Richard Gatewood’s “Louisville mentality” is serving him well as the boys’ basketball coach at Taylor County High School.
The Cardinals showcased their high-tempo offense and got another strong performance from junior guard Quentin Goodin in a 94-83 victory over Doss in Monday’s Forcht Bank King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic semifinal at Fairdale.
Gatewood, in his second season as Taylor County’s coach, is a 2003 Western High graduate who was an assistant at Western, Butler and Jeffersontown before serving as head coach at Moore during the 2012-13 season.
He promised to bring an exciting brand of basketball to Taylor County when hired before last season.
“We don’t play like a Fifth Region team,” he said. “We play like a Jefferson County team. There’s excitement around the community, and they love basketball down there. We’re just blessed enough to be in the championship.”
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With University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino watching, Goodin posted 32 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as Taylor County — ranked No. 17 in The Courier-Journal’s preseason poll of coaches — improved to 10-0.
David Sloan added 23 points for the Cardinals, who will face the Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian-Washington, D.C. St. John’s winner in Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game.
“Before the tournament, Coach Gatewood said, ‘Let’s go prove a point,’” Goodin said. “We just had to represent the Fifth Region and represent ourselves.”
Dujuanta Weaver scored 31 points and Terrell Gray added 19 for No. 10 Doss (5-1). Coach Tony Williams said Goodin was the difference in the game.
“He’s a special kid,” Williams said. “I hated that he had to have his coming-out party against us, but he’s tough to defend. He’s very strong, athletic and smart. What do you do?”
Weaver’s basket gave Doss a 48-46 lead early in the third quarter, but Taylor County dominated the rest of the way. Devin Rafferty scored nine of his 11 points during a 23-7 run that gave the Cardinals a 69-55 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Gatewood said the fast pace wore down Doss in the second half.
“I told our guys, ‘Toward the end of the game, their legs are going to go a little bit and they’re not going to make the shots they were making earlier,’” Gatewood said.
With the outcome decided, Goodin provided the only drama of the fourth-quarter with a dunk over two Doss defenders. Goodin landed about 10 feet in front of Pitino and then flexed his biceps toward the crowd.
“That has to be the best dunk I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “I just wanted to go up strong and prove a point that we’re to play.”
Gatewood said the dunk was just one example of the new mind-set surrounding Taylor County basketball.
“We’re building a mentality where we’re not going to lay down,” he said. “You’re going to get punched in the mouth. You’re either going to take it, or we’re going to continue ride.”
Doss (5-1) – Weaver 31, Brown 4, McCarley 4, Hall 12, Wharton 2, Anderson 2, Gray 19, Collins 9.
Taylor County (10-0) – Morgeson 9, Goodin 32, Sloan 23, Berry 7, Webster 5, Oliver 7, Rafferty 11.
3-point goals – Weaver 3, Brown, McCarley, Hall 3, Gray 3; Morgeson, Goodin, Sloan 3, Berry.