The second period saw more of the same. Cooper, led by McNeil’s fourteen first half points, maintained its efficient shooting by making 50% of its field goals and 80% from the free throw line. Collins just couldn’t manage to get over the hump. More inaccurate shooting, 26% from the field and 0-4 from 3-point land, continued to limit the Titans. Adding to its woes; Collins’ top scorer, Charlie Cochran, was limited to zero points as the first half ended with Cooper leading 30-15.
Cooper’s steady drives to the basket continued to overwhelm Collins’ inconsistencies in the second half. Cooper’s 30-15 halftime lead was stretched to 48-26 by the end of the third quarter.
Cooper was led by Sean McNeil’s 19 points and its performance can only be described as efficient: 51% shooting, out-rebounded Collins 34-28, and scored 34 points in the paint off 12 assists.
Collins’ scoring leader was Dominique Turner with 10 points but those mainly came from free throws. The Titan’s stat line portrays a total different and inefficient picture: 23% from the field, 17% from 3-point line, and scored just 10 points in the paint off 4 assists.
Cooper advances to play either Fern Creek or Ballard in the Final 4.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 17th, 2017 @ 3:45pm
Jake Ohmer scored 32 points and picked up ten rebounds in a 74-52 win for Scott over Perry County Central. Ohmer now has 70 total points in Scott’s two wins. The Eagles pulled away with a huge effort on both ends in the third quarter.
Much like the early game, Scott and PCC went back and forth throughout the first half. The Commodores went scoreless for the first two minutes of the game before Damon Tobler put PCC on the board. The teams went back and forth early on as Ohmer picked up his first three of the game and collected seven points as Scott led 15-14 through one.
Scott was able to build on their lead in the second quarter. Perry County’s bigs were able to get involved in the offense after struggling in the first. Four of the Commodores’ five made shots came from Princewill Anosike and Idris Akinyewi in the second quarter. The two big men and over half of PCC’s first quarter points and combined for 15 of their 18 rebounds. The Commodores weren’t able to keep up with Scott’s outside shooting to end the half. Ohmer knocked down a pair of threes to end the second quarter and lead 33-27 at the break.
The third quarter was the Jake Ohmer show. PCC shot 6/7 in the third quarter, but still found themselves down 19 at the end of the frame. Ohmer scored 12 points as Scott opened up a big lead on the Commodores. The Eagles outscored PCC 23-10 in the third quarter. PCC didn’t attempt a shot for over three minutes in the third as Scott continually forced turnovers and scored in transition.
Scott would ice the game in the fourth quarter with an intense amount of dribbling at the mid court line. The Eagles advanced to the Final Four thanks in large part to the Ohmer Brothers. Jake Ohmer finished with 32 points, ten rebounds, and six assists as he picked up his second double-double of the tournament. Chad Ohmer had 14 points as the brothers nearly outscored PCC in a 74-52 win for Scott.
Scott will take on Bowling Green tomorrow night at Rupp.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 17th, 2017 @ 2:30pm
For the third time in four years, Bowling Green is headed to the Final Four. Terry Taylor had 20 and 14 rebounds to lead the Purples to a 68-53 win over Scott County.
Bowling Green found a groove early on against Scott County. DeAngelo Wilson and Zion Harmon knocked down jumpers as BGHS led 5-0 early. It was a theme today that Bowling Green dominated on the boards. Taylor and Jones were extending possessions and allowing Bowling Green to get second and third shots on offensive rebounds. Despite getting killed on the boards, Scott County was able to hang around thanks in large part to Cooper Watts’ eight first quarter points. Leading 18-14, BGHS turned the ball over with ten seconds remaining in the quarter and Cooper Robb took the opportunity to score a layup at the buzzer.
After Scott County and BGHS went shot for shot in the first quarter, the Purples were the first team to gain any space. Taylor scored two quick layups and Harmon hit a three from the Rupp Arena logo to give BGHS a 26-18 lead. Michael Moreno continued to battle for Scott County and kept the Cardinals around. After struggling in the first quarter and a half, Moreno had seven points in the second quarter, including a three to keep the game at two possessions. Clutch guard play from Wilson helped BGHS to maintain a lead going into the half. The Austin Peay Football-commit hit a three and a short jumper to end the half. The Purples led 33-27 after two.
Scott County would come out hot in the second half. Before BGHS could get settled in, SCHS went on a quick 6-2 run in the first couple minutes of the half. The third quarter would be the most exciting moment of the 2017 Sweet Sixteen. Both teams battled on every loose ball and there was consistent back and forth play. The largest lead of the quarter came when BGHS led 42-35. Bryce Long quickly scored five points to keep Scott County in the game. But the Cardinals’ biggest struggle of defensive rebounding remained in the second half. Taylor kept possessions alive for BGHS and allowed the Purples to keep the game at their tempo in transition. The big men for BGHS kept Moreno in check and forced him to come outside more late in the game.
BGHS led 50-44 before Long hit a three at the buzzer to put Scott County down by three. The fourth quarter has been a tough time for BGHS in the last few tournaments, especially last season. The Purples blew a 17 point led to Dunbar in the Elite Eight last year and lost to Owensboro in the state final in 2015. Bowling Green was locked in a close game, but was able to ice the game at the free throw line. The eighth-grade Harmon hit all seven of his second half free throws, including three after getting fouled on a corner jumper. BGHS shot 12/13 from the line in the fourth quarter to pull away in a 68-53 win.
Bowling Green got excellent games from everyone that stepped on the floor. Taylor had 20 points and 14 rebounds (six on offense), DeAngelo Wilson scored 20 and Harmon added 16. It is the third trip to the Final Four for BGHS in the last four seasons. The Purples will take on the winner of Perry County Central and Scott tomorrow night.
Cooper advanced to the Elite Eight with a 54-39 win over Meade County on Thursday. The Jaguars held Meade to a 30% shooting night in the win.
As has been tradition in the 2017 Sweet Sixteen, neither team could find a rhythm on offense in the first quarter. Neither team scored for the first three and a half minutes of the game. Chesney Weick finally put Meade on the Board with his first of six first quarter points. Weick scored all of Meade County’s points in the first quarter as Cooper inched to a 7-6 lead through one. The teams combined to shoot 5/24 in the first quarter.
Cooper was able to find somewhat of a groove in the second quarter. Tyler Ollier knocked down the team’s first three of the game to help the Jaguars go on a 12-2 run to open the quarter. There was some movement in transition as both teams settled in, but neither team shot well in the first half. Neither team shot over 35% as Cooper led 23-15 at the break.
Meade County struggled from the field for most of the game, but Cooper was able to get the ball rolling in the second half. After Meade cut the lead to two, Adam Kunkel picked up an and-one, Sean McNeil knocked down a three, and Ollier as Cooper got Meade off their heels. The Jaguars built their first double-digit lead of the half at 39-28 through three quarters.
The Green Wave did not have one final spurt left in them as Cooper pulled away in the fourth. Cooper spent most of the fourth quarter at the foul line, going 7/13 in the final frame. The Jaguars held Meade to a 30% shooting night with 19 turnovers. Meade County’s cinderella run came to and end as Cooper advanced to the Elite Eight with a 54-39 win on Thursday.
Kunkel led all scorers with 16 points and eight rebounds. Weick led Meade County with 15 points and seven rebound. Cooper will advance to take on Collins tomorrow at 6:30 ET.
Elliott County entered tonight’s matchup with a 26-3 record with a starting lineup that features just one player that measured 6’2. The Lions clawed their way to Lexington after two overtime wins in the 16th Regional tournament games to advance.
The Collins Titans took a different path to Rupp Arena. After starting the season 15-3, it lost three starters and took a four game losing streak into tournament play. After losing to Anderson County in the district championship, Collins won three 8th Region tournament games by a grand total of eight points. The Titans entered tonight’s game with a 23-12 record.
Collins came out of the gate with a deliberate game plan and dominated the boards. Elliot County’s star guard Korbin Spencer started slow but heated up later to lead a valiant comeback by the Lions.
Collins led for 19 minutes before Elliott County took the lead in the 3rd quarter. The Lions turned the tide in the game by a disruptive press defense that transitioned to a half court zone that all but dared Collins to shoot from the outside.
The game went back and forth and was tied at 50-50 with :57 remaining in the 4th quarter. Collins attempted to salt the clock for the last shot but Elliott’s Chase Porter stole the ball in the front court and drove the length of the court for a layup with :20 remaining that put the Lions up 52-50. Collins’ Dominique Turner was subsequently fouled, hit both free throws and the game eventually went to overtime tied 52-52.
Collins’ Charles Cochran started the extra period off with an old fashioned 3-point play that gave the Titans a 55-52 advantage. Elliott’s star guard Korbin Spencer fouled out with 2:17 remaining in overtime. The super-sophomore finished with 19 points and 8 boards. Collins’s freshman guard Davion McKnight made two free throws to extend the Titans lead to 57-52.
Collins dominated the extra period. Nick Fort’s layup with one second on the clock in gave the Titans a 65-57 victory over the short-handed Lions. Charlie Cochran led the winners with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Elliott County was paced by Chase Porter’s 21 points.
The Ballard Bruins shot 50% in the first quarter as it stormed out to a 22-11 lead over a young Taylor County team that featured three sophomore starters. The point spread only continued to worsen for the Cardinals in the second period as Ballard played a nearly perfect first half. The Bruins extended its lead to 44-17 after shooting 49% from the field, 83% from the foul line, and scored 22 points off 16 Taylor County turnovers.
Antoine Darby led the Bruins’ first half charge by going 5-5 from the field and 3-3 from behind the three-point arc. Taylor County’s Ezra Oliver, a Campbellsville University Bass Fishing signee, paced the Cards with 4 points and 2 rebounds.
The second half stayed true to trend as the Ballard stretched its lead to 60-25 with two minutes left in the 3rd quarter. That 35-point spread automatically and mercifully led to a running clock for the remainder of the contest where the Bruins cruised to a 69-33 win. Ballard impressively scored 46 of its 69 points in the paint, finished with 31 points off 27 turnovers, and won the assist ratio 22-6.
The Bruins had four players that scored in double digits: Dorian Tisby-14, Antoine Darby-15, Clivonte Patterson-10, and Delonta Wimberly-10. Taylor County was led by Tre’Von Smith’s 11-points and 8 rebounds.
Ballard advances to play Fern Creek in what could be an instant Sweet 16 classic.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 16th, 2017 @ 2:30pm
Fern Creek shot over 80% from the field in the final three quarters of an 81-64 win over Hopkinsville. Chance Moore scored 21 points as Fern Creek got revenge for their twenty point loss to Hopkinsville earlier this season.
Hoptown and Fern Creek both struggled to knock down shots from the outside early in the first half. Both teams shot below 30% in the first quarter as Fern Creek inched to a 14-10 lead headed into the second quarter. Chance Moore knocked down a pair of jumpers and scored nine points in the first three minutes of the second quarter to lead FCHS on an 11-1 run. Fern Creek was virtually unstoppable in the second quarter. The Tigers went 11/13 from the field as they dominated Hopkinsville in the first half.
Fern Creek struggled from the field in the first quarter, but they flipped the script for the remaining three. The Tigers had great interior passing and got the basket easily for the final 24 minutes. Fern Creek was 25/30 shooting in the final three quarters, including a perfect 6-6 in the fourth quarter. The Tigers forced 14 turnovers and were able to pick up a lot of points in transition. “We took a more conscious efffort to get easy transition buckets and it makes our offense look a lot better when we can score on turnovers and hold them to one shot,” said Fern Creek head coach James Schooler. There was a definite change in approach for Fern Creek after the first quarter. The Tigers took only one shot from behind the arc after the first quarter.
Hopkinsville was never able able to keep up with Fern Creek’s efficiency. Hoptown found themselves on their heels defensively for most of the game. The Tigers had two players foul out and two finish with four fouls as they tried to keep up with Fern Creek’s pace. While Fern Creek was perfect from the field in the fourth quarter, Hopkinsville was unable to keep up late. CJ Henangan and James Nicholas knocked down late three pointers, but it was too little too late for Hoptown. Fern Creek’s offensive performance led them to an 81-64 win over Hopinsville.
Moore led all scorers with 21 points on 9/12 shooting. Ahmad Price added 11 points and a game-high nien rebounds to help Fern Creek win their 20th straight game. The tigers will take on the winner of Ballard and Taylor County tomorrow night at 8 ET.
By Freddie Maggard on ©March 15th, 2017 @ 9:30pm
Not to be confused with Scott County, the Scott High School Eagles (22-12) jumped out on Harlan County (31-4) and never looked back as it shot 54% in the first half. Harlan County offensively struggled in the first two quarters by making only 23.1% of their shots. The team’s leading scorer Cameron Carmical could never get untracked as he uncharacteristically made just 3-8 shots from the field and missed both his free throw attempts. The Black Bears’ dismal first half shooting performance carried over to the free throw line as it was just 1-6. Scott’s shooting was much more accurate. The Eagles shot 41% (5-12) from 3-point land and 50% field goals.
Ty Simmons, also a standout on the football field, led Harlan County with 10 first half points and 7 rebounds. His team won the boards by a 21-15 count. Scott was paced in the first half by standout Jake Ohmer’s 18 points which included 3-6 from beyond the 3-point line. Ohmer’s 18 was a mere precursor to one of the most impressive Sweet 16 scoring performances in recent memory. Reserve guard Vincent Dumlao provided a spark off the bench by scoring nine, 1st half points.
Harlan County clawed back into the game in the 3rd quarter as it out-scored Scott 24-19. However, Jake Ohmer was again just too much as he totaled 35 points and 13 rebounds in just 24 minutes.
Both teams scored 22 points in the 4th quarter. Jake Ohmer’s 41 points-17 rebounds closed out Bears with a 77-65 win. Ohmer was more concerned about his team’s win than individual accolades that accompany 41 points and 17 rebounds, “Feels good, I’m more glad how team played together and got the win.” Harlan County’s Cameron Carmical finished with 25 points, but that came off an 8-30 shooting performance.
The Eagles understood that Carmical would take the bulk of the Black Bears’ shots and turned their attention to Ty Simmons. Jake Ohmer: “Carmical was going to get his, 21 (Ty Simmons) was the guy we had to shut down on the glass.” Simmons finished the game 7-7 from the field but was not targeted in the 2nd half. His last basket came with 6:22 remaining in the 3rd quarter. He later fouled out.
Harlan County head coach Michael Jones was unsure what led to his team’s shooting woes as the Bears finished the game at just 37.9% and 5 assist on the game. “Scott played really well, got a good ball club. I can’t pinpoint why we chose to shoot our worst in Rupp Arena. If we could just have made some of those shots early it would have been a different ball game. No explanation (Poor shooting).”
Scott advances to play Perry County Central on Friday. The Eagles impressed the large crowd with its shooting prowess and disciplined style of basketball.
Perry County Central let Pikeville hang around in the first half, but the Commodores steamrolled PHS in the second half on their way to 61-46 win on Wednesday.
PCC struggled with turnovers throughout the game, but Pikeville rarely capitalized outside of the first quarter. Both teams struggled to knock down shots early on as there was 1:55 period of time where neither team scored. With only eight combined made shots, Pikeville led 9-8 after one quarter.
Pikeville was held scoreless for the first four minutes of the second quarter, but sloppy play by PCC helped to keep PHS in the game. The Commodores got their points by driving in on the undersized Pikeville team. Pikeville was unable to keep up with Princewill Anosike and Idris Akenyemi underneath after the second quarter. The two big men combined for 22 of PCC’s 44 rebounds. Pikeville never really caught up to the length of Perry Central, as can be seen here.
Charge called but 😳 pic.twitter.com/nms6LNOPpq
— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) March 15, 2017
Two big buckets by Pikeville’s Zach Hamilton cut PCC’s lead to three at the half. Pikeville’s offense went dead for another long stretch of time to open the second half. Noah Back and Damon Tobler knocked down three’s and PCC’s defense forced Pikeville to go nearly four more minutes without a point. The bigs for PCC made it nearly impossible for PHS to drive into the paint. The Commodores blocked 12 shots, including ten in the first half.
PCC shot at 56 percent clip in the second half as they ran away from Pikeville. The lead swelled to 20 in the fourth quarter as Pikeville tried to stretch the game out with fouls. Despite making four of their last five shots, Pikeville fell 61-46 to Perry County Central in the first round of the tournament.
PCC was able to hold despite turning the ball over 21 times on Wednesday. Austin Hill and Tobler led all scorers with 12 points. The Commodores out rebounded Pikeville 44-21 and did not allow a single PHS player to reach double figures in scoring.
Perry County Central will play Friday at 1:30 against the winner of Scott and Harlan County. We will have more action tonight at Rupp Arena with Scott County vs. Pulaski County and Scott vs Harlan County, so follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR and @FredMaggard for coverage.