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NEW CASTLE – In a tale of two halves, a red-hot Spencer County came storming back in the second half to beat North Oldham 60-52 in the regional semifinals Monday.
The Bears hit nine of 12 from the field and 18 of 20 from the foul line in the second half to overcome a 34-23 deficit and win going away.
“That was the difference,” NOHS coach David Henley said. “Their guards are really good and they dominated the second half.”
Doing the most damage for the Bears was Brandon Miller who scored a game-high 28 points and was 10 of 10 from the line in the fourth quarter and hit all 14 of his free throws for the game.
As a team the Bears hit 26 of 30 from the line.
NOHS got out to a roaring start as sophomore guard David Levitch and junior Devon Rowan sparked the Mustangs to an early 9-0 lead and increased it to 23-5 midway through the second quarter.
Trailing 34-23 to open the second half, Spencer County started its comeback midway throught the third quarter.
Trailing 41-29, the Bears got rolling behind a jumper from the corner from Logan Dunbar.
On the ensuing trip, Rowan picked up his third foul and was forced to the bench.
With Rowan out, the Mustangs’ offense slowed to a crawl while Spencer’s came alive.
“That was frustrating because he gets beat to death inside and then gets called for a couple of touch fouls,” Henley said. “You have to adjust to the refs though and we didn’t do that.”
With Rowan out, the Bears closed the gap quicly with a 12-0 scoring run.
Following Dunbar’s jumper, Brice Mills hit from the corner and Dunbar added two free throws that cut the lead to 41-35.
Miller followed that with a fade away jumper in the lane, then hit four straight free throws to tie the game at 41 with 43.7 seconds left in the third quarter igniting the huge Spencer crowd.
Rowan put the Mustangs ahead 43-41 just before the period ended with a jumper from the corner.
Spencer took the lead to open the fourth quarter when Brennan Smith hit a three-pointer from the left side. Rowan hit two free throws for a 45-44 lead with 5:48 left, but that was the last NOHS lead as the Bears got consecutive baskets Ross Goodwin to take a 48-45 lead they would never relinquish.
From there, Spencer hit 10 fo 12 fromthe line in the last two minutes to ice the win and advance to the first regional finals in school history.
The Bears’ win also prevented a first ever all Oldham County final as Oldham County High School had defeated Henry County in the first game of the evening.
SPENCER COUNTY - 5 18 18 19 60 - Brennan Smith 3, Ross Goodwin 9, Brandon Miller 28, Logan Dunbar 7, Chris Dunbar 4, Brice Mills 9; 60.
NOHS - 15 19 9 9 52 - Jacob Clark 5, Nathan Yates 4, David Levitch 9, Kyle Kozak 2, Max Steinfeld 9, Brad Menke 3; Devon Rowan 20; 52.
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