The Bourbon County gym was the sight of the 500th game of Mike Reitz’s Harrison County coaching career and it could hardly have been a better night.
The Thorobreds rallied from two straight defeats to hand the home standing Colonels a decisive 81-64 thumping to improve their season record to 10-8 in the Friday night battle.
Wednesday night the third rated powerhouse from George Rogers Clark visited the Hilltop and took a 73-55 victory over the Breds. The tall and talented Cardinals scored the first 13 points and rolled out to a 17-point lead at the end of the first period 23-6.
Two three pointers by sophomore guard Jordan Stubbs was all of the Harrison County scoring in the opening period. The Cardinals stretched the lead to 36 during the third period at 56-20 before the Breds cut into the margin during the end of the third period and the fourth stanza.
Clark County was too deep and talented for the Breds.
The Cardinals’ roster has nine seniors and six juniors, all of who are talented enough to start for most 10th region teams.
The Breds, to their credit, did not give up and after the early going, did not appear intimidated by the visiting juggernaut. They were able to battle back in the second half while the Cardinals were still playing their regular rotation and make the score respectable.
Reitz appreciated the effort. “We didn’t quit and did not back down,” said the veteran mentor. “Clark County is a big, quick, strong, awesome team and we battled them especially in the second half. I am proud of the players.”
Caleb Ford led the Breds in scoring with 24 as he was the only Bred in double figures. Clark County had four men in double digits led by powerful senior center Corey Rogers who had 20. Western Kentucky signee Vinnie Zollo had 13, Jaylen Daniel had 13 and Eastern Kentucky-bound Robbie Stenzel had 11. Rogers also led the Cardinals in rebounds with nine. George Rogers Clark improved to 14-4 for the year while the Breds fell to 9-8.
Friday night at Bourbon County, junior Caleb Ford made Reitz’s 500th game a memorable one has he poured in 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds leading the Thorobreds over the Colonels.
Entering the game, Bourbon County’s sophomore guard Chris Gillispie had all of the scoring hype following his 51-point performance against Estill County earlier in the month. However, an organized defensive scheme featuring actual hard work by Eric Sanders, Nick Slucher and Jordan Stubbs harassed the talented Gillispie limiting him much of the night.
He did end up leading the Colonels with 21 points, but he hit on only seven of 26 shots for a sub par 26 percent for the night. He scored 10 of his 21 in the fourth period after the only thing in doubt was the margin of victory.
The Thorobreds led at every stop only trailing in the very early part of the first quarter, 5-2.
Coach Reitz called a time out with five minutes left in the first quarter with the score tied at five and explained a few points and the Breds never trailed again.
The lead was as much as 13 in the second quarter before Bourbon County used some full court pressure to cause some turnovers enabling them to cut the lead to six a couple of times.
The Breds ran the lead back to 10 at the half though and the Colonels, after cutting into the lead briefly, fell further behind to trail by 12 at the end of the third period.
The Breds never let the Colonels any closer than 10 for the rest of the game at one point running the lead out to 20 at 69-49.
Ford’s magnificent performance was enhanced by the solid play of the rest of the Breds who played in the game. Stubbs, Dillon Pulliam and Slucher each scored in double figures with 14, 12 and 11 points respectively, while Tyler Wagner backed up a solid rebounding effort against Clark County with seven boards against the Colonels. Bourbon County was kept closer by an unusual advantage from the free throw line as the team who was pressing and trailing through out the game shot more free throws by a 28-16 margin for the night.
The Breds connected on nine of 16 for 56 percent from the line while the Colonels were 18 of 28 for 64 percent. Rebounding was even at 38 each and Harrison County had two more turnovers than Bourbon County. The difference was from the field where the Breds were 32 of 70 for 46 percent while Bourbon County was 21 of 66 for 32 percent. Harrison County was eight of 23 three-point attempts while the Colonels were four of 19.
The Thorobreds improve to 10-8 for the year while Bourbon County falls to 5-12. Harrison County’s next scheduled game was Tuesday night as the Thorobreds hosted the Woodford County Yellowjackets.
Harrison County’s junior varsity lost a tough game with Clark County on Wednesday 43-38, but bounced back to handle the junior varsity Colonels 50-38 Friday night.