The Wayne County Cardinals continued play in the final round of the Arby's/KFC Classic, last Monday night, at McCreary Central High School's Raider Gym, against 12th Region foe Garrard County.

    The Cards entered with a 4-4 record on the season and clinched the 
championship a day earlier with a 74-61 win over Louisville Atherton.
    The Golden Lions entered with a 2-6 mark on the season owning a win 
over host McCreary Central 59-56, sandwiched around losses to 
Atherton 65-60 (OT) and Lynn Camp 68-62.  The contest marked the 20th 
meeting between the two schools with Wayne County owning a 16-3 
series advantage, which included a 53-44 home win on December 6, of 
this season.
    Wayne County erased a 27-10 deficit early in the second half with a 
20-0 run to end the third quarter and held on for a 39-34 final round 
win.  Freshman forward Mason Burchett scored all 10 of his points in 
the second half and finished 4 of 9 from the floor, which included 2 
of 4 from 3-point range, plus grabbed 6 rebounds.  Kameron Gehring 
added a team best 12 points with 3 assists, as Gehring connected on 4 
of 7 3-pointers, with three of those coming in the second half, as 
the winners improved to 5-4 on the season and notched their fourth 
straight win.
    The first half was as ugly of basketball as we've ever played, but 
we knew Garrard County would claw and fight all game long.  It was a 
concern that if we came out and thought we could just show-up, it 
would be a long day.  We got on a nice run to end the third quarter 
and made enough plays to get the win, but it was disappointing to 
play so poorly in the first half," said Cards head coach Rodney Woods.
    The win improved Woods to 700 and 365, in his 34 years at the helm, 
which also includes 12th Region championships in 1989, 1994, 1995, 
1997, 2002, 2004, 2011, 2013 and 2014, to go along with 20 District 
Championships in the 47th and 48th Districts.
    "The first thing I think of is all the great players we've had and 
their efforts, then all the great coaches that have worked in our 
program and of course our fans that enjoy all the wins and often take 
the losses as hard as we do.  To be somewhere 34 years, a lot of 
great support from our administration at all levels," said Woods.
    Thomas Spencer finished 3 of 9 from the field and 3 of 7 from the 
free throw line to net 9 points with a team best 7 rebounds, while 
Bryson Tucker posted 4 points with 4 boards.  Reese Sexton chipped in 
with 3 points and Renan Dobbs tallied 1 point, as six different Cards 
scored in the win.
    Garrard County, which dropped to 2-7 on the season, was led by the 
14 points and 3 steals of eighth grader Montavin Quisenberry. 
Quisenberry finished 4 of 11 from the floor and a perfect 6 of 6 from 
the free throw line, while junior Ethan Wall made 4 of 11 field goal 
attempts to net 9 points with 3 boards.  Hudson Cornett tallied 7 
points with 6 boards and Brandon Brooks didn't score but grabbed a 
game high 8 rebounds, as the Lions enjoyed a 36-29 rebounding 
advantage, while placing four different scorers in the scoring column.
    The Golden Lions used the 6 points of Montavin Quisenberry in the 
early minutes to race to a 15-7 first quarter lead, as Wayne County 
was paced by the 4 points of Thomas Spencer.
    The second quarter offense for the Cards was just 3 free throws by 
Reese Sexton, as Garrard County used an 8-3 surge to claim a 23-10 
halftime lead.
    The Golden Lions opened with the first two buckets of the third 
frame, before Wayne County responded with threes by Kameron Gehring 
and Mason Burchett to spark a 20-0 run and give the Cards a 30-27 
edge, after 24 minutes of play.
    Wayne County made just 2 of 5 free throw attempts down the stretch, 
included in that was three front ends of the bonus, but used four 
different scorers to tally a 9-7 clip, to claim a 39-34 win.
    "Our inability to make free throws in the clutch and close-out games 
is a concern and puzzling.  We have lost some games already this 
season and will lose more, if we don't learn to finish games the 
right way by making good decisions with the basketball and making our 
free throws," said Woods.
    The Cards finished 13 of 38 overall from the field for 34 percent 
and that included a 6 of 19 clip from 3-point range for 32 percent. 
The winners made 7 of 16 free throws for 44 percent and totaled 10 
assists with 3 steals and 8 assists.
    Garrard County shot 13 of 44 overall from the field for 30 percent 
and that included a 2 of 19 mark from 3-point range for 11 percent. 
The squad was a perfect 6 of 6 from the charity stripe for 100 
percent and tallied 3 assists with 6 steals against 12 turnovers.
    Up next for Wayne County was four games in Destin, Florida and a 
tournament opening game with Sand Rock (AL), on Friday.
    `Details on all the tournament action will appear in next week's edition of The Outlook.

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