By SCOTT WILSON
Glasgow Daily Times
The Barren County Trojans and the Glasgow Scotties put on a shooting clinic Friday in their District 15 basketball battle at Barren County High School. The Scotties shot a blistering 55 percent from the field, usually good enough to win games. However, the Trojans shot 56 percent from the field to grab the 85-76 victory.
The key, according to both coaches, wasn’t on offense. It was on the other end of the floor.
“It is kind of rare to have two teams make that many shots. Both teams have shooters, so I don’t think that is rare, but it is rare that you get everybody going on the same night,” said Barren County coach Warren Cunningham. “I thought both teams probably could have guarded better. I thought a lot of it was just good offense and guys making plays. I am just glad we made a few more than they did.”
“Both teams shot very well and both teams made plays. However, I thought neither team guarded very well tonight. That was the bottom line,” said Glasgow coach John Tinsley. “I thought they did a little bit better job of rebounding than we did and that’s the difference in the ballgame. Second and third shots were the key.”
The Scotties rallied late in the game with a 3-pointer by Anthony Walker and a layup by Milas Norris to pull within one at 71-70 with 4:33 to go in the game. But the Trojans responded with seven of the next nine points, including a jumper by Bo Hubbard, a trey from Charlie McCoy and a basket by Wade Coomer, to lengthen their lead to 78-72 with 2:11 to go in the game.
Glasgow got a bucket from Connor Glass, but Barren County got a jumper by McCoy and two free throws by Nick Mabe to push the advantage to eight points at 82-74 with just over 60 seconds to play.
“They started packing it in a little deeper on defense. We got clean looks, we just didn’t make a couple of them,” Tinsley said. “Saying that, we got the ball inside to Milas (Norris) and he was dominant there. We had to make some adjustments.”
“We went to the zone in the second quarter because of foul trouble and we ended up staying with it because it cut off the drive. But then they made some nice adjustments and started to get the ball inside,” Cunningham said. “But once we finally stopped giving them the easy ones around the basket, then we were able to get some stops and get some room to breathe. We felt like that was the turning point, if we could ever string together three or four stops together we could push our lead to six or seven points at a big time late in the game.”
Coomer led all scorers with 23 points for the Trojans. McCoy scored 19 and Ben Leftwich had 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Hubbard chipped in seven points, while Nick Mabe and Barrett Billingsley scored six points each. Zach Mabe had five points and Sawyer Matthews scored two.
Norris led the Scotties with a solid 22 points, three assists and one steal. Julius Shirley scored 12 and pulled down six rebounds, while Connor Glass and Anthony Walker had 11 points each. Quentel Bradley and James Kingery scored nine points a piece, while Jacob Poynter had two points.
Norris was terrific in the first half for the Scotties. He scored the first six points of the game for Glasgow and 11 points in the first period to keep the Trojans in reach at 21-17 at the horn. The two teams continued to light up the nets in the second quarter.
Kingery opened the period with a 3, Leftwich followed with a 3 of his own, and after Leftwich scored a layup for the Trojans, Shirley nailed a trey for the Scotties and Coomer answered with a 3-pointer for the Trojans to give Barren County a 29-23 lead with 6:20 to go in the first half. The two teams kept up the hot offensive pace and the Trojans led 46-40 at the intermission.
“This was a big game for us because we don’t want to go down another game (loss) in the district,” Cunningham said. “It puts us at 2-1. We’ve still got a chance to control our own destiny and that’s what you want.”
“I think everybody thinks Monroe County may be the best team in the district, and they may be. But I said before the year started there is not 10 points difference from top to bottom in the district. And I believe that,” Tinsley said. “Everybody is going to come to us in the district tournament. We’re going to play in our house and we’re going to work hard to protect our house.”