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The holiday fare for the three local boys’ high school teams got a bit tougher as the trio completed the Christmas break schedule with varying degrees of success.
South OldhamThe young Dragons posted the most wins and may have come the farthest of the local teams by reaching the finals of the Henry County Invitational and winning the consolation bracket of the Lloyd Memorial Invitational.“I thought the break went pretty well going 5-2 overall,” SOHS coach Steve Simpson said. “We were a little inconsistent, but we played hard in every game with the exception of the Beechwood loss.”The Dragons beat Lloyd 73-55 Sunday to win the consolation bracket of the 16-team tourney behind a breakout performance from sophomore guard Casey Jackson.Jackson led the Dragons with 26 points and was the key to the SOHS win in the final four minutes of the third period when he scored 13 straight points including three straight three-pointers. Jackson had 19 points in the quarter.“He was hot to say the least,” Simpson said. “We really liked the way the kids started looking for him too without us having to say anything. We were up by six or eight points at the time, but Casey really put them away with run.”The Dragons opened the tourney with a loss to Beechwood in one of their poorest shooting games of the year where they hit just two of 22 threes. They followed that with a 74-48 win over Monroe County, then beat regional opponent Owen County 58-47.At Henry County, SOHS beat Lexington Sayre, followed that with a 67-56 win over Spencer County and fell to Shelby County 78-57 in the finals.“Sayre is a solid team and Spencer is a good team that has played a pretty brutal schedule so that was a good win for us,” Simpson said. “Against Shelby, I thought we competed for most of the game they just wore us down a bit.”
Oldham CountyThe Colonels competed in the Henry County tourney and the always tough King of Bluegrass at Fairdale, going 3-2 overall.“It was not bad, but it could have been better,” OCHS coach Gary Forrest said. “We lost some games we could have won so hopefully we learned our lesson and won’t make the same mistakes.”At the KOB the Colonels fell to No. 23 Rose Hill Christian and to regional foe Anderson County.Rose Hill, with two UK recruits in 6-foot-8 Dakota Euton and 6-foot-5 Chad Jackson, held a slight lead over the Colonels through much of the game before senior Matt Moore and junior Grant Ruble led a ferocious comeback to force overtime before OCHS fell 54-51.The Colonels trailed 38-34 with 1:51 left when Ruble, who scored 13 points, hit a three off the right wing to cut the lead to one. Jackson put Rose Hill up 40-37 with a drive along the baseline before Moore hit a pull-up 15-footer and completed the three-point play with a free throw to tie the game at 40 with 1:14 left.Moore almost won the game in regulation when he stole an entry pass as Rose Hill was holding for the last shot and had a running eight-footer rim out at the buzzer.In the overtime, Rose Hill was able to close the Colonels out from the foul line by hitting 12 of 15 free throws.The Colonels fell to Anderson County 65-53 the next night having to play the second half without starting point guard Eric Dunlap who was forced to the bench after trying to fight off a stomach virus.Senior Billie Payne led the Colonels with 22 points and 12 rebounds.“You’re never happy with a loss, but we felt like we made some big strides from the first game there against a much better team,” Forrest said. “Without Eric we were handicapped, but we really played with great passion which is always a positive.”At Henry County the Colonels won third with a 51-40 win over Spencer County. That win came after a last minute 38-37 loss to Shelby County.Moore tied the game in the final seconds when he rebounded a Shelby miss and drove the length of the floor to hit a layup.Shelby through a length of the court inbounds pass that was deflected to Coty Minnis who was fouled on his shot attempt.Minnis, who was zero for four from the line at that point, hit the free throw with no time left to give the Rockets the win.
North OldhamThe Mustangs went 2-1 in the KSA Holiday Bash in Florida before returning home to go 0-2 in the Fifth/Third Classic in Lexington featuring some of the state’s top teams.In Florida, the Mustangs beat Aradia of Louisianna 73-49 and won internationally with a 84-57 win over Sunland of the Bahamas. They lost to LaQuinta of California 56-54 after being outscored 26-12 in the final quarter.Senior forward Mike Rowan scored in double figures in each game and guard Nate Goodson had 17 in the win over Sunland. Sophomore guard Alex Foley also had 17 in the Sunland win.At the Fifth/Third, the Mustangs fell to 16th Region power Elliott County 96-70 in the opener.Elliott, who average 96 points a game, scored 23 straight points in the second half to break the game open.NOHS followed that with a 58-56 overtime loss to Shaler of Pennsylvania.Sam Haley had three three-pointers in the game for the Mustangs.
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