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For the first 16 minutes of Friday night’s heavyweight showdown between rivals Oldham County and South Oldham, defense was at a premium. Though both squad’s entered the game averaging more than 65 points a contest, neither found their rhythm early on, grinding out to a 22-14 Oldham County lead at halftime.
That all changed after the break as the Dragons roared to life early in the third quarter and never let up, outscoring the Colonels 35-22 down the stretch to claim a gutsy 49-44 win and improve to 2-0 in 29th district play.
No player had a bigger hand in that than backup point guard Jonathan Blair, who provided a much needed boost to the stagnant South Oldham offense.
After subbing in for Mitch Catinna near the end of the third quarter, Blair made his presence felt almost immediately.
With OC clinging to a slim 31-29 lead, Blair returned momentum to South, nailing an important 3-pointer then knocking the ball loose in the open court for a steal and layup.
While things seemed to take off for South Oldham from there, the opposite was true for the Colonels as poor shooting (4-16 in the second half and 1-10 in the fourth quarter) and defensive lapses doomed OC down the stretch.
Oldham County guard Jacob Kopp had an especially rough night from the field, connecting on just 2 of 13 shots from the field despite scoring 13 points.
Garrett Masters, who dominated the post during the game’s first 16 minutes, was largely absent in the second half as well, failing to record a point.
He finished the game with 8 points.
Oldham County returns to the court 7:30 p.m. Friday as they host North Oldham in their final regular season district game, while South Oldham will travel to Simon Kenton at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Dragons defeated North 80-75 in overtime on Dec. 28 in the finale of the Henry County Invitational Tournament.
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