Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

February 27, 2011

Drought Busters

Scotties down Falcons, capture district title

GLASGOW — After a nine-year drought, the Glasgow Scotties are District 15 champions once again.

This time, the championship came on the heels of a dominating 66-41 win over the Monroe County Falcons on Friday night.  What started out as a 22-9 first-quarter run by the Scotties turned into a 25-point win and a chance to cut down the nets on Monroe’s home court.  

“It’s certainly special for this group of guys,” Glasgow head coach Jeff Hall said.  “I expect our kids to do these kinds of things and I want them to start expecting to do this every year. We want to keep putting ourselves in that same position, year after year.”

The first step in creating that attitude was winning this game, and the Scotties came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter.  Jumping out to a 14-5 lead in the first five minutes, Glasgow relied on offensive rebounding early.  Jalen Sublett, Parker Cash, and Michael Bradley all scored on putbacks in those first few minutes, and Monroe head coach Steve Kirkpatrick lamented his team’s inability to stop Glasgow offensively.

“They came out shooting the ball real well,” he said. “We knew they were going to make shots.  We started playing man and we couldn’t cover shooters, so then we went to a zone to try and match up. But we still had a hard time getting a hand in the face.”

After storming out of the gates to start the game, Glasgow cooled down, and the two teams played an even second quarter, with each scoring 13 points. While much of Glasgow’s damage had already been done early on, Monroe County’s Tanner Kendall and Chip Anderson did the lion’s share of the work in the second quarter for the Falcons. Out of their team’s 13 points scored in the second quarter, the two players were responsible for 10.  

Meanwhile, the Scotties came into the second period with shooting hands not quite as hot as before, nearly cutting their first-quarter total in half with 13 total points. However, it was enough to maintain a considerable lead, at one point reaching 31-15 at 5:02 after Smith’s field goal.

The Scotties’ last basket came with 1:43 remaining in the half, this time from Cash, and Glasgow cruised into halftime with a 35-22 advantage.  

While many Scotties contributed to the controlling lead at halftime, Hall singled out two players who had caught his attention from the get-go.

“I thought Jalen (Sublett) and LaJuan (Smith) really set the tone for us,” he said. “They came in and rebounded the ball, and Jalen was one (point) away from a double-double.

“They really set the tone on the backboard for us, and if we can get that type of bench production, it makes it hard for the other team. I was ecstatic with the way they played.”

That ecstasy would only continue for Hall and the rest of the Glasgow team, as the Scotties kept on building a lead that they would not relinquish.

The Falcons pulled to within 10 points off a Caleb Sheffield score, but that would be the closest they would get for the game.

After that point (35-25 with 6:14 in the third quarter), Glasgow closed out the period with a 12-4 run. The Scotties scored with anything from a three-point play by Sublett to a 3-pointer from Quentin Ellis to a layup from Sammy Bradley after leading a fast break.

Ellis earned MVP honors for his performance in Friday’s game.

Heading into the fourth quarter of the championship game, Monroe County faced a 47-29 deficit that was only growing by the minute. After reaching a 25-point lead, Glasgow began substituting for their regular players, thus easing some of the pressure.  The Falcons did the same, giving their main players a rest after a tough five-overtime victory on Wednesday night followed by the fast-paced game against Glasgow on Friday.  

The Scotties dribbled out the final seconds of a 66-41 district championship victory, and Hall expressed his confidence after the game in his team’s ability down the road.

“There are always things you can improve on, but if we get the balance from our starters and our bench the way we did tonight, we’re going to be okay,” he said.  “We’re going to be on a much bigger stage now. All eight teams that are going to be there at Diddle can certainly play basketball, but I think we earned and deserved the right to be there as well.”

With its first district championship since 2002, Glasgow improved to 17-7 on the season, while the Falcons fell to 16-11. Both teams advance to the Fourth Region Tournament at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. The brackets had not been set by press time.

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