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.