By SCOTT WILSON
Glasgow Daily Times
When Warren Cunningham talks about the positives he sees in his team this season, the conversation eventually gets around to how often players step up to make the big plays. The Barren County Trojans, favored this season to win the 15th District, are balanced up and down the roster with players experienced in big games.
There won’t be many games the Trojans play this season that are bigger than Friday night’s battle with crosstown rival Glasgow and, if almost on cue, Barren County senior Dalton Bush stepped up with 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Trojans to a 54-45 victory.
The win pushed the Trojans’ record to 10-2 on the season and 3-0 in district play. The Scotties fall to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in district competition.
"I thought we were very sharp early, but Glasgow is a very good team and I knew they would make a run," said Barren County coach Warren Cunningham. "They didn't really do anything different in the second quarter, we probably just turned the ball over too much and it allowed them to come back."
"Anytime you get yourself down 13-0 and get yourself buried early, you're digging out of that hole the whole game," said Glasgow coach John Tinsley. "I think we put ourselves in a tough situation against a very good team and that makes it difficult."
Trailing 38-29 heading into the fourth period, the Scotties battled back to get the Trojans’ lead to single digits. A bucket by Steely Harris made it 42-33 with 6:03 to go in the game and when Trey Tinsley nailed a big 3-pointer from the corner, the Scotties were within eight at 44-36 with 3:46 on the clock.
The two teams exchanged baskets and the Scotties began to pick up some momentum, scoring six of the next 10 points to pull within six at 48-42.
But that’s when Bush came up big for the Trojans as he swished a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to calm the Glasgow rally and give Barren County a 51-42 lead with 1:38 to go in the game. Each team went to the free-throw line in the final seconds.
Besides Bush’s game-high 17 points, the Trojans got nine points from Bo Hubbard, eight points from Charley McCoy and seven points each from Jaucoby Poore and Clay Simmons. Barrett Billingsley had four points for Barren County and Matthew Bunnell chipped in with two points.
The Scotties put two players in double figures with Ryne Tinsley leading the way with 16 points. Harris chipped in with 11 points and Quentel Bradley had six. Nelson Glass and Trey Tinsley tallied three points each, while Milas Norris, Thomas Kingery and Conner Glass had two points each.
The Trojans shot 36 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range, while Glasgow converted 40 percent of its shots from the field and 29 percent of its shots from long range.
"I thought their halfcourt structure was very good," said Tinsley. "And our inability to penetrate enough early in the game bothered us. I thought we were a little shellshocked and, as I said before the game, you have to come out aggressive in games like this. And I didn't think we were as aggressive as we needed to be."
"I thought Dalton Bush played especially well in the second half," said Cunningham. "He made a big 3-pointer for us late in the game, somewhere around the 2:00 mark. Glasgow made the run late and I think they cut it to four or six, But we continued to attack the basket and defend well in the second half."
Barren County took the early lead Friday night, running away to a 19-5 advantage at the end of the first period. But the Scotties answered and outscored the Trojans 13-5 in the second period to cut the BCHS lead to 24-18 at the intermission.
The Trojans hit the road next week when they travel to Bowling Green on Tuesday, Jan. 1. The Scotties will be home on Tuesday when they host district foe Allen County-Scottsville. Both games are slated to start at 7:30 p.m.