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No Stone, no problem for Titans

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They have won 11 out of 12

By Josh Cook

Playing without its leading scorer and rebounder the Collins boys’ basketball team once again found a way to win.

With senior standout Ralphie Stone sidelined by a sore knee, the Titans rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to beat host Harrison County, 46-44, Saturday night in Cynthiana.

It was the 11th victory in 12 games for Collins (21-3), which improved to 9-0 in games decided by three points or less.

“We continued to be a team that finds a way,” said Titans Coach Chris Gaither, whose team has won its last three games by one point, three points and two points.

Sans Stone (bothered by tendinitis), Collins led, 9-8, at the end of the first quarter  -- Harrison County’s senior manager, who suffers from cerebral palsy, scored the game’s first points, Gaither said – before the Thorobreds outscored the Titans, 17-4, in the second period to take a 25-13 lead at halftime.

“Playing without Ralphie, we struggled to find some scoring early, which was evident in the second quarter,” Gaither said. “In the first half offensively we had too many turnovers, and we were settling too much for jump shots.

“In the second half we battled back. We started pressing more.”

Collins outscored Harrison County (11-14 after the game), 14-10, in the third quarter and, 19-9, in the fourth.

“Paul [Miller] and Lawson [Page] stepped up, and Deion [Cochran] had a couple of key deflections for us,” Gaither said.

Miller took a charge with 6 seconds left and the Titans leading by one point to help secure the victory (the Thorobreds missed a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer).

“That was very gutsy,” Gaither said.

Cochran, a junior guard, tallied a team-high 15 points, 13 in the second half. He hit a trio of 2-pointers and a trio of 3-pointers. Junior point guard Brent Kidwell added 14 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.

Collins won despite making only half of its 16 free-throw attempts.

The Titans host Male (12-13 through Monday) at 6 tonight and John Hardin at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, the Titans’ Senior Night.