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Boys Basketball: North Oldham defeats Anderson County

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By Sam Draut

All five North Oldham starters scored in double-figures as the Mustangs defeated Anderson County 92-83 on Tuesday. Zach Wheeler scored a team-high 28 points and Jalen Henry scored in double-figures for the fourth consecutive game, finishing with 21 points.

Scoring a season-high in points, North Oldham (10-9) was able to distance itself from their Eighth Region opponent midway through the first half. Dylan Yates made a 3-pointer as time expired in the first quarter and Justin Rose knocked a shot from behind the arc on the opening possession of the second quarter to cap off a 13-3 run to give the Mustangs a 25-14 lead.

North Oldham coach Rob Burton said before the season that an up-tempo style of play would best suit his roster and the team showed off why against Anderson County (11-6). Henry, who scored just two points in the first half, passed to shooters and post players as defenders collapsed to help on his drives.

“I saw they were trying to stop me on the drive early so I had kicks to shooters,” Henry said.

The Mustangs shot over 50 percent from the field and made five 3-pointers in the first half.

“We love to get up and down, we have one of the fastest guys in the region, he [Henry] loves to push the ball, he is very quick on offense and if we have him getting into the paint,” Wheeler said. “It bodes well for all of our perimeter guys including me because he gets us looks.”

In the second half, Anderson County defenders started to push Mustang shooters off the 3-point line, opening up driving lanes for Henry. The senior guard scored 12 of his 21 points in the third quarter.

Burton believed Henry was effective because he was able to get anywhere on the floor he wanted and then made good decisions by passing to open teammates or taking shots.

“Once they covered the three I had open looks to the basket and I got to the free throw line,” Henry said.

North Oldham stretched their lead to 20 points in the second half before Anderson County closed the deficit to three possessions in the final four minutes.

Cobe Penny, the leading scorer in the Eighth Region this season, finished with a game-high 36 points.

“Penny is unbelieveable. He is really, really good,” Burton said. “We had a hard time stopping him, either way.”

It was the first time since Feb. 5, 2010 that North Oldham has scored more than 90 points in a game.

“We know we have really good shooters, scorers and a pretty good offense. We feel we can score the ball. But we felt like we haven’t shot it like we are capable of shooting it or executing on offense the way we are capable of,” Burton said. “We haven’t gotten close to reaching our potential offensively. We kept saying eventually we are going to put it all together offensively. I thought we did (against Anderson County).”

Rose scored 14 points while Cole Bonny and Jeff McLellan eached added 13 points for the Mustangs.

After falling to inter-county rival Oldham County on Friday, North Oldham has won three straight and travels to Shelby County on Thursday.

“That Oldham County loss at home, it is definitely lingering in our minds,” Wheeler said. “It is something to keep working off of and not forget about and keep getting better from it.”