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It was a happy homecoming for Collins boys’ basketball coach Chris Gaither.
Gaither’s Titans topped his alma mater, Grayson County, 62-43, Tuesday night in Leitchfield.
“It was fun to be back home, and it was fun to see everybody there,” said Gaither, who has a banner with his name on it hanging in the Grayson gymnasium.
It was also fun for Gaither to bring back a victory.
The Titans (14-7) provided that thanks to defense and outside shooting. They held the Cougars (8-13), who came in averaging 55.3 points per game, 12 points under their season average.
“Our man-to-man defense was very good. We’ve played very good defense right now two games in a row,” said Gaither, whose team was coming off a 37-34 victory over Henderson County on Saturday.
Collins outscored Grayson County, 17-13, in the first quarter and 12-7 to the second to lead 29-20 at halftime.
Senior guard Buddy Johnson got the Titans’ offense off and rolling early. Johnson, who went scoreless against Henderson County, scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the first period. He hit three 3-pointers and one 2-pointer in the opening 8 minutes as the Cougars sat back in a zone defense.
“They left our shooters open,” Gaither said. “And Buddy did what we’ve asked him to do, not force anything and let the game come to him.
Senior forward Dez Marshall tallied the Titans’ other six points in that first period on his way to finishing with 11.
“We showed some patience on offense to get the best shot for our team,” Gaither said.
Collins also got a boost off the bench from junior forwards Zac Wiley and Ralphie Stone. Wiley hit a pair of 3-pointers on his way to eight points. Meanwhile Gaither praised Stone’s defense on Grayson County guard Talon Gray, who finished with just seven points.
“I think our team defense, our man-to-man, is getting a lot better, and that’s what we want going into the postseason,” Gaither said.
The Titans take their 3-game winning streak on the road tonight, when they play Oldham County (16-7) at 7:30 in a rematch of last season’s 8th Region final.
Collins then hosts Louisville Eastern (10-11) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in its Homecoming and Frankfort (7-15) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.