The Cardinals came from behind in the second half last night to defeat the Montgomery County Indians in the Boys Basketball 40th District Semifinals at Paris High School, 57-44. This is the first season sweep for the Cardinals over the Indians since the 2010-2011 season. Ryan Cooper and Will Philpot each led the Cardinals with a double-double. Cooper had 24 points and 10 rebounds while Philpot had 13 points and 11 rebounds. However, it was the Cards’ defensive pressure that was most effective. Although the Indians made 9 treys from the outside, the Cards limited the Indians to only 6 baskets from inside the arc. This, in my opinion, kept the Cards in the ballgame when shots failed to drop.
The Cardinals failed to score until Chase Taylor made 2 free throws with 4:59 remaining in the first quarter. Ben Jackson led the Cards in the quarter with 4 points, including an “and one” with 11.2 seconds remaining to bring the Cardinals to within one at 9-8 after the first 8 minutes of action.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals continued to find difficulty in finding ways to score. However, Ryan Cooper led the way with 8 points. His basket with 1:10 left in the second quarter brought the Cardinals to within 1 at 23-22. Unfortunately, the Indians ended the half on a 5-0 run, including a trey at the buzzer. The Indians led at halftime, 28-22.
Was the first half similar to watching the Foreman vs. Frazier battle? Was Foreman setting up Frazier for a technical knockout in the second round?
Sure enough, we found the answer at the beginning of the third quarter. The Cardinals opened up with 11 unanswered points through the first 4+ minutes. Will Philpot led the second half with a bucket. Ryan Cooper had 8 points in the run, including 2 treys. Jordan Graham hit a free throw. The Indians hit a trey with 2:49 remaining in the third quarter to make the score, 33-31, in favor of the Cardinals. The Cardinals ended the quarter on a run of 7-5 to lead, 40-36. Cooper had 11 points in the quarter while Philpot had 6 points.
The flurry continued at the beginning of the fourth quarter. In the first 31 seconds, Chase Taylor and Jordan Graham each had a steal and layup to give the Cards a lead at 44-36. Ryan Cooper hit a trey with 6:20 left to give the Cards 7 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter. The Indians pulled to within 7 points with 3:04 remaining; however, this was their last gasp. The Cardinals then played ball control to run the clock. GRC won by 13, 57-44.
Team statistics were as follows:
Rebounds: GRC – 36, Montgomery County – 29
Turnovers: GRC – 9, Montgomery County – 14
Assists: GRC – 16, Montgomery County – 13
Steals: GRC – 5, Montgomery County – 3
Blocked Shots: GRC – 2, Montgomery County – 2
3-Point Shots Made: GRC – 6, Montgomery County – 9
Individual statistics for the Cardinals were as follows:
Ryan Cooper (#21) had 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 blocked shot.
Will Philpot (#35) had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot.
Chase Taylor (#11) had 10 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
Ben Jackson (#25) had 6 points and 2 rebounds.
Jordan Graham (#22) had 4 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals.
JJ Johnson (#31) had 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
The Varsity Cardinals (20-11, 4-2, 1-0) play Paris in the 40th District Championship on Friday, February 24 at 7PM at Paris High School. The Greyhounds defeated Bourbon County on Tuesday night, 75-46.
Here are Paris’ individual statistics vs Bourbon County from the other semifinal:
Tayjin Cunningham (#2) had 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jekobi Wells (#23) had 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
Eric Johnson (#11) had 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Jordan Davis (#25) had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.
Ryan Davis (#30) had 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Marcus Ashford (#13) had 3 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals.
Travis Strings (#12) had 3 points.
DeMondre Young (#24) had 3 points.
Jacques Dumphord (#4) had 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Dontez Myers (#35) had 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
Taleigh Adams (#15) had 1 rebound and 1 assist.
Ben OBryan (#33) had 1 rebound.