The Fern Creek High School boys basketball team picked up its 13th straight victory Tuesday night and did so in typical blitzing fashion.
The Tigers jumped to a 15-2 lead and showcased the “downhill” style their coaches preach on their way to a 67-52 victory over visiting Pleasure Ridge Park.
Fern Creek’s first seven baskets included six layups and a dunk as the Tigers repeatedly attacked the rim.
“Our philosophy is that everybody can play like a guard on our team,” senior Chance Moore said. “Even the coaches say that nobody in the state can stay in front of us. We’re a team full of athletes. We have three or four shooters … but when we get to the basket it’s a bucket almost every time.
“Sometimes it gets sloppy, but most of the time we’re efficient.”
Fern Creek (27-2) – No. 4 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – was efficient enough Tuesday to remain perfect this season (10-0) against Sixth Region competition. The Tigers have won those 10 games by an average margin of 24.2 points.
“They pass the look test,” PRP coach Dale Mabrey said. “If they’re on, it’s going to take a very special night to beat them.”
Four Tigers scored in double-figures, with Tony Rogers leading the way with 16 points. Moore (14 points), Anthony Wales (12 points) and Ahmad Price (11 points) also had strong showings.
Junior Trey Hill, playing against his former Fern Creek teammates for the first time since transferring, led PRP (14-10) with 11 points. B.J. Robinson added 10 points.
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The Tigers took control from the tip, getting a layup from Price, a dunk from Moore and five straight points from Rogers for a 9-0 lead that forced a Panthers timeout 86 seconds into the game.
Two more layups by Price and one by Clint Wickliffe pushed the lead to 15-2 with 3:05 left in the quarter. Meanwhile, PRP’s only basket was a Robinson putback at the 4:05 mark.
“Every game we come out and smack them in the mouth, and they don’t come back,” Moore said of the Tigers’ current winning streak. “We’re just up and down and run and gun and beating teams by 20. It’s fun to watch.”
Robinson’s 3-point play pulled the Panthers within 23-17 at the 6:21 mark of the second quarter, but a 14-3 Fern Creek run made it 37-20 with 2:48 left.
PRP never got closer than 13 points in the second half, but Mabrey was pleased with his team’s effort over the final two quarters.
“They’re really, really good, but I thought once we settled down that we competed pretty well,” Mabrey said. “They just took the air out of our sails right off the bat, and you find yourself battling. But down the stretch I thought we solved some things they had shut off.”
Fern Creek will close its regular season Friday when it hosts Moore. Then it’s off to chase the program’s first-ever Sixth Region title.
Coach James Schooler said there’s still work to be done before the postseason begins.
“There are certain positions we’d like to be a little bit more aggressive doing some things,” he said. “But we are playing very well. I do like our chemistry right now.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
FERN CREEK 67, PLEASURE RIDGE PARK 52
PRP (14-10) – Malik Bunzy 3p; Cyncer Wilson 2p; Gerald Gray 9p; Trey Hill 11p; Cashawn Beasley 7p; Darius Osborne 4p; B.J. Robinson 10p; Micah Kennebrew 6p.
FERN CREEK (27-2) – A.J. Thomas 2p; Chance Moore 14p; Tony Rogers 16p; DaiQuan Jones 2p; Ahmad Price 11p; Clint Wickliffe 7p; T.J. Owes 3p; Anthony Wales 12p.