Season Ends With 73-62 Loss
Darren Doyle, story: Alyssa Doyle, photos:
Edmonson County had trouble with offensive rhythm early while they struggled to keep the Cougars' dribble penetration under control in a first-round district tournament 73-62 loss last night at Grayson County High School.
While the Wildcats kept their turnovers down (11) and out-rebounded Grayson County 21-19, the Cougars found success driving the lane for paint points as well as in perimeter shooting. Edmonson County also shot poorly against a tough man-to-man defense from Grayson County.
Grayson County's Keegan Sharp started the contest with a 28-foot three-pointer and the Cougars kept control of the game from then on. The low-scoring contest saw Grayson County take an early 13-10 lead after the first quarter and a 30-23 lead at halftime.
Edmonson County increased their defensive pressure at the start of the second half, which resulted in some Cougar turnovers and points for the Wildcats in transition, but every time Edmonson started to put some offense together, the Cougars would seemingly respond with either a three pointer or would get the benefit of a call on an and-one.
Edmonson County's Dalton Decker finished with a game-high 28 points, and two other Wildcats finished in double figures (Chaz Wilson 12, Mason Pierce 14) but Edmonson County never found their rhythm as the Cougars went on to win.
Head Coach Mike McClintic discussed the game, his seniors, and the entire season afterwards.
"Grayson County took us out of what we wanted to do early, both offensively and defensively," he said. "They penetrated, got in the lane, and either scored or kicked it out for an open shot, or we fouled--and we got into foul trouble early."
Coach Mac said his guys likely forced some shots early and that Grayson wanted it more, early in the game.
"But our kids fought back, they didn't just give up, and the effort in the second half and especially toward the end of the game was great, but it was just a little too late."
It was the final high school basketball game for seven seniors: Dalton Decker, Nick Clemmons, Eli Booker, Mason Pierce, Trent Taylor, Luke Meredith, and Houston Vincent. Coach Mac credited those seniors for their character on and off the court.
"I'm proud of our kids. I'm proud of the way we bounced back from the beginning of the season. I hate to go out this way, especially for our seniors, because they're a great group of kids," he said. "They're going to be fine people out in the community after they graduate. I told them all not to change. I love them all like my sons. They're going to be successful in life as long as they continue on the same paths they're on now."
In addition to Decker, Pierce, and Wilson, Eli Booker scored 3 points, Nick Clemmons and Daniel Woosley each had 2, and Trent Taylor scored one point.
The Wildcats finish with a record of 12-15 on the season. Edmonson County's girls will take on Grayson County in the District 12 Championship game on Thursday night with a scheduled tip of 7PM. The Lady Cats will attempt to become the first girls team in school history to achieve three consecutive district titles for ECHS basketball.
**update: The original article mistakenly left out senior Luke Meredith from the list. We apologize for the error and have added Luke's name to the list.