Owensboro Catholic’s run because the defending third Area Match champions ended Sunday afternoon when the depleted Aces fell to Muhlenberg County on this 12 months’s event last.
With the sport tied 25-25 within the third quarter, a bang-bang play led to a foul after which a technical on the Aces. After the technical, the Mustangs discovered their rhythm and solely allowed six factors within the last 9:32 of the sport as they scored 21 throughout that span en path to the 46-31 win over Catholic.
The victory offers the Mustangs their first third Area Match championship since 2010, the 12 months the college opened.
Muhlenberg coach Kyle Eades can be making his second journey to the KHSAA Candy Sixteen as he was an assistant underneath Kerry Stovall in 2011 when Christian County gained the state championship.
Eades stated the sensation is tough to explain.
“To have the ability to share this with this particular group of gamers, with these coaches, with a group that’s hungry for this, means the world,” he stated. “It’s actually onerous to place it into phrases, however simply my feelings, I’ve been moved to tears at this time. I feel greater than something, it’s simply the onerous work and dedication from a group of men. To have the ability to share this, means the world to me.”
Catholic coach Tim Riley stated he was proud his workforce didn’t hand over.
“I’m pleased with our children,” he stated. “To get to that sport and it to be a sport late within the third quarter. I used to be pleased with what they did. Happy with the struggle that they had. Very appreciative of what our children have been capable of do.”
The Mustangs began the sport on an 8-0 run nevertheless it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Riley had the Aces again within the sport.
After a 20-16 Muhlenberg benefit on the break, the Aces quickly took their first lead however when the sport was tied 25-25, it took a flip in favor of the Mustangs as they restricted Catholic to simply six factors the remainder of the best way.
“We needed to deal with the ball,” Riley stated. “The massive query was might we rating towards them. We simply didn’t rating sufficient. They’re a extremely good defensive workforce, they guard you very well. They did a pleasant job defensively on us. Simply didn’t put sufficient factors up. A number of that’s the truth that they actually guard properly.”
Eades stated Riley and the Aces had a great plan when it got here to disrupting their rhythm.
“To be sincere, he did a extremely good job,” Eades stated of Riley. “You’ve received to present their gamers an amazing quantity of credit score. They’d their gameplan, I assumed they did a extremely good job of executing it. Defensively, we have been high-quality however we weren’t getting something actually off of our protection. I felt like within the first half, I felt like the truth that we have been struggling somewhat bit offensively sort of dictated our defensive effort in a destructive method.”
Catholic junior Ji Webb had a game-high 14 factors within the loss, together with eight within the first half.
Webb needed to tackle the majority of the scoring the previous few weeks for the Aces with Brian Griffith and Grey Weaver out.
Riley stated Webb stepped up when it mattered.
“He’s performed actual properly,” he stated. “He averages 13 within the common season, he averaged 21 within the event … Tonight was onerous. He tried to do it by himself. He tried, he gave it the whole lot he had. They have been actual bodily with him inside and sort of compelled him away from the basketball somewhat bit. Made it onerous on him.”
The Aces graduate one senior in Weaver and return each different participant from this 12 months’s roster.
Regardless of what he has returning, Riley stated he and his workforce nonetheless had their sights set on Rupp.
“You don’t know whenever you’re going to get an opportunity,” he stated. “We would not get one other probability so whenever you get one, you need to win one. I’m by no means going to go let’s stay up for what’s subsequent. We needed to win at this time. A number of these guys are again. We needed to win at this time since you don’t know what tomorrow holds.”
Catholic ends the season at 18-10.
Muhlenberg County improves to 19-1 because the Mustangs now head to Rupp Area. They’ll tackle ninth Area champion Highlands at 11 a.m. EST on Thursday.
MUHLENBERG COUNTY 46, OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 31
MC (19-1) 14 6 14 12–46
OC (18-10) 9 7 11 4–31
MC: Isaac Rose 4, Brayden Lovan 2, Trey Lovell 7, Madox Jernigan 1, Nash Divine 7, Cole Vincent 10, Davion Summers 5, Asher Carver 6, Donovan McCoy 4
OC: Parker Grey 6, Tut Carrico 2, Ji Webb 14, Sam McFarland 7, Jari Barber 2
2021 basketball protection is introduced partly by Rhoads & Rhoads Attorneys at Law.