LEXINGTON, Ky. – The top scorer in the state tournament put on a show and helped the Scott High School boys basketball team – don’t call them “Scott County” – make history.
Senior Jake Ohmer scored 41 points and added 17 rebounds and four steals as Scott defeated Harlan County 77-65 on Wednesday in the first round of the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.
Ohmer, a 6-foot guard who has committed to University of the Cumberlands, entered the tournament averaging 27.1 points per game.
“I’ve watched Jake Ohmer score 40 points a game since he was in sixth grade, so I’m kind of numb to it,” Scott coach Steve Fromeyer said. “I expect that, yeah. It doesn’t surprise me.”
Ohmer became the 21st player in Sweet 16 history to reach at least 41 points in a game. The last to do it was Elizabethtown’s Antwain Barbour, who posted 42 against Russellville in 2000.
“To me it was just another game,” Ohmer said. “I’m not being cocky or anything, but I was just glad because everyone in our city wanted to come here. I’m happy everybody got to come and experience what we all wanted to experience since I was a freshman.”
Scott (22-12) earned its first-ever Sweet 16 victory and advanced to face Perry County Central (28-7) in Friday’s 1:30 p.m. quarterfinal.
Fromeyer said Scott occasionally is confused with Scott County, which played later Wednesday night and is the No. 1 team in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings.
“In some tournaments some people call us ‘Scott County,’” said senior Vincent Dumlao, who scored 11 points. “We just want to put our city on the map – Taylor Mill, Covington Scott.”
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Cameron Carmical scored 25 points to lead Harlan County (31-4), which shot just 37.9 percent (22 of 58).
“I can’t pinpoint why we chose to shoot as bad as we’ve shot all season down here at Rupp Arena,” Black Bears coach Michael Jones said. “But I’m proud of their effort and the way they battle back.”
Ohmer scored 18 points in the first half as the Eagles built a 36-19 lead, but Harlan County battled back in the second. Gabe Price twice pulled the Black Bears within eight points, the second time coming on a jumper that made it 63-55 with 4:43 left.
But that’s as close as it would get, as Scott sank 16 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Scott County 83, Pulaski County 54: Cooper Robb posted 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals and Michael Moreno added 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Cardinals (31-5) – No. 1 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – whipped the Maroons (27-8).
Up 26-23 at halftime, Scott County shot 65.7 percent (23 for 35) in the second half and outscored Pulaski County 57-31 to pull away.
“That first half was a tough one,” Cardinals coach Billy Hicks said. “We just had a really tough time offensively, and Pulaski collapsed in there and shut us down inside. But somebody steps up. Cooper Robb hit some big shots for us, and the second half we finally got our offense going.”
Scott County advanced to face No. 4 Bowling Green (33-2) in a highly anticipated quarterfinal set for noon Friday.
“They’re a nightmare for any defensive team, and we hang our hat on defense,” Hicks said. “They have a lot of weapons and a lot of length. … We’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Steven Fitzgerald scored 19 points to lead Pulaski County, which was playing in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1992.
Scott County scored 28 points off Pulaski County’s 18 turnovers.
“In the second half they did a good job of taking us out of our offense,” Maroons coach John Fraley said. “They got out running a little bit and made it a full-court game, and it got where it got. … They did what they did in the third quarter to a lot of people this year.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
SCOTT 77, HARLAN COUNTY 65
HARLAN COUNTY (31-4) – Cameron Carmical 25p, 6r, 3a; Andrew Creech 6p; Treyce Spurlock 2p; Tyrese Simmons 14p, 9r; David Turner 6p; Gabe Price 12p.
SCOTT (22-12) – Chad Ohmer 8p; Jake Ohmer 41p, 17r, 4s; Tim Jolley 8p; Nelson Perrin 5p, 5a; Jaycob Pouncy 4p; Vincent Dumlao 11p.
SCOTT COUNTY 83, PULASKI COUNTY 54
PULASKI COUNTY (27-8) – Steven Fitzgerald 19p, 5r; Colton Fraley 6p; Landon Powell 5p; Treyvon Sylvester 5p; Hagan Elmore 8p; Danny Butt 5p, 3a; Garrett Heath 2p; Jacob Combs 4p.
SCOTT COUNTY (31-5) – Bryce Long 14p, 5s, 4a; Cooper Robb 19p, 7r, 6a, 5s Michael Moreno 15p, 11r; Lorenzo Williams 8p; Cooper Watts 13p; K.J. Tucker 3p; Dakoda Allen 3p; Caleb Covington 2p; Glenn Covington 4p; Landon Easley 2p.