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The Shelby County boys' basketball team blew a 15-point halftime lead as visiting Gallatin County outscored the Rockets 44-20 in the second half of a 66-57 game Tuesday.
Gallatin (14-4) cut the lead to single digits in the first two minutes of the third quarter when the Rockets (13-4) turned the ball over six times in their first eight possessions. Gallatin then took its first lead of the game with just 15 seconds left in the third on a putback off a missed free throw.
"We played well in the first half, but for whatever reason we ran out of gas in the second half," SCHS head coach Mike Clark said. "We committed turnovers that we don't usually make, and allowed second and third shots that we don't usually allow. When you consider it was our fourth game in seven days, we certainly didn't have the energy and weren't as focused in the second half as we needed to be."
The Rockets briefly regained the lead to start the fourth on a Tim Sanford three, but Gallatin tied the score two possessions later and took the lead for good at 50-47 on a three of their own with 4:45 to play.
The loss was the Rockets' third in four games, but Clark wanted to make it known that the mistakes made won't reoccur.
"The mistakes we made in the second half we won't make again, maybe not again this year," he said. "To commit six turnovers in eight possessions is completely inexcusable. We had been competitive through this tough stretch in our schedule, even in our losses to Franklin County and Western Hills, but this was the first time I didn't feel like we were competitive at all in the second half."
In the first half the Rockets repeatedly went inside to build their lead. Coty Minnis scored 17 of his game high 24 points in the first half, but in the second the Rockets struggled to get the ball in the post and maintain possession, along with struggling to stop a Gallatin County team they had limited to just 22 first half points.
Clark said decisions will have to be made, starting at practice on Wednesday.
"After that we'll make decisions on whether or not to change our starting line-up," he said. "And we've got to continue to work on things that we've not done well in three out of the last four games. We've got work on our offensive execution and getting defensive stops when we need them."
However, Clark noted that it's not time to hit the panic button just yet.
"What concerns me most is that we're playing our best basketball at the end of February and the beginning of March," he said. "Obviously things haven't gone our way much of the last week, but I'm confident that our guys will come out ready to play and bounce back against North Oldham (tonight) and Ryle (Saturday).
The Rockets look to get off the slide tonight at 8-6 North Oldham, and then follow that with a 7:30 tip-off Saturday at home against Ryle (7-9).
North Oldham has won two of its last three games, including a 60-58 double overtime win at Oldham County on Jan. 17. North lost its last game 62-57 to Owen County, also on the road and in overtime.
Ryle opened the season with a three-game losing streak and has lost it's last two. Ryle did however beat Gallatin County 53-38 at home on Jan. 12.