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BUCKNER – Dylan Henderson picked the right time to showcase his new game.
Henderson, a senior guard for the Oldham County High School Colonels, broke loose for 24 points before a packed house Friday to lead the Colonels to a 75-60 win over cross county rival South Oldham.
Henderson hit four three-pointers, but also several key mid-range jumpers throughout the game as the Colonels took an early lead and were able to maintain it.
“Last year I was more a spot shooter where I just came in and looked to get a three,” Henderson said. “I worked really hard over the summer on making my game more than just three-point shooting.”
Henderson had plenty of offensive support with senior point guard Blake Payne slashing his way to 18 points and junior Kerry Smith scoring 13.
The Colonels were able to win in old-school OCHS style and by stealing a page from the Dragons’ playbook as well.
OCHS matched SOHS with eight three-pointers and pounded the Dragons on the boards with 40-25 rebounding edge.
“That was the key stat for us right there,” OCHS coach Jason Holland said. “I thought we did a really nice job of keeping them to one shot and we got some big offensive rebounds and putbacks.”
Henderson helped the Colonels take control of the game at the end of the first half and in the opening minutes of the second half.
After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, SOHS mounted a comeback and cut the lead to 31-27 when Jack Sherry hit a three from the top of the key with 2:38 left in the half.
OCHS countered immediately when junior Parker Simpson hit the first of his two threes followed by a three from the left corner from Henderson that pushed the lead back to 10 at 37-27 as the half ended.
Henderson opened the second half with a driving shot in the lane, hit a three from the left wing and with 4:19 left in the third quarter delivered what was a kill shot with a three from the top of the key that put the Colonels up 47-34. The Dragons never got closer than eight points after that.
“I was just feeling it then,” Henderson said. “Coach tells me to shoot when I feel that way. We had really good ball movement tonight and everyone was unselfish so we got a lot of open shots.”
SOHS tried to comeback several times behind senior guard Eric Blair.
In his first game back from an ankle injury, Blair hit five three-pointers to lead the Dragons with 19 points, but the Colonels were able to match his outside shooting and control the boards.
The Dragons got nine points each from Sherry and Carson Fields.
“They were very well prepared and hit the big shots when they had to,” SOHS coach Steve Simpson said. “They were not better shooters than we thought, but they shot it well tonight. We didn’t shoot very well and we didn’t defend well and in a game like this you can be off on one, but not off on both.”
The win pushes the Colonels to 11-5 overall and 2-0 in the district seeding race.
The Colonels can lock up the No. 1 seed at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a win when they travel to North Oldham.
SOHS fell to 11-2 and 1-1 in district play and had a five-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
OCHS - 15 22 17 21 75 - Tyler Wesley 3, Kerry Smith 13, Blake Payne 18, Parker Simpson 7, Dylan Henderson 24, Nolan DeNise 7, Alante Flores 3; 75
SOHS - 10 17 18 15 60 - Eric Blair 19, Dylan Bullock 5, Carson Fields 9, Trent Martin 9, Jack Sherry 9, Dillon Kinney 2, Shae Goodlett 5, Matt Hasley 2; 60.
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