Cats Win 64-53
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle photos:
The Edmonson County Wildcats will advance to the District 12 finals after they defeated Grayson County Tuesday night 64-53 in a high-emotion, physical game in a packed out gym in Brownsville.
The Wildcats led 10-8 after the first quarter with mediocre shooting from the field (28%), but they held the Cougars to 22% shooting, with only two made field goals.
The Cougars took their first lead of the game on a three-pointer with three minutes to go in the second quarter to make the score 19-16. The Wildcats threw it away on their next possession, forcing Coach Brad Johnson into a timeout.
Grayson County scored again to go up 21-16 but then the Cats went on a 9-0 run to finish the half, capped off by a rebound by senior Caden Mills off a Grayson miss with seconds left. He was fouled on a deep three pointer as time expired and hit 2 of 3 free throws with no time on the clock as the teams entered the locker rooms at halftime.
The Wildcats took their largest lead of the game with 4:38 in the third on Braxton Highbaugh's three-pointer in the corner to make it 37-21. The shot ended a 21-0 run that began as the second quarter wound down.
Emotions ran high with 4:52 left in the ballgame with the Cats up 49-39 as a Grayson County fan began to shout at Wildcat Head Coach Brad Johnson from behind the Edmonson bench as Grayson County prepared to shoot a free throw. Coach Johnson responded to the fan by telling him to stop yelling and ECHS Principal came over to instruct the fan to sit down. Another fan then ran down from the bleachers onto the floor, making physical contact with Williams. Williams simply put his arm out to keep the fan away from Johnson. Law enforcement immediately intervened and subdued the unruly fan and led him out of the gym with his hands behind his back. The fan that first created the scene was also escorted out right behind him.
"I hate it that it got ugly there with a fan," Coach Johnson said. "A fan on the bottom row was just screaming in my face and I turned around and I just said 'you're not going to scream at me,' you know, because he's not… I just said 'hey, quit screaming at me,' you know? Because I'm trying to coach and we wouldn't let our people scream at (Grayson County Head Coach) Travis (Johnston). And Travis, we're good--we're friends, and (Coach) Mac, Lord have mercy, I love Mac..."
An Edmonson County fan was also asked to leave for coming onto the court during the incident.
Grayson County came no closer than 8 points as the Wildcats held on to win.
Highbaugh led the Wildcats with 21 points and 13 rebounds and Wall finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Will Alexander added 9 points, Caden Mills and Zander Bass had 6 points each, and Tyler Anderson added 3 points.
"I did not want these guys' careers to end here tonight. We won't play relaxed Friday night, but kinda, the pressure's off," Johnson added. "Now it's fun. We know we're in the (region) tournament and heck, we're 4 or 5 games from playing in Rupp Arena and we're going to try to beat everyone we play."
The Butler County Bears advanced over the Trinity Raiders 67-64 last night and will meet the Wildcats in the finals on Friday night with a scheduled tip at 7PM.
The Lady Cats will also face Butler County for the district championship on Thursday night, also scheduled for 7PM.
The Wildcats are now 17-12 on the year as Grayson County ends their season at 9-20.