Prep Basketball: Casey County boys beat Burgin 43-34
Casey County¿s Cody Clark (2) forces Burgin¿s Tommy Lopresto (24) into one the Bulldogs¿ 23 turnovers Friday as the Rebels won 43-34 at Mercer County. (Hal Morris / January 6, 2013)
But the victories count just the same.
“We don’t ever win pretty. We’re the ugly stepsister when it comes to winning games,” Casey coach Darry Burkett said after the Rebels beat Burgin 43-34 Friday in the Farmers National Bank 12th Region Madness at Mercer County. “We do guard the living heck out of you, I can’t ask my kids to give any more effort on defense. We have to find a way to find some fluidity on offense, and we just have to shoot the ball better.”
Casey won despite shooting 29 percent (14 for 49) from the field and making three of 13 3-point shots. Baylen Hill led the Rebels with 11 points, Skyler Wright had 10 points and Micah Smith had nine points and seven rebounds. The Rebels held Burgin to 36 percent shooting (12 for 33) and scored 16 points off 23 turnovers to beat the Bulldogs for the second time this season.
The victory also put Casey (6-6) back to .500 after two straight wins. But Burkett said he saw his team with a better record at this point.
“I thought we’d be better, I really did. That’s how hard these kids have worked this summer,” he said. “But it’s been a long time since Casey County has been .500 in January, so we’ll take that and build on it from here on out.”
“Our program’s growing. The biggest thing we’re lacking right now in our varsity players is confidence. Taylor Leigh and Baylen Hill are great wing players that can have great games, but we’re not playing with confidence right now. And when we relax and play with some of the confidence we play with in practice, we’re a better team. I’m not trying to put any pressure on them, but on game night, I sure do want them to win.”
Burgin (4-7) was playing its first game since Dec. 21, and coach Brian Kirk said it showed early.
“We took those couple of weeks off, and I thought it was great for the kids to get away from each other and get a little rest,” he said. “But you could tell we were a little sluggish coming into the game, it took us a while to get back in sync. But once we found our groove, we started playing together, started moving without the ball a little bit better and things came around.”
Casey led 20-17 at halftime, but the Bulldogs took a 21-20 lead on a putback by Alex Beckerson, who had 11 points and eight rebounds.
A bucket inside from Smith put Casey back in front for good at 22-21 with 5:51 left in the third quarter, and then Smith scored again inside to make it 24-21.
A free throw from Dylan Coulter made it 24-22 with 4:04 to go, but Burgin would not score again in the quarter. Casey struggled to score as well, but got a putback from Smith and another inside basket from Jerrico Propes to lead 28-22 after three quarters.
Kirk said he knew his team blew a great chance to grab the lead in that third quarter.
“We’ve faced that a couple of times,” he said. “It seems we always fight our way back into it. And that’s why I tell the kids it’s always important to get out to an early lead and not get behind because you waste all your energy trying to fight back and you get to that point, you get a chance to take the lead, you have it with the ball and you miss and they come down (and score).”
In the fourth quarter, a steal and layup from Smith made it 33-24, and a Smith free throw with 4:52 remaining gave Casey a 35-25 lead. Burgin would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Casey went 8 for 13 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and finished 12 for 19.
“And we handled the ball, which is what we didn’t do last year,”¿Burkett said. “We don’t make a lot of turnovers (10), and we’re getting smarter about situational stuff. And that comes from experience.”
Leigh had 12 rebounds as the Rebels outrebounded Burgin 30-29. Nick Beckerson had 11 boards to lead the Bulldogs.
Casey jumped out ot a 10-2 lead in the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Hill and led 14-8 on a layup from Wright with 3:08 to go in the first half.
A layup from Matt Bianconi made it 20-12, but Alex Beckerson had a putback and layup and Myers hit a free throw to trim the lead to 20-17 by halftime.
Farmers National Bank 12th Region Madness
At Mercer County
Casey County 10 20 28 43
Burgin 5 17 22 34
CASEY¿(6-6) — Taylor Leigh 3, Micah Smith 9, Skyler Wright 10, Baylen Hill 11, Zack Scott 3, Matt Bianconi 2, Tyler Pennington 1, Jerrico Propes 4.
BURGIN¿(4-7) — Alex Beckerson 11, Mason Myers 10, Nick Beckerson 2, John Price 3, Tommy Lopresto 2, Dylan Coulter 6.