BOWLING GREEN — Coach Warren Cunningham defeated his former assistant coach Will McCoy in Tuesday night’s contest as Barren County (17-7) defeated Greenwood (14-10) 74-69.
The Trojans were pushed ahead by a strong 10-0 run that began at the end of the third quarter as Aden Nyekan hit a 3-pointer to give his team a 50-48 lead heading into the last period. They never trailed after that.
“He stepped into it with confidence,” Cunningham said of Nyekan’s shot. “He likes shooting them a little bit more than I want him shooting them, but he will probably shoot a little bit better now that he hit that one.”
Nyekan would go on to finish with 27 points and almost a dozen rebounds to power Barren County down the stretch. Will Bandy also enjoyed a strong outing by scoring 16 points while grabbing almost a dozen rebounds as well.
“It’s kind of been one of the traits of our teams,” Cunningham said of his team’s rebounding efforts. “I think over the years our teams have rebounded it really well. Will (Bandy) the last two weeks has been rebounding it great. When you get him and Aden both in their rebounding — that’s a big part of our team.”
The Gators did not go down without a fight. Guards Noah Stansbury and Cade Stinnett shot very well from behind the arc to combine for 36 points on the night.
But it was the play of the Trojans in the paint that won the game. Greenwood rarely hit many shots from inside the paint in the fourth quarter.
Also critical to Barren County’s victory was the play of Jacob Shaw and Tyler Bush. Shaw scored 11 points in the game, most of which came from the free throw line, and Bush scored 10 points of his own, which mostly came in the first quarter.
The play of the game came from Cody Lane who managed to convert on a huge three-point play with just 20 seconds left, which put the Trojans up five points. Lane finished with seven points on the night.
The victory marks the 10th win in the last 11 games for the Trojans who are on a huge roll heading into the last couple of weeks of the regular season.
“We are just playing with confidence right now,” Bandy said. “We are clicking and we are rolling. We are having a good time and having fun while we are doing it — that goes a long way.”
The Trojans will be back in action on Friday at 7:30 p.m. where they will play at Central Hardin School.
Trojanettes fall despite fourth-quarter rally
Barren County (20-5) went on a furious 8-0 run after being down 10 points with 3:30 left in Tuesday night’s game against Greenwood (11-9). However, the deficit was too much too overcome as they fell to the Lady Gators 58-57.
The upset came in most part due to the offensive struggles of the Trojanettes. They only managed to hit one 3-pointer in the game, which came in the first quarter. As a result, coach Piper Lindsey’s team trailed for the vast majority of the game.
“We just weren’t making shots, which really eliminated us from getting in our press,” Lindsey said. “We just really couldn’t get anything going. We had our chances. If we had played like we did in the fourth quarter it (the game) wouldn’t have been close. The kids played hard and they battled, but they just didn’t make shots in the end.”
The Lady Gators got off to a fast 9-2 start in the first quarter thanks to the play of guard Megan Une who scored all nine of those Greenwood points.
Thankfully for the Trojanettes, Elizabeth Bertram responded with nine points of her own in the quarter to get her team back in the game. She powered a strong 9-0 run as Barren County railed 17-16 at the end of the first period.
However, the second quarter proved to be an offensive disaster for Lindsey’s team. The Trojanettes only managed to score six points in the quarter. That was mostly due to the fact that the Lady Gators’ defense forced 13 Barren County turnovers in the first half alone.
The Trojanettes won their first quarter in the third by outscoring Greenwood 15-12 as their full-court press finally forced the Lady Gators into multiple turnovers.
However, the first five minutes of the final quarter saw the duo of Megan Une and Leia Trinh take over for Greenwood. Une finished with 20 points on the night as Trinh added 17 of her own.
Bertram did all she could during Barren County’s fourth-quarter run as she scored a game-high 27 points on the night. However, it was just too little too late for the Trojanettes.
“They were pretty physical, and we didn’t handle it too well,” Lindsey said. “We were getting to the rim, but they just weren’t falling. If we don’t bring it from the start — anyone can beat you. You got to put four quarters together. You just can’t decide to play hard in the fourth quarter.”
Barren County will be back in action on Thursday night at home against Casey County at 6 p.m.