Darren Doyle, story and photos:
A rough third quarter doomed the Wildcats as they fell to the Adair County Indians 66-58 on the first day of the Rafferty's Caveland Classic, hosted by Edmonson County High School, Wednesday, December 27, 2017.
The Indians shut down Edmonson County in the third and outscored them 18-5 to put the game out of reach. The loss is the 8th in a row for the Wildcats who are battling through injuries and relying on players with little varsity playing experience. Logan Lindsey and Logan Minton, two senior starters are out with foot injuries in addition to senior Ryan Lindsey (foot).
Edmonson County's game plan was to contain Adair County's Zion Harmon, a 5'11" freshman who is averaging 33 points per game. He helped lead Bowling Green to a state title last year as an 8th grader. He transferred to Adair County this season. Harmon, who is expected to be highly recruited by several division I schools, was held to only 16 points, but other Indians stepped up to make up the difference. Adair's Hunter Cundiff added 18 points and Anthony Payne added 17.
The Wildcats held their own in the first half as the lead changed hands several times. Edmonson County held a 29-25 lead late in the second but a short run by Adair allowed the Indians to take a 34-31 lead at halftime. Edmonson County outrebounded the Indians 41-27, but the turnovers were heavy on the Wildcats' side with 26, compared to only 11 from Adair.
Assistant Coach Bart Weaver discussed their ups and downs and the impact that younger players like freshmen Chaz Wilson, who led the Cats with 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Mason Pierce with 8 points and 5 rebounds, have had on the team.
"They've been unbelievable," he said. "The last two weeks, they've had some great games. It's also stepped a few people up with the mentality of 'maybe if I work harder I can get in there, too.' You know, Mac had a been long talk with everyone before the game tonight and it was all about believing in each other. There've been rumors that the coaches have given up on the seniors, but that's the absolute furthest thing from the truth. Three of them are hurt. We're not giving up on this team, man. We love this team. We know our district is very winnable. We want to win every ballgame, but the district games are critical and we're 0-1 right now. We're never giving up on this team. It was a good talk, they needed to hear it. We just gotta keep grinding."
Also scoring for Edmonson County was Dylan Elmore with 12 points, J.T. Vincent had 8, Tucker Cole had 6, Brayden Carey had 4, and Nick Clemmons and Dalton Decker each had 2.
The Wildcats are now 2-10 on the season and will take on Jeffersontown at 7:15pm Thursday night.