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BluegrassPreps.com 10th Region Boys Basketball Regional Tournament Wrapup

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Those of us of an age will long remember the dulcet tones of Jim McKay introducing ABC's Wide World of Sports back in the day.  "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport.  The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat".  Truer words were never spoken as another nail-biter of a regional final played out at The Fieldhouse last night.  But first, let's recap the preliminary action.

Quarterfinal Game 1 - Campbell County/Bracken County

The 39th District runnerup Polar Bears came in as heavy underdogs to the 37th District champs, but gave Aric Russell's Camels all they wanted and then some before eventually succumbing in double overtime, 71-64. A classic mismatch on paper, the Camels won the regular-season matchup 63-30, but were without the services of 6'5" C/PF Eric Davie and his 10 points and team-leading 9 boards per game.  Jake Gross provided a fourth quarter spark, netting all nine of his points in the second half as the Camels struggled to stay alive while in foul trouble. Freshman Polar Bear standout guard Blake Reed hit a clutch 3 with seconds to play in regulation to send the game into OT; and 8th grade brother Cayden nearly sent the Camels packing with a 14-foot floater that bounced off the rim at the end of the first extra stanza. Campbell pulled away in the second OT behind big man Aydan Hamilton (in foul trouble much of the game) and his pinpoint precision at the charity stripe, nailing 16 of 17 and finishing with a team-high 22 points.  Garrett Beiting added 21 and Dane Hegyi 11,  Blake Reed paced the Bears with 39.  Cayden Reed finished with 9, JuShod Commodore added 8, and senior Nate Jefferson pitched in a half dozen in his final game as a Polar Bear.  The Bracken County backcourt will be in capable hands for many years to come  

Quarterfinal Game 2 - Robertson County/Montgomery County

An even matchup rankings-wise and RPI-wise, this one didn't disappoint.  38th District champion Robertson County boasted Regional POY junior Justin Becker and a surrounding cast of seasoned veterans, while 40th District runnerup Montgomery County countered with the region's second-leading scorer Hagan Harrison and 6'6" senior double-double machine Rickey Lovette.  The game was tight throughout, with Harrison pouring in 13 in the first quarter alone and another 9 in the second as the Indians had a 5-point lead at the half.  It was Lovette doing the damage in the third quarter with 12 straight for MoCo, a busted lip notwithstanding.  The 11-point final margin (84-73) was about as big a gap as there was in the entire game as the Indian defense clamped down late in a clean game that featured just 13 turnovers and 30 fouls total.  Harrison finished the night with 32 and Lovette 24 (along with eleven boards); with senior guard Brandon Dyer adding 10.  Becker put up a typical 24-12 double-double performance.  Sebastian Dixon had 19 on 8 of 13 shooting and Tanner Horn had 11.  Patrick Kelschs' senior class (Becker is the lone starter returning) of Robertson County goes out with a pair of program firsts - back-to-back district titles and a brace of Region 10 All-A championships.

Quarterfinal Game 3 - George Rogers Clark/Harrison County

Clark County (40th District champs) has been the region's top squad since the first day of the season, and was matched up against 38th District runnerup Harrison County, who were without the services of Kaydon and Tayshaun Custard and their combined 16 points and 8 rebounds per game.  However, the Cards had trouble finding their shooting touch before going on a 15-2 third-quarter run to put the game away, cruising to the 68-53 final.  Senior wingman Jared Wellman finished the evening with 17 points and 12 boards; Trent Edwards had 15, while point guard Aden Slone added 12 to go along with 8 dimes.  Leading scorer Jerone Morton was limited to just 9 points on an uncharacteristic 3-18 shooting night, but more on him later.  The Thorobreds were paced by James Soard's 15 points and young big man Will Furnish's 10.  It bears noting the Harrison County experienced something of a rebirth this season, finishing at 11-11 after a 5-25 campaign just a year ago.

Quarterfinal Game 4 - Mason County/Scott

The 39th District champion entered the tournament on the region's longest winning streak of any team this season, winning their last 13; while Scott came in as the 37th District runnerup on the heels of a loss to Campbell County in their district tournament.  This one figured to be a close one going in, and was until a 14-0 second quarter blitz turned a 3-point advantage into a 43-26 Mason County halftime lead.  All Region first-teamer Terrell Henry had 18 points at the half, with Mason Butler and Evan Schumacher nailing threes during the Royal run.  Scott never recovered and were harassed all night by the Royals' tenacious defense, eventually falling 75-58.  Senior Grant Profitt recorded an impressive stat line of 19-9-5, leading the Eagles in all three categories; but the team just managed 38% shooting (including 2 of 10 from deep) on the night.  Cameron Patterson had 10/8, while Brayden Howell and Nolan Hunter each pitched in 9.  Profitt is the team's lone senior starter and the KABC 10th Region Player of the year, and Scott looks to make an impact again next season.  Henry had a game-high 28 for Mason County; supported by running mates Nate Mitchell (18), AP Perry (8/7/4), Philip Bierley (8) and Butler (7).


Semifinal Game 1 - Campbell County/Montgomery County

Another classic at The Fieldhouse, but it sure took a while.  Coach Russell's Camels came out on fire, bolting to a seemingly insurmountable 46-20 halftime lead, with senior guard Garrett Beiting and sophomore forward Aydan Hamilton doing most of the damage.  Coach Wright's Indians came out of halftime a changed team, with Hagan Harrison scoring 16 of his 20 in the third quarter.  MoCo got to within 6 late in the game, but a pair of Hamilton charity tosses and one more from Dane Hegyi finally put the game on ice; 71-67 being the final score.  Rickey Lovette matched Harrison's 20 and had a team-leading 8 rebounds; with senior swingman Eric Morgan, a 7PPG man during the season, adding 14.  The Camels also put three in double figures, led by Beiting's game-high 28.  Eric Davie returned to the lineup none too soon for the Camels, pitching in 17 points on 8-10 shooting and collecting a dozen caroms for good measure.  Hamilton finished with 15 on the night.  Montgomery finished the season at 12-9, with their five losses in the region coming to Clark County (3 to GRC, an OT barn-burner to Mason County, and this one).  The Indians will have some holes to fill next season with all starters with the exception of Harrison graduating.

Semifinal Game 2 - George Rogers Clark/Mason County

The second semifinal began much as the first, one team roaring out to a big edge at the half.  Mason County jumped out to a double-digit halftime lead, holding the powerful Cardinal offense to just 26 points while executing a nearly flawless game plan and turning the ball over just once.  GRC adjusted after intermission and began pounding the ball inside; and finished the third quarter on a big 13-point run.  The 18-4 third had the Royals on their heels, but they clawed back to tie the game at 51 after a 7-0 mini-run of their own.  Clark scored six straight behind sophomore point guard Aden Slone; Mason clawed to within 3 on a Mason Butler triple with half a minute remaining, but could get no closer, coming up on the short end of the 64-58 result.  Terrell Henry paced the Royals with 18 points, with Mason Butler adding 12, including a  buckets at the end of the 7-0 fourth quarter spurt; while Nate Mitchell pitched in 11, AP Perry 10 and Evan Schumacher 7.  The Cards were led by the reliable trio of Jerone Morton (18), Jarred Wellman (17 again) and Trent Edwards (11), with Slone, Stanley Smothers and Jeremiah Mundy-Lloyd accounting for the rest.  Mason County entered the season with more questions than answers, with seven seniors and 80% of their scoring gone from last year.  But Henry blossomed into an all-region first-teamer, while Mitchell improved from scoring a total of 30 points last year to 407 this time around.

FInal - George Rogers Clark/Campbell County

GRC won.












Well, there's a bit more to the story than that.  Clark held a 7-point advantage at the half, 35-28; largely on the strength of double-figure scoring from Jerone Morton and Jared Wellman (13, 11) and a highlight reel floater from behind the arc (if there is such a thing) from Aden Slone.  Campbell's Garrett Beiting kept it reasonably close with 15 of his own, but no other Camel could muster more than 5 by halftime.  Campbell looked to go into the final stanza with a one point lead, but Jerone Morton's triple put the Cards up 45-43.  The fourth quarter was back and forth with neither side able to pull away.  The Camels' Kayson Jackson (2.9PPG) drained a triple with less than a half minute to play, giving Coach Russell's squad a 59-58 lead.  Missed opportunities from both sides; including an unsuccessful 1-and-1 Camel front end, eventually gave the Cards the ball with less than five seconds to play.  Jerone Morton took matters into his own left hand, dribbled to the hole and converted an uncontested layup as time expired, sending GRC to Rupp for the second straight year.  The snakebitten Camels (three regional tournaments since 2016 where a last-second shot sealed their fate) lose seniors Garrett Beiting and Dane Hegyi to graduation, but Coach Russell can always be relied up to put a competitive team on the floor come tournament time.  Clark County (19-4, .639 RPI) will face 8th Region champs Oldham County (14-4, .650 RPI) in the first round of the Sweet 16® on Wednesday, March 31 at 8:PM.

All-Region Tournament Team:

One from each of the losing teams in the first round, two from teams falling in the semis, three from the runnerup and four from the champs.

Blake Reed, Bracken County; Justin Becker, Robertson County; James Soard, Harrison County; Grant Profitt, Scott; Hagan Harrison and Rickey Lovette, Montgomery County; Terrell Henry and Nate Mitchell, Mason County; Garrett Beiting, Eric Davie and Aydan Hamilton, Campbell County; Trent Edwards, Jerone Morton, Aden Slone and Jared Wellman, GRC.  Ten of these young men return next season.




Many thanks to Evan Dennison's reporting in the Maysville Ledger Independent (not to mention his twitter account) for much of the source material here.


In all likelihood, this is my last go-round as your intrepid 10th region staffer.  It has been my pleasure.


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