The revenge tour at Scott County boys’ basketball’s expense is getting real.
After a three-year dynasty unseen in the 11th Region since the 1960s, one that tripped up numerous other teams along Interstates 75 and 64, younger SC is seeing a little bit of how the other half lives this winter.
SC dropped two games below the .500 mark with hard-fought but frustrating losses Friday at home to Henry Clay, 68-59, and Saturday at Oldham County, 74-59.
A year ago, SC won three of its four games against Henry Clay, including a 58-38 rout in the region championship. The Cardinals clubbed the Colonels, 91-34, in a December 2018 mismatch.
“We did that to a lot of people, and they all remember, but it’s OK,” SC coach Tim Glenn said.
Both weekend games were an uphill climb, with Scott County (6-8) closing the gap to four points before falling victim to a late getaway.
In a battle for first place in the 42nd District, Henry Clay (9-5) delivered the knockout punch on consecutive steals and transition layups by Sebian Dillard and Marquis Mackey with two minutes to go.
“If we would have executed a couple of times there, being down four, I’m thinking we had a shot, but turnovers kill you,” Glenn said. “Turnovers that lead right to baskets kill you.”
Mackey also scored on a catch-and-shoot with six-tenths of a second remaining in the first half to beat the buzzer and give Henry Clay a 34-30 lead.
The Blue Devils nursed that advantage for the duration after a first half that featured seven lead changes.
“Especially late, we had to do a little bit more gambling, but I thought early on before the end we really made them shoot over the top of us,” Glenn said. “(Marques) Warrick hit shots that we were right on him and contesting, tough shots, and Mackey did the same thing.
“We really took away their straight line drives, I thought, but they got the shots, and they made them. We had a few opportunities that we missed that would have put us a little better off.”
The battle between two of the region’s top players was essentially a stalemate.
Warrick, who will play next year at Northern Kentucky University, led all scorers with 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting. SC’s Terrin Hamilton was sensational with 26 points and 10 rebounds, winning Chick-Fil-A Georgetown player of the game honors on the Birds’ Nest Broadcasting Network.
“Terrin this week has taken the ball to the basket the way a good, strong guard is supposed to do it,” Glenn said. “I thought he could have gotten a call or two. We appreciate him. We lean on him a lot.”
Elias Richardson added 17 points for SC, which suffered a costly loss when senior guard Aaron Leake sprained his ankle in the third quarter.
In his absence, Silas Emongo was outstanding defensively for SC, which encouraged its coach with preparation and attitude despite the defeat.
“I really feel like as a group we turned the corner some this week,” Glenn said. “The intensity level of the past three days in our practice has been outstanding. I’m tickled to death with them. They haven’t shown it this way.”
Oldham County (14-2) gave coach Coy Zerhusen its first-ever win over his alma mater the next night.
The Colonels jumped out to a 21-8 lead after eight minutes and turned away countless Cardinal runs. Logan Hudgins (18), Deaton Oak (14) and Samuel Campbell (13) led the scoring for Oldham County.
Hamilton fought through three fouls in the first half and his fourth early in the third quarter to finish with 26 points and seven rebounds for SC. Richardson added 16 points and six boards. The Cards were undone by two-dozen turnovers.
This week’s schedule is equally stout. SC hosts Madison Central on Tuesday, travels to Frederick Douglass for another district clash Wednesday, and welcomes Lafayette to town Saturday night.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.