The Wayne County Cardinals met Southwestern in the championship game
of the 48th District Tournament at McCreary Central on Friday,
The Cardinals, the #2 seed in the district, advanced to the title
game with an opening round win over McCreary Central on Wednesday
night. The Warriors, the top ranked team in the district, defeated
Monticello in their opener.
This game marked the 34th meeting between the two schools. Wayne
County leads the series with a 19-15 record. Southwestern won both
regular season meetings between the two schools. The last regular
season game between them was played on January 27 at Southwestern,
when the Warriors took an 80-55 win.
It was a little tougher for the Warriors in this one, as the Cards
fought hard all night, despite the fact that the shots wouldn’t fall.
Southwestern earned a 63-47 win, in a game that was much closer until
the final minutes.
“In the end, we made too many mistakes and shot poorly,” said Wayne
County Coach Rodney Woods. “Shooting 30 percent from the field and in
the tens from the 3 won’t win many games.”
Early on, it appeared that Southwestern might run away with the
game, as the Warriors built a 19-6 cushion in the opening quarter.
Wayne County committed 8 turnovers in the first quarter, and
Southwestern led 24-11 at the first stop.
“We got off to a rocky start, but to the kids credit, we fought back
and made a game of it for 3 1/2 quarters,” said Woods.
The Cardinals then went on a 11-2 run to start the second quarter
and cut it back to within 4, 26-22. The Warriors struggled from the
field and did not get their first field goal in the quarter until
about 3 minutes before intermission.
At the stop, Southwestern led 34-26.
“We were challenged, which is good,” said Southwestern Coach Steve
Wright. “At this time of year, everyone has gotten better and comes
ready to play.”
You could call the third quarter a defensive draw, as both teams
struggled to put points on the board. Southwestern outscored Wayne
County 9-7 and was up 43-33 going into the final quarter.
Wayne County trimmed the advantage back to six on a couple of
occasions in the final quarter but could never get over the hump. The
Warriors extended the lead to double digits on their way to the 16
The Cards were led in scoring by senior Andy Dodd with 18 points.
Jason Perkins added 8 points and Trey Blevins scored 7 points.
Perkins led Wayne County in steals with three and Blevins led the
team in assists with 3.
For the game, Wayne County hit only 16 of 51 from the field for 31
percent. They were 4 of 25 from beyond the arc for 16 percent and hit
11 of 17 from the free throw line for 64 percent.
The Warriors were led by David Kapinga with a game-high 23 points.
Justin Edwards added 15 points in the win.
The Warriors connected on 24 of 50 from the field for 48 percent.
They were 2 of 14 from beyond the arc for 14 percent and hit 13 of 18
from the free throw line for 72 percent.
The Warriors outrebounded Wayne County 36-29. Wayne County was led
in rebounding by Dagan Shelton with 6.
The Cards committed 17 turnovers compared to 23 for Southwestern.
With the win, Southwestern claimed its second consecutive district
title and improved to 24-8 on the season. The Cards dropped to 17-15
on the season. Both teams will advance to this week’s 12th Region
Tournament, which will be played at Pulaski County. Wayne County will
face East Jessamine in their opening round contest on Wednesday night
at about 8 p.m.
“Now, we have to get ready for a very good East Jessamine team that
has won 16 in a row and is ranked 24th in the state,” said Woods.
See next week’s edition for details on that game.