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BEDFORD — As a missed shot by Oldham County High School senior guard Parker Simpson caromed off the rim, senior guard Kerry Smith came leaping in towards the rim un guarded from the left post.
Smith attempted to dunk the ball but lost the handle.
The ball popped up in the air as high as the top of the backboard and swished through the net on its way back down.
In the second half especially, the Colonels could do little wrong. After a tight first half between OCHS and South Oldham High School, the Colonels opened up as much as a 17-point lead late to capture the 29th district championship with a 58-43 win over the Dragons at Trimble County High School.
The Colonels took a 29-25 lead into halftime, but had 12 turnovers in the first half. They changed the momentum in the second half by switching to a full-court press and half-court trap.
“When you get emotional, you don’t play like yourself,” OCHS coach Jason Holland said. “The whole first quarter was like a pickup game for both of us. The difference was in the second half, we settled down, ran stuff, got good possession and took advantage of some mismatches.”
The added pressure led to a number of miscues for SOHS that left coach Steve Simpson scratching his head at times.
“In the second half, we kinda panicked a little against their defense,” he said. “We tried to rush everything. We got down a little bit and tried to get it all back at one time.”
The length of OCHS senior forward Tyler Wesley, at 6-foot-7, also gave the Dragons plenty of fits. Wesley finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, eight blocks and two steals.
He also played despite a sprained right ankle injury he suffered Wednesday in the Colonels’ semi-final win over North Oldham.
“I just tried not to think about it because it hurt before the game and it’s all bundled up now,” he said. “I tried to just play. But it’s all that much better because we beat South.”
Smith added 13 points, while OCHS senior guard Parker Simpson received the tournament’s MVP award.
Junior guard Devonte Jones led SOHS with 12 points.
Both teams will play next week in the eighth region tournament at Henry County. Days and times to be announced Sunday at the region draw.
North Oldham: Jacob Clark, Devon Rowan
Trimble County: Austin Rexroat and Skiler Alexander
South Oldham: Shae Goodlett, Kyle Young and Devonte Jones
Oldham County: Parker Simpson (MVP), Tyler Wesley and Kerry Smith
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