Sitting alone in the locker room after his team’s biggest victory of the season, Central High School boys basketball coach Doug Bibby had tears in his eyes – proud of his team and proud his father, Fred, was on hand to see it.
“I don’t know how many years my dad has left,” Doug Bibby said. “So for him to come out and my players to play for me like that, that’s what is significant to me.”
Devin Firman scored 27 points and Dominique Knight added 11 points and nine rebounds as the Yellowjackets knocked off Doss 59-53 on Wednesday in the second round of the Republic Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament at Valley.
Bibby said the LIT always is special for him, as it’s one of two times a year he sees his father, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, and will celebrate his 74th birthday on Thursday.
“Every game is special to me, but it’s really special when I can look up in the stands and see my dad,” Bibby said. “That’s my motivation this week. I love my guys, but I only get two times a year to show my dad how much I love him.”
Central (9-6) ran its winning streak to four and advanced to face Valley in Friday’s 8:45 p.m. quarterfinal.
The Yellowjackets upset Doss (12-6) behind a pair of zone defenses – 2-3 and triangle-and-two – that were designed to force the Dragons to shoot from the outside.
It worked, as Doss hit just 4 of 24 3-point attempts. Stephon Franklin led the Dragons with 19 points.
“They kind of threw us off slowing the game down,” said Jaylon Hall, Doss’ top scorer who was limited to 11 points on 3-for-12 shooting. “We had zone plays … but they kind of caught us by surprise. We didn’t fight hard enough. We shot way too many jump shots.”
Central took the lead for good, 41-39, on Knight’s layup with 7:17 left in the game and led 49-42 after a Firman free throw with 2:21 remaining. Meanwhile, Doss didn’t make its first field goal of the fourth quarter until the 2:06 mark, a putback by Hall.
Franklin’s 3-pointer pulled Doss within 51-48 with 1:42 left, but that’s as close as it would get.
“I’m just so proud of them because that’s a real-deal team that we just played,” Bibby said. “They are tough to guard. It’s one of those teams you say, ‘We have to give up something because they’re that good.’ Hopefully what we give up they don’t capitalize on.”
Firman said the Yellowjackets will carry momentum into Friday’s quarterfinal after knocking off Doss, which has won two straight Sixth Region titles.
“This is what we’ve been trying to do all season, but we’re finally getting it together,” Firman said. “Everybody thought we were going to lose. We proved everybody wrong.”
* Trinity 72, St. Xavier 57: Jay Scrubb posted 15 points and six rebounds and led four players in double-figures as the No. 3 Shamrocks (16-1) beat the Tigers (10-6) for the second time in six days.
Scrubb had a game-high 25 points when Trinity beat St. X 61-50 on Friday at Broadbent Arena.
“I thought we were much more aggressive tonight, both offensively and defensively,” Trinity coach Mike Szabo said.
Jacob King (12 points), Lukas Burkman (11 points) and David Burton (10 points, six rebounds) also had big nights as Trinity advanced to face Waggener in Friday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal. The Shamrocks shot 57.8 percent (26 of 45) and won the rebounding battle 26-18.
Down 45-31, St. X put together a 10-0 run to pull within 45-41 on Evan Walker’s basket with 1:23 left in the third quarter. But the Shamrocks scored the final five points of the quarter, including a 3-pointer by Brendan King, and cruised the rest of the way.
Pierce Kiesler hit 5 of 11 3-point tries and scored 26 points to lead the Tigers, who shot 50 percent (20 of 40) but committed 15 turnovers to Trinity’s eight.
* Fern Creek 75, Fairdale 57: Chance Moore scored 30 points and Anthony Wales added 20 as the Tigers (15-2) – No. 6 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – rebounded from Saturday’s 78-58 loss to Hopkinsville and beat the Bulldogs (7-9).
Down 23-20 after Glenn Queen’s 3-point play with 3:25 left in the second quarter, Fern Creek closed with a 16-7 run for a 36-30 halftime lead and then took control in the third quarter.
“Just picking up the tempo,” Tigers coach James Schooler said of the key to the run. “I just think we were playing too slow and too methodical. We just needed to pick it up. Plus, you’re dealing with 17- and 18-year-old kids.”
Fern Creek shot 51.8 percent (29 of 56) and advanced to face Eastern (10-6) in Friday’s 4 p.m. quarterfinal. Schooler said junior guard Ahmad Price (13.2 ppg) will play Friday after missing Wednesday’s game because of a “coach’s decision.”
Queen finished with 24 points and four assists to lead Fairdale.
* Ballard 69, Christian Academy 61: Dorian Tisby had 12 points and three blocks and Tyron Duncan added 11 points to lead the No. 2 Bruins (11-3) over the Centurions (14-4).
Ballard had defeated CAL 88-47 on Dec. 9, and Bruins coach Chris Renner credited the Centurions’ effort in the rematch. He also lamented his team’s 21 turnovers and 62.5 percent mark (20 of 32) from the free-throw line.
“We looked like we could play in spurts … and we struggled in spurts,” Renner said. “Bottom line, we had a horrible practice (Tuesday) and it showed.”
Clivonte Patterson had seven points and four rebounds but missed the second half with a sprained ankle. Renner said Patterson is questionable to play in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. quarterfinal against Bullitt East.
Ballard never trailed Wednesday and led by as many as 18 points, 31-13, in the second quarter. K.C. Purvis’ basket with 1:49 left in the third quarter pulled the Centurions within 42-37, but that’s as close as they would get.
Parker Jones led CAL with 26 points, eight rebounds, six steals and four assists.
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
CENTRAL 59, DOSS 53
CENTRAL (9-6) – Korey Johnson 8p, 6r; Devin Firman 27p; Derron Douglas 4p, 6r; Andy Crittenden 4p; Dominique Knight 11p, 9r; Antwan Thompson 3p; Josh Black 2p.
DOSS (12-6) – Cam Maddox 11p; Stephon Franklin 19p; Joseph Roberson 1p; Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff 3p, 6r; Jaylon Hall 11p, 7r; Terez Traynor 6p, 12r; DaRon Washington 2p.
TRINITY 72, ST. XAVIER 57
ST. XAVIER (10-6) – James Taylor 10p, 8a; Chase Westenhofer 2p; Paul Oberst 2p; Jack Koch 3p; Matthew Smith 1p; Sam Boarman 8p, 6r; Evan Walker 5p; Pierce Kiesler 26p.
TRINITY (16-1) – Jacob King 12p; David Burton 10p, 6r; David Johnson 8p; L.J. Harris 5p; Walter Johnson 1p; Justin Powell 7p; Brendan King 3p, 3s; Jay Scrubb 15p, 6r; Lukas Burkman 11p, 3s.
FERN CREEK 75, FAIRDALE 57
FAIRDALE (7-9) – Glenn Queen 24p, 4a; Jax Gaddie 10p; Markelo Sullivan 4p, 7r; Ike Roby 5p; Seth Dewboys 6p; Stephen Moore 1p; Jacobi Dixon 1p; Craig Ashe 6p.
FERN CREEK (15-2) – A.J. Thomas 4p, 3a; Anthony Wales 20p, 3a; Daiquan Jones 4p, 3b; Clint Wickliffe 4p; Darian Childress 4p; Chance Moore 30p; Tony Rogers 7p, 7r; Tone Wales 2p.
BALLARD 69, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 61
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (14-4) – Milton Wright 5p; K.C. Purvis 8p; Matthew Duvall 2p; Parker Jones 26p, 8r, 6s, 4a; Wyatt Allison 11p; Austin Carr 2p; Michael Woodward 7p.
BALLARD (11-3) – Kereion Douglas 5p; Marshon Ford 7p, 5r, 3s; Tyron Duncan 11p; Dorian Tisby 12p, 3b; Antoine Darby 3p; Delonta Wimberly 7p, 8r; Jamil Wilson 9p, 3a; Clivonte Patterson 7p; Orlando Higginbottom 8p.