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Three Hawks scored 20 or more points to lead homestanding LaRue County (2-0) past 5th Region rival Bardstown Bethlehem, 89-72, on Dec. 9.
Freshman guard Anthony “Smurf” Brewer got the Hawks on the board early while Tyler Hornback added nine quick points in the first quarter. The Eagles matched the Hawks basket for basket, as neither team could extend a lead on the other. The second quarter proved similar as each team took turns with offensive runs.
A 3-pointer by senior guard Christian Seymour and a basket by Tyler Nall pushed the Hawks ahead to a slim 41-39 halftime margin.
“I thought offensively we were really aggressive, but we did a lot of standing on defense and some of our guys got in foul trouble because of that,” said head coach Paul Childress.
The second half proved to be all LaRue as the Hawks switched defenses – a move that seemed to confuse the Eagles. A big third quarter allowed the Hawks to push the lead to double digits. Bethlehem never recovered and LaRue pulled away in a very physical game. “We played a little better defensively in the second half. Christian, Tyler, and Smurf did a great job of getting to the rim. We were standing a lot in the first half, but we became much more aggressive in the second half. A lot of guys contributed in this one,” said Childress.
The Hawks were paced by Seymour and Anthony Brewer, who each had 23 points. Hornback added 20 points, Bault 11 points, Nall 5 points, Christian Mullins 4 points, Kyle Sheeran 3 points.
LaRue County squeaked by Hart 53-51 Friday as the team picked up its third consecutive win.
LaRue came out a little keyed up, missing on some layups and picking up some early fouls, said Childress. The teams traded baskets and fouls. The game was tied 11-11 after the first quarter.
The second quarter proved more productive as both teams settled into their offense and defense. Cedric Vaughn of Hart County added six points in the quarter as the Hawks kept pace with baskets from Nall and a 3-pointer by Seymour. The Raiders took a one-point lead into the half, 25-24.
“Hart County gave us some opportunities in the first half, but we missed some easy shots and seemed a little tentative. Our defense was a little better, but they were missing shots as well. I thought we could have extended a lead if we would have been a little more energized. We were awfully flat,” said Childress.
Hart scored the first five points of the second half, building a six-point lead on the Hawks. LaRue played flat for the rest of the third quarter. The Raiders built an eight-point lead early in the fourth quarter. As the game seemed to be slipping away, LaRue responded with a big 19-point effort in the last quarter. Key baskets by Anthony Brewer and Seymour pulled the Hawks within one point with a minute to play. After a missed Raider shot, Hornback was fouled and was able to knock down two free throws with 4.4 seconds left on the clock. A last second shot attempt by the Raiders was off the mark and LaRue pulled out a big district win on the road.
“It was not pretty at all,” said Childress, “ but the guys kept hanging in there. We were missing layups, free throws early on, and breaking down defensively, but yet we had guys to step up big in the final minutes. Smurf and Christian were able to knock down their free throws and Tyler hitting those last two was big. This was a good win for us.”
Anthony Brewer led the Hawks in scoring with 15 points, Hornback added 13, Seymour 12, Nall 10, Bryan Bault 2, and Kyle Sheeran 1. The Hawks improve to 3-0 on the year and will travel to Caverna Friday.