Today is Thanksgiving, so I spent some time this week reflecting on the events of →
KSR Covers Kentucky Preps
By Trey Huntsman on ©November 01st, 2017 @ 10:00pm
The state of Kentucky cannot get rid of the Spurrier family. Gavin, the grandson of Hall of Famer Steve Spurrier and son of WKU Assistant Steve Spurrier Jr., helped South Warren (Bowling Green) to an 8-2 record in his first year as a starter.
Bowling Green is known for having several top-tier teams in the state on a regular basis. South Warren has turned into a perennial contender because of a well-coached defense that produced the likes of Kentucky’s Adrian Middleton. But the offense at SWHS has seen a boost in production this year. In ten games for the Spartans, the junior QB threw for 1,792 yards and 18 touchdowns while running for four touchdowns.
In his first season at SWHS, Spurrier already has the most single-season passing yards in the school’s short history and is second in single-season touchdowns.
It stills remains to be seen if Gavin will receive much attention on the recruiting front, but he has helped South Warren’s offense progress as only a junior. I’m guessing he has some guys in his family that will help him progress over the next year.
Here's Steve Spurrier throwing the ball back in the day for the 49ers. Here's his grandson Gavin slinging it tonight for South Warren. pic.twitter.com/C5mOMNvqyU
— Brad Stephens (@BradBGDN) August 19, 2017
Spurrier and South Warren take on Graves County this Friday in the 5A playoffs.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
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.