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The LaRue County Hawks varsity basketball team overcame a very stubborn Green County Dragon team 55-48 in the 18th District title game Feb. 27 at Caverna High School in overtime.
Green County senior guard John Stone hit a runner in the lane to tie the game at 44 to send the game into overtime, but LaRue County scored 11 points to Green County’s four to clinch the victory.
The Hawks were down 23-16 at the half after scoring only four points in the second quarter. The Hawks shot 32 percent from the field and were out-rebounded 39-24 but forced 21 Green County turnovers. The Hawks managed to keep it close the entire second half and were able to take a small lead late in the game when Green County could not capitalize on free throws.
“The game came down to us missing free throws. We were 12 of 21 from the free throw line and in a game like this, you’ve got to shoot a better percentage,” Green County Coach Ashley Geralds told a News-Enterprise reporter.
Anthony Myrks led the Hawks in scoring with 20 points while Jordan Brewer had 10 points and Kyle Sheeran nine. Jason Carlberg tallied eight points and Tyler Nall and Christian Mullins had four each.
“It’s great for the kids,” said Hawks head coach Paul Childress. “You work hard all year and this is something special for the players to finish off their district schedule 8-0.”
Sheeran, Myrks and Brewer were named to the 18 District regular season team and All-Tournament Team.
The Hawks reached the 18th District Championship by plowing over Caverna 72-58 Feb. 23.
After getting off to a slow start, the Hawks took the lead midway through the first quarter and maintained the lead throughout the game.
“We came out just a little flat early on in the first quarter, but picked it up after our first time out,” said Childress. “We executed our game plan really well. Anthony Myrks, Jordan Brewer and Christian Mullins were aggressive to the basket and were able to make some easy shots and draw fouls to get to the line. Kyle Sheeran got us going offensively with three 3’s in the first half.”
The Hawks led by five at the end of the first quarter and by two at the half. They extended their lead in the third quarter to as many 13 points, but Caverna battled back in the fourth quarter and only trailed by six points with three minutes to go in the game. The Hawks tightened their defense and aggressively attacked the basket requiring the Colonels to foul.
The Hawks were outstanding at the free throw line especially late in the game. Anthony Myrks hit 15 of 16 free throws with the Hawks hitting 28 of 38 total free throws.
“Caverna kept battling,” Childress said. “Our guys did a good job of holding their composure and staving off Caverna’s comeback runs. Myrks was huge for us at the free throw line. Our emphasis for the game was to stay on the attack and make them foul us.”
The Hawks had four players who scored in double figures: Myrks had 23 points and nine rebounds; Sheeran had 15 points; Brewer had 13; and Mullins 10. Carlberg had four points and Tyler Nall came off the bench with three. Kelton Ford and Kyle Meredith had two points each.
Jerrod Harper led Caverna with 25 points and nine rebounds.
“I was very proud of our guys and the resolve they showed during the game,” said Childress. “I thought they really executed well when we needed to. That is a sign we have really improved as the year progressed.”