Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Wildcats never gave up, but they couldn't overcome the stifling defense from Owensboro Catholic in last night's 53-45 loss to the Aces in the finals of the All A Region 3 Tournament held in Cloverport.
One of the main concerns for Edmonson County was the full court pressure that they would face from the Aces, but that was never really a problem as the Wildcats only saw two turnovers as a result.
"It was really their half court defense," said asst. coach Bart Weaver. "Everything we tried to run, they had us pushed out towards half court. We couldn't get in any sort of flow on the offensive sets that we tried and it caused us to rush our shots."
As the Wildcats missed several of those rushed shots, Owensboro Catholic was able to rebound and convert on their end.
"Owensboro moves so well and when you've got some size underneath the basket to back that up, you can overplay a lot," Weaver said. "They have a hall of fame coach, too...so that helps."
Tim Riley, head coach for the Aces, is no stranger to coaching basketball. He compiled an impressive 307-128 record in 14 seasons with Warren Central, winning the 2004 state title along with eight Region 4 titles. Riley also holds a 27-3 record in the Region 4 Tournament in addition to 12 wins in the Sweet Sixteen. He also led Owensboro Catholic to the Region 3 Title last year in his first year as their head coach. In addition, he served one season as an assistant on the WKU women's basketball team in 2011.
The Wildcats struggled in the first quarter and they fell behind 15-6. They fought their way back in the second as they outscored the Aces 14-12 and cut the lead to 27-20 at the half.
A good Edmonson County third quarter trimmed the deficit once again to 40-35, but the Wildcats seemed to start running out of gas in the fourth as they were bested by the Aces.
"I'm proud of our guys' effort," Weaver said. "I don't think we ever quit and I thought we just played 'till the end. They were just better defensively than we were tonight."
The Wildcats were led by Bailey Board with 18 points, 4 rebounds, and two assists. Sixteen of Board's points came in the first half. Caleb Skaggs scored 14 points, all coming in the second half.
Logan Lindsey scored 7 points off the bench and Iszic Blankenship added 6 points and 9 rebounds.
The Wildcats are now 9-7 on the season and are scheduled to take on Warren East at home on Monday in a JV/V match. There will be no WildcatsLive game broadcast so everyone is encouraged to attend.