Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It took six games to get it, but the Wildcats finally got their first "W" of the season as they defeated a very good Barren County team last night in Glasgow, in a game that went down to the wire for the 52-50 win.
Coach Mike McClintic said he's struggled to find the right formula for this team as inconsistency has hindered the Wildcats from the very first game.
"We need to find a way to stay focused for 32 minutes, not 20 or 25 like we've been doing," he said before the game. He didn't elaborate on Wednesday's practice but said "let's just say it was interesting."
"Interesting" can obviously mean a number of things, but asst. coach Bart Weaver told us after the game that there was a serious 45 minute team meeting after that practice. He didn't go into details but said "everybody got some things out," and also that "the players listened and the coaches listened." Whatever was said seemed to work.
"We got the monkey off our back," said Weaver. "We couldn't be more proud of this team and we fought through a lot of adversity in this gym tonight."
Wildcat fans were not happy with several calls against Edmonson County, especially in the second half. The Wildcats dealt with foul trouble for much of the game and senior starter Daniel Caudill was benched for the majority of the first half as he was called for two fouls early on.
Although Edmonson County was outrebounded for the third straight game, they were able to find success from dribble drives while also scoring transition points from forced turnovers.
With the score tied at 47 all, Bailey Board nailed a three in the corner to give the Wildcats a 50-47 lead with 1:59 to go in the game. The Wildcats would keep the lead as they fought their way down the stretch, connecting on 10 of 13 from the free throw line.
Barren County had a final attempt to tie the game with 10 seconds to go trailing 52-49 with the ball. Wildcat defense kept them from shooting a three but they drove the lane and missed a layup. A Trojan putback attempt was blocked by Blankenship at the buzzer, but he was called for the foul and 0.5 seconds were put back on the clock as Barren went to the line for two shots. They still couldn't win even if they hit them both, so the Wildcats prepared for them to intentionally miss the last shot and try to tip in at the buzzer.
Multiple studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 0.8 seconds to get a shot off unless it's a tip attempt.
Barren County's Chase Dial put up the second shot but it appeared that he tried to make it. The shot missed but time expired before the ball could be rebounded and the Wildcats held on for the win.
Caleb Skaggs led the Wildcats with 17 points as he connected on 3 of 7 from behind the arc. Tucker Cole followed with 15 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. He was also 5/6 from the foul line and 5/6 from the field. Bailey Board was the third Wildcat in double figures with 12 points, none bigger than the three-pointer to give the Cats the lead with 1:59 to go. Board also grabbed 5 rebounds and was 5/7 from the field.
Blankenship added 4 points and 7 rebounds and Caudill had 2 points and 2 rebounds.
The Wildcats are scheduled to play tonight at Metcalfe County in a girl/boy doubleheader beginning at 6pm. WildcatsLive will carry the game broadcast right here on EdmonsonVoice.com.
The Wildcats are now 1-5 on the season. The Metcalfe County Hornets are still looking for their first win of the year with a record of 0-7.
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