The Monroe County Falcons capped the first half of their basketball season this past weekend by beating Fort Knox 60-48 to win the Caveland Classic championship at Edmonson County High School.
“We didn’t really know much about Fort Knox heading into the game,” said Monroe County coach Steve Kirkpatrick. “They were very athletic and they liked to shoot the 3-pointer. They hit five 3-pointers in the first half.”
The game went back and forth early, with neither team getting much of an advantage. Fort Knox finished the first period with a slight 15-14 advantage. The Eagles extended their lead in the second quarter and took a 26-23 advantage into the locker room.
“At halftime, we talked about matching up better on their shooters,” Kirkpatrick said. “We mixed our man defense with some zone in the second half.”
And the change seemed to make a difference. The Falcons outscored the Eagles 14-8 in the third period to take a 37-34 lead heading into the final period.
However, Fort Knox answered in the fourth period. The Eagles chipped away at the Falcons’ lead, hitting a shot late in the game to send it into overtime at 46-46. A shot at the buzzer by Monroe County’s Dillon Geralds didn’t go in.
“We struggled making shots and we missed a lot of putbacks,” Kirkpatrick explained. “There is no doubt our defense was what kept us in the game.”
Monroe County dominated the overtime period. The Falcons outscored Fort Knox 14-2 in the period to secure the win.
Dillon Geralds, named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, led the Falcons with 29 points in the win. Devin Gearlds had 14 points and Skyler Geralds chipped in with seven. Gibril Summers scored five points, Garrett Crowe had four and Kolton Myatt scored one.
Gearlds and Crowe were named to the all-tournament team.
The Falcons begin play on Thursday in the Lindsey Wilson College Classic in Columbia. Monroe County will play Louisville Holy Cross in the first round. Tipoff is set for 4:15 p.m.