HALL OF FAME
ALL A CLASSIC: Bardstown title run comes up short
February 21, 2013Bardstown High School
Tigers held to 32% shooting
Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm (Updated: January 29, 10:47 am)
FRANKFORT — Bardstown was unable to overcome Newport Central Catholic’s mammoth front line Sunday, falling short in the Touchstone Energy All A Classic championship, 75-54.
It was the second straight season the Tigers (19-6) lost in the small-school state championship game, dropping a 52-51 decision to Covington Holy Cross on a last-second three-pointer in 2012.
“I’m hurting right now for these kids,” Bardstown coach James “Boo” Brewer said. “It wasn’t God’s will today.”
The Thoroughbreds’ post duo of 6’8 Jake Schulte and 6’6 Drew McDonald, the tourney MVP, combined for 33 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks, hitting 14-of-21 from the field. They combined with 6’5 defensive stopper Nick Seibert (11 points, three assists, three steals) — who smothered Tiger standout senior Devonte Grundy, limiting him 5-for-20 shooting — to hassle Bardstown into 32 percent shooting from the field.
Seibert said slowing down Grundy, who had averaged 26 points and 10 rebounds through the tournament’s first three games, was important, and that he and the NewCath guards were able to gamble knowing there are “two really tall big guys who are going to help me.”
The Tigers and Thoroughbreds (21-2), champs of the 9th Region, were in a back-and-forth battle until Newport Central Catholic scored the final five points of the second quarter to build a 31-26 lead, the biggest for either team early on.
Grundy (14 points, 12 rebounds) opened the second half with seven straight Tiger points, tying things at 33-33 at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter. Minutes later, a pair of free throws by sophomore L.J. Cowherd — who scored 21 to lead Bardstown — cut the Newport Central Catholic lead to 38-37 with 3:25 left in the third.
From there, it was all Thoroughbreds as they reeled off 18 unanswered points, a five-minute run capped by Michael Bueter’s three-pointer. The cold-shooting Tigers (19-for-60) were never able to recover, getting only as close as 11 in the final minutes.
It was a stark contrast for how the tournament had gone for Bardstown to that point, as the Tigers used big runs in each of their first three wins.
“Normally we have the 18-0 run,” a frustrated Brewer said.
In all, Newport Central Catholic blistered the nets, connecting on 59.5 percent (25-for-42) of its attempts. Bueter had 21 points and four assists.
The Tigers’ lone win in the stat department was in rebounding, where they held a 35-26 advantage, snaring 21 offensive boards.
“We did have a lot of second chances, we just couldn’t finish them,” Grundy said.
Bardstown was back in action at home Tuesday after press time for this edition in a 19th District matchup against Bethlehem (17-3) as part of a girls-boys doubleheader.
Senior Marcus Cosby said the bright side is there’s still a month left of the season, with the district and region tournament ahead. Still, falling again in the finals left a bad taste.
“We were in this tournament for a reason, and it wasn’t to lose in the last game.”