The George Rogers Clark High School boys basketball team had a hard time scoring in the second half but hit clutch shots down the stretch to hold off Franklin County 48-41 Tuesday night at Norton Gymnasium.
“The guys have really been working hard in practice in the last 25 to 30 days,” Clark coach Scott Humphrey said. “It hasn’t always shown in the win-loss column for us, but I do feel like we’ve made some improvement. I feel like that our practice habits in early January coming off the (Christmas) break were very poor. I don’t think the focus was there, and it was showing every night we were playing. We just weren’t improving any at all. I feel like now, the last tree weeks, we’ve finally had the focus every day in practice and we’re starting to get a little bit better.”
The Cardinals (8-16) had lost seven of their previous eight games and snapped a two-game losing streak.
Clark, which never trailed, raced out to an 8-1 lead and led 13-7 by the end of the first quarter. The Cards pushed the margin to 25-12 with 2:34 remaining in the first half.
Clark, which led 30-21 at the break, got a big outing from Riley Caudill in the first two quarters. Caudill buried a 3-pointer to end the first quarter and opened the Cards' scoring in the second frame with another shot from long range. Caudill, who led the Cards with 13 points in the opening half, connected on three shots from behind the arc in the first half, including a clutch 3-pointer with two minutes remaining in the first half after the Flyers narrowed the margin to eight.
Ryan Schneider scored Franklin County's last nine points of the half and led the Flyers with 13 points.
Franklin County pulled within five to open the second half, but Clark used back-to-back baskets by
Damian King to regain control of the contest but the Flyers refused to soar away. Franklin County narrowed the margin 44-41 with 1:20 remaining but Clark scored the last four points of the contest and held on for its eighth win of the season.
“Making shots is definitely a welcomed sight,” Humphrey said. “We’ve struggled with that all year long but I think what allowed us to win (was our defense). The last three or four games, we’ve held teams to 50 points or lower. I think we are getting better defensively.”
Luke Sharrock led Clark with 14 points and tallied eight of those in the second half. Sharrock scored the last four points of the contest.
District Tournament set
The boys' 40th District Tournament is set for Feb. 18 and 20th at Norton Gymnasium.
Clark, the defending district champion, is a No. 2 seed and will take on third-seeded Paris at 7:45 on Feb. 18.
In the tournament opener, Montgomery County, the top seed, will play Bourbon County at 6 p.m.
The winners will meet in the finals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
The girls 40th district tournament will be Feb. 19 and 21st at Paris.
The Lady Cards will meet Bourbon County in the second game of a doubleheader at approximately 7:45 on Feb. 21. Montgomery County, the No. 1 seed, will play Paris in the opener at 6 p.m.
The finals are set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Franklin Co. 07 14 08 09 - 41
Clark 13 17 08 10 - 48
FRANKLIN COUNTY (7-11) — Meyer 11, Rowe 3, McCaskell 3, Lee 4, Herrod 2, Schneider 13, Roberts 6.
CLARK (8-16) — Warner 2, Caudill 13, King 8, Israel 9, Blanton 2, Sharrock 14.