HENDERSON – The Hardin County boys’ basketball team lost a rare game at home in December.
But in January, the Tigers got revenge for that loss with a 58-57 win over Chester County on the road on Monday.
Hardin County (11-7) is still playing without senior post Will Shelton, who is out with a foot injury. He is expected to return this week.
“The last time we played was the day we found out Will Shelton was out,” Hardin County coach Rory Carpenter said. “The kids were lost in that game because we had not worked without him.
“The kids have responded well since then, and we have changed a few things. We are getting a little better each game.”
Antonio Davis led the Tigers with 16 points, while Nathan Caldwell added 15 points.
Chester County (6-12) was pesky throughout the game, not allowing the Tigers to build much of a lead.
The Eagles couldn’t ever take the lead though.
The difference in the first half came on two six-point runs by Hardin County.
DeAngelo Anderson (10 points), Davis and Ryan Guyer scored the first six points in the second quarter for a 21-14 lead.
“They gave me a lot of room around the basket to score in the second quarter,” Davis said.
Anderson, Caldwell and Buck Bond followed with six straight points in the middle of the quarter for a 35-24 lead.
“They weren’t giving us much in the second quarter,” Carpenter said. “We attacked the press well, and the kids did a good job executing.”
A 3-pointer by Chester County’s Collin McPherson at the halftime buzzer cut the Tigers’ lead back to single digits (37-29).
The lead hovered there until late. With Hardin County holding a 58-51 lead with under 1:30 remaining, Chester County went to the line on two consecutive trips down with Tyler Stablein and McPherson hitting all four free throws to cut Hardin County’s lead to 58-55.
Stablein and Tyee Watkins scored 12 points each to lead Chester County.
The Eagles got a defensive stop on the other end of floor and a jumper by Brendan Clayton with 46.5 seconds remaining cut the lead to 58-57.
“I told the kids at halftime that this team [Chester County] was going to play us wire to wire,” Carpenter said. “We had trouble at the end of the game, but we made a good defensive stop.”
Hardin County couldn’t get on the scoreboard, but the Tigers did play good enough defense on two straight plays to close out the game.
“We just had to step up our defense to win the game,” Davis said. “We played better defense tonight than when we first beat them.”
Chester Co. 38,
Hardin Co. 21
The Eaglettes (6-13) used a strong defensive effort in the first three quarters to knock off Hardin County.
Chester County scored 11 points in the first half and didn’t score in the third quarter.
Paige Pipkin led the Eaglettes with 16 points, while Tatum Russell added 10.
Hardin County (4-14) was led by Geneva Shannon with five points.
Michael Odom, 425-9754