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BUCKNER – Both Oldham County teams came out victorious against district foe Trimble County Friday, but they did so in far different fashions.
The Lady Colonels clawed back from a 36-15 halftime deficit before Ashley McMurtrey hit the game-winning free throw in a 57-56 OC win in the girls’ game.
Meanwhile the boys had a less stressful evening, taking care of Trimble 70-30. Both teams are 1-0 now in District 29 play.
Ashley McMurtrey knows a team couldn’t play a worse half of basketball than what OC (1-2) played in the first half against Trimble (2-2).
“We couldn’t make a shot, we couldn’t guard anybody,” the senior guard said. “It was just really, really bad.”
The Lady Colonels shot just 5-for-33 in the first half. That included 15 missed shots within two feet of the basket, coach Jace Bryant said.
Trailing by 21 at the half, Bryant’s halftime message was for his OC team to chip at that deficit one possession at a time.
“I told them we’re not going to make this up in one quarter,” Bryant said. “Our goal was to cut it to around 10 going into the fourth…
“When we were down 11 going into the fourth we knew we had a shot. We made the plays we needed to make.”
The Lady Colonels reduced the deficit to 44-33 going into the final quarter. They kept chipping away as the Lady Raiders seemed to tighten up.
Finally Kasey Wernert hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 48, marking the game’s first tie since an 11-11 score in the first quarter.
“You could tell they stopped talking, they stopped getting excited and everything,” McMurtrey said of Trimble. “They still played hard but you could tell they got a little nervous.”
After the teams tied the game at 50, McMurtrey scored four straight to give OC a 54-50 lead. But Trimble hung around. Eventually the score was knotted at 56 with 8.7 seconds left.
The Lady Colonels, inbounding under their own basket, got the ball in the hands of McMurtrey. The senior weaved her way up the court until a Lady Raider fouled her with 1.8 to play.
McMurtrey calmly went to the line and made the first free throw to five OC a 57-56 lead. She missed the second foul shot intentionally, and Trimble’s last-second heave was well short.
“The way the officials were refereeing the last three minutes, we told her to just put her head down and go,” Bryant said. “And they actually got a foul at half-court. That’s exactly what we wanted. I’m glad it worked out that way.”
McMurtrey led the Lady Colonels with 25 points. Wernert and Jayla Davis added 13 and 11, respectively.
Paige Black scored a game-high 26 for the Lady Raiders.
OC will host Presentation at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Coy Zerhusen’s OC squad had three tense come-from-behind wins to start the season. Friday no comebacks were needed.
OC (4-0) forced a running clock in the third quarter on its way to its first stress-free win of the year.
Eleven Colonels scored, including a few who typically don’t see much varsity playing time. Young players like Clayton Wirth, Brennan Byrd and Isiah Kelly all scored.
“That’s when games are fun, when you can say everybody on the team gets to enjoy it, everybody gets that chance,” Zerhusen said. “For a lot of them it was their first varsity minutes so I think they were a little nervous but they came out and played hard.”
Austin Wills scored a team-high 18. Sophomore forward Jacob Bates and senior guard Jordan Gates added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Bates also made a big mark on the game defensively, swatting three shots in the second quarter.
“You forget he’s still a sophomore, and a young sophomore at that,” Zerhusen said. “He’s come in and every time he gets out there he’s going to give you a little better and a little better.
“He showed that tonight. He’s a smart ballplayer and he’s one that he’s going to be helping us big time by the end of the year.”
OC’s well-rounded box score was a reflection of its depth, Bates said.
“It shows that we’re really deep and we don’t really drop off in talent,” he said.
Michael Dunaway scored a team-high 12 for Trimble (0-4).
The Colonels play Saturday against Pikeville at the Pikeville Expo Center.
Trimble County – 17, 19, 8, 12 – 56
Oldham County – 11, 4, 18, 24 – 57
Trimble County – P. Black 26, S. Black 8, Dunlap 8, Goaterman 7, Clifford 5, Consley 2
Oldham County – McMurtrey 25, Wernert 13, Davis 11, Stewart 4, Kirk 4
Trimble County – 4, 14, 8, 4 – 30
Oldham County – 25, 14, 25, 6 – 70
Trimble County – Dunaway 12, Young 8, Long 5, Blanton 3, Rexrort 2
Oldham County – Wills 18, Bates 11, Gates 10, Hicks 7, Hawes 5, Perkins 4, Taylor 4, Wirth 4, McLarty 3, Byrd 2, Kelly 2