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Hornets crush Grayson in regional quarterfinal

Hancock County nearly shot the lights out when they bombarded Grayson County in a quarterfinal game of the boys 3rd Region tournament Thursday at the Sportscenter in Owensboro. The Hornets defeated the Cougars by a final score of 54-35. The last win for a Hornet boys team in the regional tourney before Thursday was in 1994.

“It’s important to get off to a good start down there and we really emphasized that going in. Our kids were locked in and we were hitting shots. This was a huge win,” HCHS coach Mike Orr said.

Evan Ferry had his way early on when the point guard scored three times on drives to the basket. Ryan Ogle and Devyn Powers both connected from beyond the arc while Kaleb Keown chipped in four points to help Hancock County build a 16-4 lead.

The Hornets continued their assault on the Cougars in the second frame from inside and out. Ogle, Keown and Powers all splashed 3’s and Ferry and Luke Brown scored to give the boys a 33-12 halftime advantage. Hancock County’s first half shooting percentage was an impressive 63 percent.

Grayson County tried to battle back and the Cougars won the third period 11-7. The Hornets still held a comfortable, 40-23 lead and they never let up in the fourth. Powers scored three times as Hancock County pulled away to win by 19 points.

“This run we’ve had, it’s pretty much been on the defensive end,” Orr said. “We played well tonight defensively pretty much the whole game.”

The Hornets shot 53% for the game. They were 6 of 12 from long range and 8 of 12 from the foul line.

Grayson made 12 of 15 from the stripe. Shooting percentages were not posted.

Ogle had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ferry had 12 points, seven assists and two steals, Powers had 12 points and five boards, Keown had nine points, five boards and three assists, Brown had four points and two assists, Landyn Emmick had a board a block and a steal, Jordan Payne had two boards and a block, Camden Lucas had two points, and Dylan Morris had one assist.

River Blanton led Grayson County with 17 points.

Mustangs hang on

Trey Lovell scored 15 points from the foul line in the fourth quarter and the Muhlenberg County Mustangs held on for a 53-45 win over the Hornets in a semifinal game of the 3rd Region basketball tournament at the Sportscenter in Owensboro Saturday.

“They guys really responded after we got down. We showed a lot of resolve in the second half and we hit some big shots. I’m proud of the fact that we were within a possession or two of tying it or maybe even winning it,” HCHS coach Mike Orr said. “This shows that we can compete with the best teams in the region.”

The first period was a defensive battle with the Muhlenberg winning 7-6. Hancock County (15-14) played right with the favored Mustangs and could have led if not for several layups that wouldn’t fall.

Ryan Ogle got his second foul of the game in the second quarter and the junior was forced to the bench. The Mustangs took advantage of his absence by building a 22-10 halftime lead. Asher Carver gave the Mustangs a boost when he splashed three 3-point baskets during the frame.

The Hornets came out of the locker room ready for battle and Ogle, Evan Ferry and Kaleb Keown all scored multiple baskets that helped pull Hancock County back to within seven points. Muhlenberg led 33-26 after three quarters.

Ferry had a nice drive to the basket for two points that trimmed the lead to four early in the fourth. Ogle later hit a big “3” that pulled the Hornets to within three points (36-33) with five minutes on the clock.

The Hornets were later down 39-35 at the 2:42 mark  when coach Orr instructed his team to foul Donavan McCoy with the Mustangs in the double bonus. The 50 percent shooter was true to his reputation as he made the first then missed the second. Unfortunately for HCHS the Mustangs secured the rebound.

Lovell put Muhlenberg back ahead by six points before Keown delivered a big “3” from the baseline that made the score 43-40 with 1:35 on the clock.

Hancock County was desperate to stop Lovell but the reigning 3rd Region Player of the Year could not be denied. The senior kept the ball in his hands and the Hornets’ pressure defense resulted in sending him to the line throughout the final minutes.

“We most certainly weren’t wanting to foul him, but he was getting in the lane and he attacks. I thought we did a good job of walling up, but we got a few calls that didn’t go our way and he just made ‘em,” Orr said.

The Hornets cut the lead to three once again on a jump shot by Keown, but Lovell answered at the line.

A steal and a basket by the Mustangs all but sealed the outcome, but Powers was not finished. The junior buried a 3-pointer that made the score 49-45 with 25 seconds remaining.

The Mustangs got the ball to Lovell again and the Hornets were forced to foul. Lovell finished with 11 consecutive made free throws and the Mustangs advanced to the regional finals.

The Hornets played a great game and they enjoyed a nice run, winning 9 of their final 12 games to finish the season.

Hancock County shot 50% from the field. They made 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and 3 of 3 from the foul line.

Muhlenberg shot 35% from the field. They were 5 of 15 from long range and 18 of 26 from the charity stripe.

Keown scored 17 points and six rebounds, Ogle had 11 points and eight boards, Ferry had 10 points, one board and five assists, Powers had seven points, three boards, three assists and one block. Landyn Emmick had three rebounds and four blocked shots, and Luke Brown had two boards and one assist.

Lovell finished with 19 points to lead MCHS.

“We have a lot coming back next year and we have a lot to be proud of,” coach Orr said.

By Steve Wimmer

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