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Tigers can’t close gap against Trojans

April 5, 2011
Bardstown High School

By Peter W. Zubaty

Bardstown made region favorite North Hardin earn its berth in today’s 5th Region semifinals, scratching and clawing with the bigger Trojans for four quarters Thursday before succumbing, 72-61.

“I thought we competed hard tonight,” Bardstown coach Gary Goode said. “We competed hard, made some plays. Made some big shots.”

The Tigers (8-17) blistered the nets at a 52 percent clip (25-of-48) and caught the Trojans on a cold night where they hit only 27-of-70 attempts (39 percent). But the Trojans battered the Tigers on the glass, 45-30, and forced 21 turnovers.

“It was a fight out there, but they got the best of us,” Tiger senior Keaton Hall said. “We gave them all we got, no regrets.”

North Hardin (25-4) opened the game hot, hitting five three-pointers while building a 25-12 first-quarter lead. The Trojans stretched that lead out to 33-18 before the Tigers steadied themselves, riding hot shooting by Keaton Hall — who hit four threes in the first half — to finish out the second quarter on a 15-5 spurt and find themselves down just five, 38-33.

But the Trojans were able to build a lead back up to double digits, and managed to hold the Tigers at arm’s length throughout the second half. A lot of it had to do with the way North Hardin defended Hall, holding the senior scoreless after the break following his 14-point first half.

“He had a great first half, really shot it well, but to their credit they stepped up and really defended him well in that second half and limited his looks,” Goode said.

Still, the Tigers kept the pressure on the Trojans, and got as close as eight on several occasions in the fourth quarter thanks to 11 points in the frame by Nathan Hall — who led the Tigers with 17. However, Bardstown couldn’t come up with the big shot late.

“There were several times when we just needed a play to go our way — where we had to have it at that time — and it seemed like those were the times they got that second shot” to go in, Goode said. “Just one of those games where we played plenty well to be there with a very good team, we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

“It happened just like that last time we played them,” Keaton Hall said. “We were one play from getting them. It’s tough for it to happen twice against the same team.”

North Hardin’s James Berry led his team with 21 points — 16 in the second half — and 12 rebounds, while Nigel Phelps added 19 points and seven boards. Nick McCarty had 10 points for Bardstown, and Chance Grundy had nine points and eight rebounds.

It was a season that saw the Tigers drop nine of their first 10 games during December but recover by going 6-2 against 19th District opponents and make a seventh-consecutive trip to the 5th Region tournament.

“I’ve got to give our seniors a ton of credit,” Goode said. “At the beginning of the season, we were inexperienced, not comfortable playing together. We just weren’t a very good varsity basketball team at the beginning of the season, and our record showed it.

“Because our seniors did such a great job of working, sticking with it and keeping us together, we got better.”

Keaton Hall said there were a number of times the team could have folded its tent in December, but didn’t.

“That shows the character of our team,” he said.

5th Region tournament

at Nelson Co.

North Hardin 72, Bardstown 61 — Cosby 2, Grundy 9, N. Hall 17, McCarty 10, Coulter 7, K. Hall 14, Hubbard 2.

  • B 12 21 10 15—61
  • NH 25 13 15 19—72
  • B (61)
  • NH (72) — Coney 7, Phelps 19, Brangers 9, Rol. Emerson 3, Ruttley 3, Roo. Emerson 7, Hendrix 3, Berry 21.

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