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.