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Short spurt downs Rockets

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Colonels’ 3-minute run swings game

By Josh Cook

BUCKNER – A little less than three minutes was all the time it took to sink Shelby County’s boys’ basketball team Friday night.

Host Oldham County outscored the Rockets, 14-0, during the last 1 minute and 32 seconds of the first half and the first 1:12 of the second half on its way to a 67-58 8th Region victory.

“That was the difference in the game,” Shelby County Coach Jason Couch said.

The Rockets (8-12), who had won seven of their previous eight games coming in, trailed, 22-16, at the end of the first quarter before tying the score at 24 on Kipp Moore’s rebound basket 1:58 before halftime.

However Hayden Hawes’ pull-up jumper 26 seconds later started the game-deciding surge for the Colonels (16-5), who scored the final seven points of the second period and the first seven of the third quarter.

“I thought we did a really good job of matching their intensity for the first fourteen minutes of the game,” Couch said. “[But] what really killed us was our last three possessions of the first half. We had really bad possessions.

“When we went into halftime, they had the momentum.”  

Oldham County kept that momentum in the third quarter, outscoring Shelby County, 24-11. The Rockets returned the favor in the fourth quarter, outpointing the Colonels, 23-12, to make the final margin less than double figures.  

Shelby County never led but tied the score four times in the first half. The final time was after Moore capped an 8-2 run by the Rockets with a follow-up field goal late in the second period.

Junior forward Keenan Cochran had a team-high 13 points, including nine in the second half, for Shelby County, which shot just 36.4 percent (16-for-44) from the field. 

“We missed a lot of shots we’ve been hitting lately,” said Couch, whose team was 25-for-39 (64.1 percent) from the free-throw line.

Moore added 12 points, and sophomore forward James Gordon contributed 10.

 “I know they’re disappointed because we’ve made good strides,” Couch said. “[But] if we improve as much from the beginning of February to the end of February, like we did in January, we’ll be all right.”

Hawes scored a game-high 17 points for Oldham, which won its sixth consecutive game. Senior forward Austin Perkins added 15 - nine in the first quarter and six in the third.

Shelby County, which was scheduled to host Frankfort on Tuesday night, will host Franklin County at 7:30 p.m. Thursday before playing at Collins on Saturday night.

 

COOK’S QUICK TAKE

This was a good measuring-stick game for the Rockets, who came in red-hot.

What they can take away is this: They have the talent to compete with the Colonels, who have played in the past three 8th Region championship games (winning in 2011 and 2012), but they just don’t have the big-game experience yet. Shelby County still has time to gain some, though, before  the postseason. Five of its final seven regular-season foes have above-.500 records.