Prep Basketball: Boyle County boys hold off Garrard 58-52
Boyle County¿s Micah Miniard (35) puts up a jumper against Garrard County¿s Jalen McPherson (2) and Nick McCullom in the first quarter Friday. Miniard score four points in the Rebels¿ 58-52 win. (Clay Jackson / January 6, 2013)
Boyle absorbed a pretty good punch midway through the fourth quarter, then recovered in time to deliver the knockout blow in a 58-52 victory Friday night at Garrard Middle School.
The Rebels answered a 9-0 Garrard run by outscoring the Golden Lions 9-2 over the final 2 minutes, 43 seconds to win the 45th District opener for both teams.
Garrard had scored nine straight points to tie the game at 47-all, then nosed in front 50-49 before Boyle got off the mat.
“When we were up 10 we went into one of our youth lapses, but the kids did a good job of keeping their composure and batting back,” Boyle coach Steve Adams said. “When we needed to get good defensive stops they did a good job, and we shot free throws really well. The kids stepped up and made some big plays when we needed it.”
Adams said the Rebels had been making plays for most of the night, even when they weren’t making shots, and guard Brett Jones said that was the key to getting back on their feet after Garrard knocked them down.
“We just kept executing,” Jones said. “We know how to run our stuff, and it works when we do it right.”
Garrard coach Dennis Pardue said he was disappointed that the Lions couldn’t execute after they had tied the game with 1:57 left on two free throws by Nick McCullom and had a chance to regain the lead.
“When you have the ball with a minute and 40 seconds left to go and the ballgame’s tied, you should get a quality possession, and we turned it over and gave them the ball,” Pardue said.
Boyle (7-6, 1-0 district) bided its time until Hagen Tyler flashed open in the lane and Aram Martin found him with a pass that led to a wide-open layup that gave Boyle a 54-52 lead with 1:01 remaining.
Garrard’s Austin Sebastian came up short on a 3-point shot with 34 seconds to go, after which Jones sank two free throws at :24 and Tyler got free for another layup at :04.
Garrard (3-12, 0-1) didn’t score in the final 1:56 and didn’t have a field goal in the final 5:22, capping a second half in which the Lions went 5 for 21 from the field.
“Coach Adams told us to tighten up our defense, and we went to a full-court, man-to-man press, and that helped us close out the game,” Jones said.
There were 13 lead changes in another close, low-scoring game between Boyle and Garrard, whose six meetings over the last three seasons have all been decided by seven points or less. Boyle’s score was the highest total for a winning team in any of those six games.
“I don’t know what it is, but they’re always a bad matchup. They’re physical, and they make it tough on us,” Adams said.
“That’s the way it always is,” Jones added.
Jones scored a game-high 21 points for Boyle, 15 of them in the second half. He was 7 for 7 at the free-throw line, where the Rebels went 15 for 17 and the Lions were 18 for 26.
“There’s the ballgame,” Pardue said.
A lineup that included three freshmen — McCullom, Slade Crutchfield and Jaylan McPherson — sparked Garrard’s 9-0 run. Boyle led 47-38 when McCullom sank a 3-point shot to start the surge. A minute later, he drove to the basket, drew a foul and hit two free throws for the last of six straight points off Boyle turnovers to tie the game at 47-all with 4:34 remaining.
Billy Abney had 12 points and Sebastian had 11 for Garrard, which lost its third straight game.
“It goes back to the same old thing again: lack of execution defensively, lack of execution offensively,” Pardue said. “But you can’t fault our effort. We played hard, played aggressive ... but when you get in the last 2 minutes of a game, you expect to win those, and right now we’re just not closing them out.”
Sebastian and Jesse Ray had eight rebounds each for Garrard. Colton Elkins had six rebounds and Jones had four assists for Boyle.
The Lions play Danville on Friday in the second in a string of four straight district games; the Rebels face Danville and Lincoln County in district games this week.
“Any time you can win a district game on the road you feel pretty good about it, but there’s no rest for the weary,” Adams said. “We’ve got Danville on Tuesday, Lincoln on Friday, and that’s what makes it fun. We’re enjoying it, the kids are enjoying it as we’re growing up, and they’re going to be fine."
Boyle County 11 24 40 58
Garrard County 10 23 34 52
BOYLE (7-6) — Aram Martin 2, Micah Miniard 4, Brett Jones 21, Hagen Tyler 11, Josiah Robbins 10, Lloyd Hall 2, Chapman Bean 7, Colton Elkins 1.
GARRARD (3-12) — Jesse Ray 4, Billy Abney 12, Clayton Ray 6, Austin Sebastian 11, Jaylan McPherson 4, Nick McCullom 9.