South Oldham, Collins advance in Eighth Region boys' basketball



Defending Eighth Region boys’ basketball champion South Oldham had to figure out a way to offset Carson Williams’ 37-point performance for Owen County in Thursday night’s quarterfinal, and it did.

The Dragons hit 14 three-point shots, including seven by Drew Bullock, in an 84-77 victory over the Rebels at Henry County High School. South Oldham (20-4) earned a berth against Collins (25-4) in Monday’s first semifinal at 6:30 p.m.

Collins, with Ralphael Stone scoring 20 points and Brent Kidwell 15, overcame a slow start to knock out Grant County 65-57 in overtime.

“We played Collins in our third game of the season and lost to them 60-42,” South Oldham coach Steven Simpson said. “We were 5 for 30 on threes that night. We shot it terribly.”

Simpson liked how his team responded against Owen County. The Dragons hit seven 3-pointers in the second half, with Bullock — who scored 25 points — making three early in the fourth quarter when the game was up for grabs.

“I don’t know what percentage of threes we hit, but we have been averaging eight or nine a game,” Simpson said. “Owen County did a great job of running at our 3-point shooters in the first half, but we came alive in the fourth quarter.”

Williams, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, made 15 shots — all 2-pointers — and 7 of 11 free throws to far surpass his 23.8-point average. He had 20 points in the first half.

“He’s a nice player and a great kid,” Simpson said. “He can put the ball on the floor and score, and he’s a good post player. He’s tough to stop.”

South Oldham’s Drew Greenwood tied it at 59 with the first basket of the fourth quarter. Bullock later hit consecutive threes for a 65-62 lead, Greenwood drilled one to make it 68-64 and Bullock’s last 3-pointer made it 73-68.

Kyle Young, who scored 18 points, hit two free throws to give the Dragons a 75-71 cushion. Owen County closed within 77-75 and fouled Jonathan Blair. He missed his free throw but grabbed the rebound and scored with 44.98 seconds left. He added two more free throws for an 81-75 margin with 0:25.5 to go.

“We start five guards and they all have the green light to shoot,” Simpson said. “Bullock is an outstanding shooter, and he feels comfortable doing that. Our guys don’t worry, they just shoot it.”

Aaron Hicks hit a three-pointer to tie the game 51-51 with 9.4 seconds left and force overtime, but in the extra period it was all Collins. Stone scored eight of the Titans’ 14 points, including the first five for a 56=51 lead.* Collins 65, Grant County 57:

Grant County’s Jordan Saylor hit two free throws to cut Collins’ lead to 56-53, but the Titans countered on two foul shots by Kidwell and a basket by Lawson Page. That made it 60-53.

For the game, Stone hit 10 of 14 free throws and Collins made 20 of 32.

“Stone’s been big for us at the foul line all season,” Collins coach Chris Gaither said. “He’s a 75 percent shooter there. He’s the guy we want at the foul line.”

Collins trailed early 14-4, 24-15 and 26-17 before getting within 28-26 of Grant County by halftime.

“Grant County scored 16 points in the first three minutes of the game,” Gaither said. “They are a good ball club and they shoot the ball well. They got a lot of points on offensive rebounds in the second half. In overtime, we buckled down. We blocked out and rebounded better.”

Kidwell, a junior point guard, made a basket that gave the Titans a 51-48 lead with 0:19.2 left in regulation. Hicks then nailed his three. Kidwell tried a driving layup down the lane after that, but his shot was off target.

Grant County (15-14) hit eight threes, including four by Logan Cummins, who had 14 points.

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