OC opens region at Henry

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By Brad Stephens

Oldham County’s reward for an impressive District 29 championship run is a road game to open the Region 8 tournament.

The Colonels will meet tournament host Henry County at 8 p.m. Friday in the last game of the region tournament’s first round.

Meeting Henry on the road shouldn’t faze OC (22-6), coach Coy Zerhusen said. The Colonels are 5-3 on the road this season, including a 66-48 win at North Oldham Feb. 27 in the first round of the district tournament.

“That’s always tough,” OC coach Coy Zerhusen said. “…It’s their home floor. They’re going to have a big crowd. We’re just going to have to weather that storm. It’ll be a lot like playing North at North.”

The Colonels followed up their win over the Mustangs with a 74-67 victory Friday against South Oldham in the District 29 title game. Point guard Hayden Hawes scored 18 points against North and 27 points against South to be named tournament MVP.

Guards Connor Hicks and Jordan Gates and forward Austin Perkins also had strong tournaments, and were awarded all-district tournament honors.

The Colonels are one of the favorites to win the region title and get back to the Boys Sweet 16, which would mark their third Rupp Arena trip in the last four years.

“Anytime you’ve got good guards, which we do, and you’ve got a good post presence, which we do… you have that threat,” Zerhusen said. “We have so many options and we feed so much off our defense that it’s hard to focus on one or two of our guys and take them away.”

They’ll meet a Henry team that lost the District 31 championship 58-56 to Owen County Friday. The Wildcats (20-10) were scheduled to host OC during the regular season, but that game was canceled due to winter weather.

Henry features forwards James Wundrak and Austin Young and guards Landon New and Brad West.

The winner will face the winner of Friday’s Shelby County vs. Simon Kenton matchup at 8 p.m. Monday in the second Region 8 semifinal.

“It’ll be a good matchup for the second round as long as we take care of business, but we’re looking at that first game,” Zerhusen said. “We’re not looking ahead past Henry.”