Darren Doyle, story and photos
Few teams can finish off a first quarter with a deficit of 24-3 and have a decent chance of coming back, and the Wildcats weren't one of them last night as they fell to the McClean County Cougars 74-61 at the All A Regional Tournament held at the Trinity High School barn.
McClean County's height (two 6'7" players), athleticism, and a ridiculous 70% field goal percentage for the game was just too much to overcome, even with Edmonson County's 31-point 4th quarter.
"Our kids didn't quit, and that's the positive thing to take from tonight," said assistant coach Bart Weaver. "But we weren't ready to play. That doesn't go on our kids...it goes on us as coaches."
Head Coach Mike McClintic called the Edmonson Voice office this morning. "We weren't ready to play last night. Not being prepared is on me, not our players. I take full responsibility. Our kids played their hearts out, this one's on me."
In the first half, it seemed that everything that could've gone wrong for the Wildcats did, while McClean County was able to do everything right. The Wildcats trailed 40-15 at halftime.
While Edmonson County was able to find a bit more offense in the third, the Cougars continued to step on the gas as McClean County extended the lead to 59-30 after the third.
Edmonson County showed tremendous composure and effort in a 31-point 4th quarter as the Cats came out on a 14-2 run to cut the lead to 61-44 with 4:05 left. Buttram and Skaggs connected on multiple three pointers and Board put up 10 points in the final quarter, but it wasn't enough as the first quarter proved to be a mountain the Wildcats couldn't top.
Edmonson County's main strength has been solid post play and rebounding all season long, but not on this night. The Wildcats were out-rebounded 30-22 and were outscored 56-30 in the paint.
Edmonson County was led in scoring by Bailey Board with 17 points. Hunter Buttram had 14 points and 5 rebounds, Austin Sowders had 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Caleb Skaggs had 10 points.
Other Wildcat scorers included Blankenship with 7 points and 5 rebounds, Cole had 2, and Peger scored 1.
The Wildcats are now 12-7 on the season and are currently ranked fourth in the 3rd Region. They will face Trinity at home on Monday, January 25, in a district girl/boy doubleheader. Girl's action is scheduled to tip at 6pm. You can listen to the game on WildcatsLive with Jamie and DD on your home for ECHS sports, EdmonsonVoice.com.