Owen County’s boys basketball team knew what it wanted to do in its first-round game of the Kentucky Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic – neutralize Buckhorn’s Matt Day as much as possible.
Day finished with 21 points but Owen County came away with the win, defeating Buckhorn 55-37 Thursday night at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The Rebels (15-7) will play Covington Holy Cross tonight at 8 in the quarterfinals.
Owen’s first-half defense held Day to six points as the Rebels led 12-3 after the first quarter and 31-13 at halftime.
The Wildcats (16-4) rallied in the third quarter, holding Owen to two points and cutting the lead to seven points, but they weren’t able to make it all the way back.
“I thought we really battled in the third quarter,” Buckhorn coach John Noble said. “One thing that concerned us coming into the game was their physical style of play. They did a good job imposing their will early in the things we needed to do.”
The Rebels did.
They shot 50 percent from the field, outrebounded Buckhorn 14-8, dished out seven assists and forced seven turnovers.
And they kept Day, a 6-7 senior, from taking over the game.
“Every time I touched the ball they brought two or three defenders out on me,” Day said. “That took me out of my game early, and it took awhile to get going. Our defense was terrible in the first and second quarters.
Stone Osborne, one of the defenders assigned to Day, had a simple strategy.
“Get in his head,” Osborne said, “foul when the refs weren’t looking.”
“Stone stuck to our game plan,” Owen County coach Devin Duvall said. “His job every game is to guard the other team’s best player.”
After seeing their lead dwindle to seven points at the end of the third, the Rebels scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter for a 42-26 lead.
The Wildcats never got closer than 12 points after that, and Owen went 12 for 14 from the foul line in the final 1:48 of the game to seal the victory.
“In the third quarter we came out and fell asleep as we have a tendency to do,” Duvall said, “but we picked up our execution on offense in the fourth quarter.
‘When we got in half-court we got the ball down low to our bigs, and we hit our free throws. They only got to the line 11 times to our 27, and that’s a huge discrepancy.”
The Rebels, champions of the 8th Region, shot 45.7 percent for the game and held a 28-19 rebounding edge.
Jarrod Ball led Owen with 12 points, and Carson Williams, a 6-3 eighth-grader, had 11 points. Sawyer Williams, a 6-7 senior, had eight points, three blocked shots and a game-high eight rebounds.
Also scoring for the Rebels were Zach Ripy with nine points, Cooper Taylor with seven, Osborne with six, and Justin Shelton with two points.
Day led Buckhorn, the 14th Region champion, with 21 points and five rebounds.
“He got 21 points, but he had to earn every point he got,” Duvall said. “Our goal was to not let him get an easy look at the basket, and he didn’t have an easy look the whole game.”
Cov. Holy Cross 57, Barbourville 47
In the first game of Thursday’s evening session, the Holy Cross Indians used a strong third quarter to get past Barbourville.
Holy Cross (19-2) led just 7-5 after the first quarter and 23-21 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Indians outscored Barbourville 13-7 to gain some breathing room.
Antonio Campbell, a 6-8 junior, had a double-double for Holy Cross with 18 points and 17 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots.
The Indians, winners of the 9th Region, shot 38 percent for the game and they were 9 for 19 from the foul line.
Barbourville’s Josh Hildebrand led all players with 27 points. A 6-3 senior guard, Hildebrand hit seven 3-pointers, going 7 for 13 from behind the arc.
Steven Rudd had eight rebounds to lead the Tigers, champions of the 13th Region. Barbourville shot 37.5 percent from the field and had only two free throw attempts, making one.
Holy Cross plays Owen County in the quarterfinals tonight at 8.
Lou. Collegiate 57, Bishop Brossart 52, OT
Collegiate watched Bishop Brossart rally from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but the Titans pulled out the win in overtime.
Collegiate (13-5) led 45-37 with 5:28 left in regulation, only to see the Mustangs rally and take a 49-47 lead on a basket by Joe Jennings with 2:03 remaining.
Andrew Steggeman tied the game for Collegiate with a layup at the 1:23 mark. Both teams had turnovers in the final minute, and a shot by Steggeman with three seconds left missed the mark.
The Mustangs (15-5) took a 52-51 lead with 3:03 remaining on a 3-pointer by Alex Trentman, but those were the last points for Bishop Brossart.
A basket by Steggeman and two free throws from Bryce Overstreet gave the Titans a 55-52 lead, and Bishop Brossart missed three 3-pointers in the final 28 seconds.
Collegiate, the 7th Region champion, had three players in double figures. Steggeman had a game-high 18 points and seven assists, Ryan Perry had 12 points, and Will McAnulty finished with 11.
Justin Saunders scored 11 points to lead 9th Region champion Bishop Brossart, and Drew Burns had 10 points.
Collegiate will play Danville in the final quarterfinal game tonight at 9:30.
Danville 46, DeSales 41
Danville’s Tryston Ford hit a 3-pointer with 2:45 left in the game, breaking a 39-39 tie and giving the Admirals the lead for good.
Danville extended the lead to 46-39, and Evan Bingham hit two free throw for DeSales with one second left to make the final score 46-41.
DeSales (9-10) jumped out to a 14-7 lead after the first quarter but was held to four points in the second period and led just 18-17 at halftime.
The game was close the rest of the way. At the end of the third quarter the teams were tied 31-31.
Ford led Danville, the 12th Region champion, with 19 points. The Admirals hit 39.5 percent from the field.
The Colts struggled with their shooting, going 14 for 50 from the field for 28 percent.
Bingham and Cameron Duncan both scored 12 points for 6th Region champion DeSales, and Nathan Roush had 10.
Danville (8-9) plays Collegiate at 9:30 tonight in the quarterfinals.