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LEXINGTON — South Oldham's magical season came to a close Wednesday night as the Dragons never really found a rhythm in the opening round of the PNC/KHSAA Sweet 16 state tournament, falling 74-52 to Hopkinsville.
Despite playing, and succeeding, against bigger teams all year, South Oldham was never able to find an answer for the athleticism of Tigers' duo Jaqualis Matlock and Jordan Majors, who scored a combined 23 points in the opening 16 minutes to key a 37-15 Hopkinsville run. Matlocked finished the first half with a double-double, matching 12 points with 12 rebounds.
That athleticism played into Hopkinsville's offensive game as well as the Tigers were able to shoot over Dragons' defenders, connecting on a sizzling 62.5 percent of their shots in the first half. South, on the other hand, struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 19.4 percent, including a 1-14 from behind the arc.
It proved to be the difference as a South Oldham team that entered the tournament shooting nearly 40 percent from range, was never able to stop the bleeding. The Dragons did show some pluck late, keying a 9-0 run on the backs of several juniors who will figure heavily into next year's team, including two 3-pointers from Michael Griffin and an And 1 from Drew Greenwood.
That prompted a show support from the South Oldham student section, who showered the Dragons with chants of “We love South,” as the game winded down.
Matthew Hasyley led South Oldham in scoring with 14 points, adding 5 rebounds as well, while Shae Goodlett added another 7 points.
Majors and Matlock finished with 20 and 18 points, respectively, to lead Hopkinsville. Matlock also added 17 rebounds.
South Oldham finished the season with a 24-8 record, recording several program firsts along the way, including the first regional championship in the school's 24 year history.
Check back in the March 14 edition of The Oldham Era for full coverage of the game, including quotes and additional pictures.