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Hornets fall to Butler in region tourney; Mike Orr retires from coaching


The Hornets season came to a close last Thursday with a 67-56 loss to Butler County in a quarterfinal game of the 3rd Region Boys Basketball Tournament. The event was held at the Sportscenter in Owensboro. Hancock County finished the season with a record of 18-12.

“We got off to a slow start and we didn’t convert on some shots that we normally do. We got down 10 points or so and it kind of stayed there. Evan (Ferry) went down in the third quarter and that took a little wind out of our sails,” HCHS coach Mike Orr said.

The Bears grabbed the lead early and never let go.

Butler’s Lawson Rice scored three times in the first quarter while Ty Price and Justin Castlen hit 3-point baskets to pace the Bears to a 15-10 first quarter advantage. Kaleb Keown, Evan Ferry, Dylan Morris, Cole Dixon and Luke Brown all scored one basket each for HCHS.

Devyn Powers splashed two 3’s for the Hornets during the second frame, but Butler County countered with three triples and pushed the lead to 28-18 at intermission.

Price got rolling in the third quarter. The quick sophomore, who averaged 31 points per game during the season, hit three 3’s and scored 13 points in the frame.

Ferry hit a “3” before going down early in the second half with a knee injury. The senior point guard did not return to action.

Powers helped keep Hancock County in contention by scoring nine points during the third quarter. Dixon added five points and Butler County’s lead was 48-36 heading to the final frame.

Dixon scored twice more in the fourth and Keown hit three foul shots, but it was Powers who had the hot hand. The senior finished off his Hornet career by scoring six field goals over the final minutes. But, Price was too slick with his speed and handle and Hancock was forced to foul. Price connected on 7 of 8 from the line while the Bears made good on 14 shots from the stripe as a team to secure the win.

“I was proud of the guys. We played evenly with them with Evan out. We didn’t pack it in and Devyn played an incredible offensive basketball game. He and Cole tried to will us on,” Orr said. “Price kind of took over the game there. Every time we would get a 4-0 run he would hit a “3” from the logo.

“Dylan Morris stepped up and was active, but it was hard to make up for the loss of Ryan (Ogle) and then with Evan going down it was a tough deal. I would have liked to know how it would have shaken out if we had everyone.

“All-and-all, with everything this group has been through, they’ve been pretty successful. I’m proud of them and of what they’ve accomplished,” Orr said.

Hancock shot 45% from the field and made 7 of 10 from the foul line.

Butler shot 44% from the field and made 16 of 22 from the stripe.

Powers led HCHS with 28 points, adding two rebounds, one assist and two steals. Dixon had 13 points, six boards, one assist and one block. Keown had six points, four boards, two assists and one steal. Ferry had five points, two assists and one steal. Morris had two points, seven boards, three assists and one block. Brown had two points, three boards and one steal. Alex Madden grabbed one rebound.

Price finished with 31 points to lead BCHS. Rice scored 16.

End of an era

Head coach Mike Orr announced his retirement from coaching following the end of the season.

“I meant to stay retired the last time, but the school needed someone to step up and take it (in 2018) and it’s what you’re supposed to do when your school and the kids need you, so I thought it was the right thing.

“I don’t have any regrets. We had a good run this year and I’m at peace with the decision. I’ve been a head coach for 24 years and in this profession for 34 years. I was fortunate enough to go to the regional tournament 14 times, reached the semis and finals and played All “A” championship games. I had one hole in my resume and that was to win a 3rd Region title. I thought this group, with everybody healthy, I might be able to fill that. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

By Steve Wimmer

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