By SCOTT WILSON
Glasgow Daily Times
The Glasgow High School Scotties got an offensive boost from Julius Shirley in the fourth quarter Friday night, along with strong efforts from Jacob Poynter and Milas Norris, to capture a 77-70 victory over Russellville in the championship game of the Boys’ Region 4 All “A” Classic.
“It kind of seemed like the guys were going to find a way to win tonight,” said Glasgow coach John Tinsley. “I thought we laid our heart out there tonight. And anytime you do that, you can count on this bunch. They’ve got some big hearts.”
The victory puts Glasgow in next week’s state All “A” Classic in Frankfort. It will mark the first time since 2010 that both the Scotties and Lady Scotties will play in the state tournament in the same year. The GHS girls beat Cumberland County on Friday to advance.
Tinsley was pretty fair in his assessment of Friday’s contest. The Scotties seemed to have an answer for every run Russellville made.
After watching Russellville fight back to pull within two at 44-42 late in the third period Friday, Norris answered for the Scotties with four straight points to widen Glasgow’s lead to 48-42. After a 3-pointer by Russellville’s Pedro Rivera, Anthony Walker canned a trey of his own to make it 51-45 with 1:22 to go in the period.
“We had to go man-to-man with them tonight because they’re just so quick,” said Tinsley. “I thought Russellville did a tremendous job of hanging in there tonight. That club was down 16 to Todd County in the semifinals; and they came back to win the ballgame. I can see how. They’ve got a lot of heart. I knew it would be tough tonight.”
The battle continued in the fourth period. Free throws by Walker gave the Scotties a 59-49 advantage with 6:42 to go in the game and the Scotties pushed their lead to 14 points at 66-52 on a jumper and a 3-pointer by Shirley.
However, Russellville came right back with a 10-0 run to make it 66-62 with 3:42 on the clock. That’s when Connor Glass hit a jumper in the paint, Quentel Bradley nailed two free throws, and when Norris scored on a layup at the 1:29 mark, the Scotties led 72-66.
“Julius Shirley came up in the fourth quarter and really gave us a lift. I thought Milas Norris and Jacob Poynter, in particular, we’re really good tonight,” Tinsley said. “I thought our guards, Quentel, Anthony and Connor played with a lot of confidence. And that’s what you’ve got to do to win, play with confidence.”
Bradley led the Scotties in scoring with 19 points. Walker and Norris contributed 15 points each and Poynter added 11. Shirley chipped in with seven points. James Kingery added five points and Glass had three.
Lee McMurray led Russellville with 23 points.
Glasgow opens state tournament play Thursday at the Frankfort Convention Center.
“I haven’t really looked at the state bracket so I don’t know much about who we play,” Tinsley explained. “However, I don’t go into any tournament that I don’t try to win. We’re going up there to fight and try to win every game. We’re not going up there to just be going. That’s not how you represent Glasgow High School.”