Soaring to new heights

Chris Coffey, 2019 national champion and 2020 national player of the year at Georgetown College, has flexed his muscles on the professional court as a rookie for BK Ventspils in Latvia. His former teammates Jacob Conway, Troy Steward and Eljay Cowherd also are excelling in Europe as they launch their careers at the next level.

Three of Georgetown College’s 2019 national champions had huge games recently for their European professional teams.

Chris Coffey, last season’s NAIA national player of the year, out up 10 points, eight rebounds, five steals, two assists and two blocked shots for BK Ventspils in a come-from-behind, 88-82 win over BK Ogre in Latvia.

Coffey’s team is now 9-2 on the season after the Saturday win.

Also on Saturday, Jacob Conway amassed 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Derby Trailblazers in their win over the Leicester Warriors in England.

Troy Steward scored a career-high 26 points to o with five rebounds for his club in Superleague Georgia on Monday, Dec. 7. Eljay Cowherd also is playing in Portugal.

Stepping stone for Stewart

In the “where are they now” category, another key component of Scott County’s 2018 and 2019 regional champion and state runner-up boys’ basketball teams has been spotted keeping his hoop dreams alive at the junior college level.

Stewart, a 5-foot-10 point guard, is on the roster at Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College. 

The Tigers feature players on their roster from Wisconsin, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, New York and Spain. 

Long looks strong at IU East

Consistently a quiet, multi-faceted leader on three Scott County High School basketball teams, two of which went to the KHSAA state finals, Bryce Long is off to an explosive start in his sophomore season with the Indiana University East men's hoop program.

Long scored a career-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in the Red Wolves' 112-92 win over Reinhardt University on Nov. 29. MeadowView Conference Resort in Kingsport, Tennessee, hosted the neural-site event.

It was the third consecutive win for IU East, which also received 18 points from Daulton Blackwell and Garrett Silcott.

“We really shared the ball well, and that opened up a ton of open looks from three,” Long said.

Long nailed a pair of threes to rip open what was a 29-27 game midway through the first half. The run vaulted the Red Wolves to the century mark for the first time in five contests this season.

"I think we are definitely getting closer as a team,” Long said. "That chemistry is helping us play better together as one. Three wins in a row, and it's only the beginning.”

Long averaged 2.4 points per game and logged 32 rebounds, 14 assists and 11 steals last winter in his rookie season, when he made five starts in 30 appearances.

He is up to 8.0 ppg and 2.8 to open this season. Long's 41.7 percent proficiency from beyond the 3-point stripe ranks third among the Red Wolves.

Great Crossing graduate Jaylen Barber also has appeared in one game for IU East. Barber collected three points and two rebounds in his college debut. 

EKU takes down Transy

Eastern Kentucky University men's basketball improved to 5-1 on the season Saturday with an 81-60 victory over traditional NCAA Division III power Transylvania University.

Scott County's Michael Moreno snagged a team-best seven rebounds while also sharing top honors in the assist category with three. It marked the 15th time in only 39 career games that Moreno has led the Colonels on the boards.

After erupting for a career-high 29 points in last Monday's dramatic 71-68 conference win over Morehead State, Moreno took only four shots and settled for four points as the heavily favored Colonels shared the wealth against the Pioneers.

Cheikh Faye led EKY with 16 points, while Jomaru Brown combined 13 points with five steals. Wendell Green Jr. (12) and Curt Lewis (11) also reached double digits for EKU.

Cooper Robb battled foul trouble after picking up three whistles in the first seven minutes. The 2018 Scott County grad produced four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 19 minutes.

Zach Larimore, who played for former SCHS star Coy Zerhusen at Oldham County High School, led all scorers with 24 points for Transylvania.

EKU will play the other half of its home-and-home series at Morehead State on Monday night before hosting another non-D1 opponent, Campbellsville University-Harrodsburg, on Thursday. 

In-state rivalry losses for former Lady Cardinals

Both recent 2,000-point career scorers from Scott County High School girls' basketball were in action Friday as their Ohio Valley Conference programs returned to the court.

Maaliya Owens hit her first shot of the game, a foul-line jumper, to give Tennesee Tech an early 11-3 lead at Chattanooga.

Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, it was a tough shooting day for everyone thereafter in a 76-65 loss.

Owens, a sophomore, finished with four points and a steal in 19 minutes. She fought through a hand injury suffered in practice the previous day. 

Tennessee Tech shot only 33.9 percent for the game, including 3-for-22 from 3-point range.

Baskets were also hard to come by for Morehead State, which fell 50-49 at home to EKU on two Alice Recanati free throws in the closing seconds.

Making her second collegiate appearance, freshman guard Morgan DeFoor grabbed three rebounds and blocked two shots in 10 minutes. DeFoor had two points, three boards and two assists over 22 minutes in a 71-57 loss to Dayton on Nov. 25.

The ex-Lady Cards are scheduled to meet up Jan. 7 in Morehead and Jan. 30 in Cookeville.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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