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CRESTWOOD – In an oh-so-close, yet-so-far game the South Oldham High School Dragons came within a hair of upsetting Jeffersontown for the second year in a row before finally falling 64-60 to the No. 2 Chargers Monday.
Last year the Dragons upset the Chargers when they were ranked No. 1 in the state and were just two missed three-pointers from doing it again this year.
“The best thing was we didn’t give in at any point,” SOHS coach Steve Simpson said. “They are relentless and their athleticism just keeps coming and coming and coming at you.”
The Dragons stayed on even terms with the Chargers through much of the game. J-town played without 6-foot-10 University of Louisville signee Zach Price leaving them to rely more on their perimeter game led by guards Tony Kimbro and Cody Russell.
Kimbro led all scorers with 20 points and was a big eight for 11 from the free throw line for J-town. Russell followed him with 18 points.
The Chargers were unable to completely pull away until the final minute of the game.
J-town led 62-55 with 1:12 left after Kimbro hit two free throws. SOHS, however, got right back with Eric Blair answering with two free throws of his own.
After J-town’s Daniel Ross missed a pair of free throws with 46.2 seconds left, the Dragons cut the lead to 62-60 with 27 seconds left when Carson Fields buried a three-pointer from the left corner.
After a SOHS timeout, Russell hit one of two from the foul line to put the Chargers up 63-60 with 25.2 seconds left.
SOHS had a chance to tie on the ensuing possession, but Blair’s three-point attempt from the top of the key bounced out with Ross grabbing the rebound and drawing a foul.
Ross hit one of two from the line for the final margin.
“I thought there were a couple of key issues in that they had a trip where they got four or five shots on one possession and we had a couple of shots that just didn’t fall for us,” Simpson said. “I was glad to see us battle back into it when they did manage to get a bit of a lead.”
The Chargers threatened to put the Dragons away late in the second quarter as they went on a 10-2 run to lead 30-20 with five different players scoring during the run.
SOHS managed to get back thanks in large part to Blair who had 12 of his 17 points in the first half.
Blair started the comeback by scoring on a give-and-go layup from Trent Martin. Martin followed that with a short bank shot in the lane to cut it to 30-24 before Desmond Dodge scored on a drive in the lane to make it 32-24.
Blair answered on the next trip with a three-pointer off the right wing and Martin added two free throws to cut it to 32-29.
The Dragons tied it at 32 on the next possession when Blair buried a long three-pointer off the left wing.
J-town managed to stem the Dragons’ run with Kimbro and Russell scoring to lead 36-34 heading into the halftime break.
Blair’s 17 led a balanced SOHS attack as Fields scored 16 and Jack Sherry 12. Martin had 10 points.
“You don’t want to lose, but this was a good game in the sense that we got better tonight,” Simpson said. “They were missing their big guy, but we hung right in there with one of the best teams in the state.”
JEFFERSONTOWN - 18 18 13 15 64 - DeMichael Jackson 8, Desmond Dodge 9, Tony Kimbro 20, Jordan Hagan 2, Tre Coleman 4, Cody Russell 18, Daniel Ross 13, 64.
SOHS - 16 18 12 14 - Eric Blair 17, Dylan Bullock 3, Carson Fields 16, Jack Sherry 12, Trent Martin 10; 60.
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