HALL OF FAME
WHITAKER BANK/KHSAA BOYS' SWEET 16: Bardstown's run ends in state QFs
March 24, 2014Bardstown High School
Tigers fall 61-54 to Covington Catholic
Friday, March 21, 2014 at 11:20 pm (Updated: March 22, 2:07 am)
LEXINGTON — The Bardstown Tiger dream ride came to an end in Rupp Arena Friday night, but not without a fight
One night after winning the first state tournament game in school history, the 5th Region champions battled Covington Catholic (31-2) to the final minutes before falling 61-54 in a quarterfinal game.
The loss put an end to the most successful season in school history.
Seivon Schooling, the 5th Region’s co-Player of the Year, reflected on Bardstown’s magical ride.
“We won a game at the state tournament for the first time in school history,” he said. “But we wanted so much more. These guys were not just my teammates, but they were by brothers.”
In a game that featured 19 lead changes and 14 ties, it was the Colonels who were able to execute down the stretch, scoring on nine of their last twelve possessions while limiting Bardstown to only five of their final 10.
A Nicolas DeVillalobos layup on a feed from Sevion Schooling tied the score at 50 with 2:46 left in the game. That’s when Nick Ruthsatz took over for Covington Catholic.
Scoring six free throws in the final 1:46 from the charity stripe kept Bardstown at bay. The crafty point guard guided his team down the stretch as he finished the game with 21 points, including 10-for-14 from the line. He managed his team’s offense against the Bardstown pressure as the Colonels only committed two second-half turnovers.
It was Bardstown’s inability to hit its free throws that thwarted their chance to advance into the semifinals against Bowling Green. The Tigers missed three of their eight attempts and finished the game 13 of its 22 tries.
“I don’t know if it was fatigue or what, but our free throws wouldn’t fall and we missed some shots that we normally make,” said an emotional Bardstown coach James “Boo” Brewer.
But the Tiger mentor was for the most part pleased with his team’s effort.
“We limited them to only two three pointers tonight after they hit 12 last night,” he said. “My guys did a very good job of closing out on them and forcing them away from the three point line.”
Covington Catholic coach Scott Ruthsatz said that Bardstown (27-7) posed matchup problems for the 9th Region champions.
“Bardstown was a very tough opponent for us,” he said. “We had to force them to make shots and I think our guys did a nice job down the stretch.”
He was especially pleased at how they overcame a turnover that resulted in a slam dunk by L.J. Cowherd that gave the Tigers a 46-44 advantage with 6:11 to play, exciting the Bardstown faithful.
“We had to rally the troops after that,” he said.
Unfortunately, Covington Catholic was able to outscore Bardstown 17-8 over the last 4:35 of the game.
Young led all Bardstown players in scoring with 14, including seven of the Tigers’ first 11 points of the second half while Cowherd added 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists in an All-Tournament team effort. Schooling, who was not at 100 percent after injuring his ankle against PRP, finished his high school career with 10 points and six rebounds.
Though disappointed with the loss, Brewer sang the praises of his relatively young team.
“At the beginning of the season, no one mentioned Bardstown as a regional contender, but these kids believed in themselves,” he said. “I’ve got some good players coming back.”
Bardstown outscored the Colonels 7-2 to start the third period on the strength of a pair of baskets by Young, who along with Schooling scored five points each as the Tigers were able to pull ahead by five points on a two occasions. There were five lead changes in that stanza.
The first half was played at a much different pace than the Tigers’ 75-70 opening-round win over Pleasure Ridge Park.
In that game, Bardstown scored 20 points in the first quarter alone and tallied 40 in the half.
Against the Colonels, Bardstown did not hit the 20-point mark until Schooling scored his only basket of the half with 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Bardstown took 22 shots in the opening half of both games but hit only nine against the Colonels (40 percent) after connecting on 15 against a much quicker PRP team for a sizzling 68 per cent clip.
Yet Bardstown was able to tie the game when Young scored on a driving layup in the final 30 seconds of the half.
The Tigers had weathered an 11-0 run by the Colonels to get back into the game. After moving ahead 12-8 on a Young basket near the end of the first period, Bardstown went more three minutes without a basket. That’s when Colonel senior center Mark Shult scored eight of his 10 first-half points to push his team into a 19-14 lead. A field goal by Cowherd and a long three-pointer by reserve Quindon Litsey brought Bardstown back.
While Bardstown struggled offensively in the opening half, their defense was strong against a Covington Catholic team that was eight of 12 from behind the arc in the first 16 minutes of their 80-78 win over Clay County. They misfired on their only three tries.
The Tigers were outrebounded, 30-22.