Breds roll as Reitz notches 500th win

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By Lee Kendall

Don’t look now, but the Harrison County Thorobreds may be raising a few eyebrows within the 10th Region.

On Tuesday night, the Breds returned to the Hilltop for their second home game of the season and didn’t disappoint the crowd with an 82-59 rout of visiting Augusta.

Balanced scoring, solid outside shooting and improved rebounding by the home team proved to be too much for the Panthers to handle. It was the second time within a two-week period that Harrison County has upended Augusta.

In the Bracken County Holiday Tournament, the Thorobreds spanked the Panthers, 80-51.

On Tuesday night, Harrison County took a few minutes to warm up from the outside, but when it did, Augusta was scorched for three late first-quarter three-pointers to take a 20-10 lead after the first period.

“Augusta was packed inside with a zone defense and was giving us the outside shot. We missed on the first three or four shots, but then made a couple to break the ice,” explained HCHS coach Mike Reitz.

For the game, Harrison County connected on 12 long range shots, a season high. Junior point guard Jared Martin led the way for the Breds with four three-pointers and finished with 14 points.

“Jared is really starting to play well for us,” said Reitz. “He is shooting the ball with confidence and is making good decisions. His defense is always solid.”

Eric Case came off the bench to lead Harrison County with 15, including buzzer-beating three-pointers at the end of both the first and second periods. Malcolm Thomas and Fonz Custard both tallied 12 for the Breds and Ryan Puckett made three treys and ended with 11.

Thomas had another double-double as he led the Breds in rebounding with 16. Custard also doled out several nice assists for the Breds and led in that category with six.

With the win, Harrison County improved to 9-7 on the season, and in the process, supplied Reitz with his 500th career win, quite an accomplishment for the 10th Region coaching legend.

In 15 seasons as the head coach of the Thorobreds, Reitz has a career record of 269-169, tops in school history. He has directed four teams to 10th Region crowns, including three at Harrison County in 1991, 1996 and 1997. He previously was the head coach at Deming, MMI, Pikeville, Maysville, Clark County and Campbell County.

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Last week, Harrison County won its opening game in the Mason County Invitational, besting Deming in the first round, 74-61, then gave host Mason County something of a scare before losing in the semi-finals 63-55.

In the tournament opener, Harrison County got out to a blazing start and led the Black Devils 20-6 in the first quarter, before Deming stormed back to get within 22-20 at the end of the first quarter.

Heading to the fourth quarter, Harrison County led 50-45, but out-pointed Deming 24-16 in the period to win going away.

Custard led the way for the Breds with 20. Martin had 17 and Thomas chipped in with 13.

In the semi-final loss to Mason County, Harrison County was outscored by four points in both the first and third periods for the difference in the game.

Thomas led Harrison County with 18, Reitz had 16 and Case finished with 13.

“I was encouraged in spite of the loss,” said Reitz after the game on Saturday night. “I think the kids realize they aren’t that far away from being able to compete with the best teams in the region. We just have to get better individually over the next few weeks and then gel as a team.”

Harrison County returns to the Hilltop tomorrow night when they host Bracken County. They will also be at home on Tuesday of next week when they entertain Clark County.

The Deming game that was postponed in December due to inclement weather, will not be re-scheduled this year.