By MIKE MARSEE
8:52 AM EST, December 16, 2012
The Boyle County boys had one of the top teams in the 12th Region right where they wanted it, and they couldn’t do a thing about it.
The Rebels held a potent Pulaski County team to an unusually low point total Friday night, but their own lack of offensive production eliminated any chance of an upset.
They committed 25 turnovers and managed only 14 baskets, an unhealthy combination that led to a 49-36 loss at Rebel Arena.
Pulaski posted its lowest score in 37 games, but Boyle equaled its lowest total in 28 games, and coach Steve Adams said the Rebels’ youth showed through.
“They just physically manhandled us,” Adams said. “We talked about it at half: We thought we looked like we were scared. We only shot eight free throws, and they played man-to-man 95 percent of the time, and we weren’t attacking. We’d settle, stand and watch.”
Boyle’s starting lineup included three seniors, but the Rebels are low on experience after losing six seniors to graduation following last season. And Adams said they were hampered further Friday by injury and illness.
“We’re young, and this was the first really, really big test, and we’ve had some sickness and injury this week that’s hit us hard. But still, you come out and compete,” he said.
Boyle (3-2) did that for a time, even after falling behind 12-2 in the early going. The Rebels outscored Pulaski 14-5 over a span of 6 minutes, 29 seconds, pulling within 19-16 in the second quarter on consecutive baskets by Hagen Tyler and Aram Martin.
Then it all went wrong. The Rebels were held scoreless for the final 4:51 of the first half and the first 4:42 of the second half as Pulaski (3-2) pulled away.
“We started off slow because we were back on our heels, and we get it cut to three ... and we made three bad, bad decisions, and it’s 11 at half,” Adams said. “So we say, ‘OK, it’s just 11. This is what we need to do.’ And lo and behold, we go out there the first four possessions and throw it away twice and give up two layups.”
Kody Johnson scored the first nine points of the second half to help Pulaski open a 35-16 lead midway through the third quarter that sealed Boyle’s fate.
Johnson finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, while the rest of the Maroons went 8 for 38 and the team finished at 32 percent.
Boyle shot 36 percent with 14 fewer attempts thanks to its high turnover count. Brett Jones led the Rebels with 13 points, and Tyler added 10.
“We knew the way Boyle likes to play. They’re not a very up-and-down team. They’re going to back-cut you and run some Princeton stuff in the high-post screen, and we knew that, and we just had to be ready and have good help defense,” Pulaski coach Al Gover said.
Gover said he wasn’t unhappy with the way Pulaski played.
“We defended hard, and I thought we were a lot more patient offensively,” he said. “I was pretty pleased with our shot selection. We didn’t hit shots, but we’ve got two kids (Taylor Gover and Blake Burton) who can hit open shots, and they just didn’t.”
Adams wasn’t as pleased, saying Boyle has some work to do.
“We’ve got a ways to go. We’re not where we need to be,” he said. “We’ve got to be more physical. We can’t be back on our heels. We’ve got to be the aggressor.
“One time we looked out there and we had two freshmen on the floor. We’re just so young and inexperienced. We’re all still trying to figure out who we are and what we are, and it’s December 14th, the fifth game of the year.”
Boyle’s only significant edge was on the glass, where it outrebounded Pulaski 38-28. Devin True and Zach Leigh had six rebounds each for the Rebels, and Tyler had five.
Micah Miniard had five blocked shots for Boyle.
Pulaski County 16 27 41 49
Boyle County 8 16 25 36
PULASKI (3-2) — Kody Johnson 23, Tyler Goins 12, Spencer Laign 4, Taylor Gover 9, Sean Ross 1.
BOYLE (3-2) — Aram Martin 3, Brett Jones 13, Hagen Tyler 10, Colton Elkins 4, Micah Miniard 6.
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