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MIDDLETOWN – Foul trouble and foul shooting did in the Shelby County boys’ basketball team Tuesday night.
Host Christian Academy of Louisville outscored the Rockets, 32-20, during the second and third quarters on its way to a 72-60 victory. The Centurions outpointed Shelby, 18-9, in the second period, when four of Shelby’s starters were on the bench with two fouls apiece.
The Rockets shot just 32.8 percent for the game, including only 25 percent in the middle quarters.
“We didn’t guard very well in the first half, then we couldn’t score in the second half,” said second-year Shelby County Coach Jason Couch, whose team made 20 of 61 shots. “We just couldn’t put both sides together in both halves.”
Junior forward Kemar Mason led the Rockets with 14 points, including eight in the high-scoring first quarter (CAL led, 26-25, after eight minutes).
“Kemar played his tail off,” Couch said. “I think it’s the best I’ve ever seen Kemar play.”
In the second period fouls caught up to Shelby as Mason, senior guard Kipp Moore, junior forward Keenan Cochran and sophomore forward James Gordon each went to the bench with a pair of fouls. Couch routinely removes players if they pick up two fouls in the first half.
Despite that the Rockets were within seven points late in the second quarter, and could’ve gotten closer. However they missed two front end free throws in one-and-one opportunities, then CAL’s Logan Jones hit a 3-pointer from the wing in the final seconds to give the Centurions a double-digit lead, 44-34, at intermission.
Shelby County couldn’t get closer than seven points in the second half, when the Rockets hit 9 of 22 shots from the field and went 8 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Senior forward Tony Colley scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead CAL (1-2), which hit 18 of its 25 free throws (Colley was 9-for-11).
Moore added 12 points, including six in the first quarter, and Gordon 11 for the Rockets.
Shelby County’s difficult early season schedule continues this weekend. The Rockets host crosstown-rival Collins (3-0) at 7:30 tonight in their 30th District opener, before hosting Bullitt East (3-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Mike Casey Classic.
Collins vs. Shelby County
The crosstown-showdown hits the hardwood tonight as Collins plays at Shelby County in a girls-boys doubleheader at Mike Casey Gymnasium. The girls’ game is slated to tip off at 6, with the boys’ game to follow around 7:30.
In the girls’ game the Rockets will try to avenge their last loss of last season. The Titans beat Shelby County, 52-48, in double overtime in the 30th District Tournament semifinals Feb. 20 at Collins. The Titans lead the 3-year-old series, 8-1, but the Rockets celebrated their first victory over Collins last season, winning, 38-37, on Dec. 14, 2012.
In the boys’ game Shelby County will be looking for its first-ever victory. Collins has won the first nine meetings by an average of 16.3 points per game.