The Wayne County Cardinals opened play in the Arby's/KFC Classic last Friday at McCreary Central High School's Raider Gym, against 13th Region foe Williamsburg.

    The Cards entered with a 1-4 record on the season, coming off an 
80-59 loss at Pulaski County, earlier in the week, while the Yellow 
Jackets owned a 5-3 mark and were coming off a 60-55 loss at Lynn 
Camp, the previous night.
    The matchup marked the first ever meeting between the two schools 
and Williamsburg's only game in the event, as they were filling-in 
for Casey County, which had a scheduling conflict on Friday.
    The inside senior duo of Thomas Spencer and Bryson Tucker combined 
for 11 of Wayne County's 13 points, during a 13-4 second quarter run, 
as the Cards grabbed control of the game and would never trail again, 
claiming a 62-58 opening round win.
    Spencer finished 9 of 22 from the field and 9 of 12 from the free 
throw line to score a game high 27 points with a team high 9 
rebounds, while Tucker finished 5 of 7 from the field, which included 
2 of 4 from 3-point range to add 12 points with 5 boards, as the 
winners improved to 2-4 on the season.
    Senior Reese Sexton connected on 3 of 7 field goal attempts and 4 of 
6 free throw attempts to net 12 points with 5 boards, while freshman 
Mason Burchett scored 8 of his 11 points, in the decisive second half.
    Kameron Gehring didn't attempt a shot but added a game best 6 
assists with 3 rebounds, while Chandler Humble came off the bench to 
post 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, as four different Cardinals 
scored in the win.
    "Williamsburg typically likes to get up and down, which leads to 
some good looks on offense, but they played as ball-control and 
disciplined as anytime I've seen them.  This wasn't the type of game 
we expected, but I thought our effort was much better and it was good 
to get a win.  We missed too many free throws down the stretch, which 
allowed them to get back into the game late, but we're happy to get a 
win.  This team needed a win," said Cards head coach Rodney Woods.
 
    Williamsburg, which dropped to 5-4, was led by the 23 points, 11 
rebounds and 4 assists of 6-2 170 lb. senior Caleb Rose.
    Rose finished 10 of 19 overall from the floor and 1 of 2 from the 
free throw line, while junior forward Slate Hunter added 14 points 
and 4 rebounds.
    Hunter connected on 4 of 13 field goal attempts and was a perfect 5 
of 5 from the charity stripe, while Jason Bray tallied on 3 of 9 
attempts from the floor to net 8 points.     
    Senior Dalton Ponder chipped in with 6 points, 7 boards and 5 
assists, as six different Yellow Jackets etched the scoring margin.
    "Williamsburg has two guys averaging around 20-points a game in Rose 
and Hunter, so I thought defensively we were pretty solid for most of 
the game.  Our intensity was better and our effort was better, we 
just have to get better in our execution," said Woods.
    The Jackets opened 8 of 13 from the field and used the 7 points of 
Caleb Rose to grab a 19-15 first quarter lead, as the Cards opened 
just 5 of 14 from the floor.
    Thomas Spencer netted 11 points in the first half and Bryson Tucker 
tallied 10 points, as the Cards used a 13-4 run to own a 28-23 
halftime advantage.
    Spencer added 10 more points in the third frame and Mason Burchett 
tallied 7 points, to offset the 7 points of Rose, as Wayne County 
used a 22-18 frame to push to a 50-41 lead, after 24-minutes of play.
    Hunter heated-up for 10 points in the final period and the Cards 
converted on just 1 of 5 free throw attempts, which allowed 
Williamsburg a 17-12 surge, but it wasn't enough as the Cards held on 
for a 62-58 win.
    Wayne County, which claimed a 30-25 rebounding edge, shot 21 of 46 
overall for 46 percent and that included a 5 of 14 tally from 3-point 
range for 36 percent.
    The winners connected on 15 of 22 free throw attempts for 68 percent 
and totaled 12 assists with 6 steals, against 7 turnovers.
    The Yellow Jackets shot 23 of 52 overall for 44 percent and that 
included a 6 of 18 clip from 3-point range for 33 percent.  The squad 
converted on 6 of 7 free throw attempts for 86 percent and tallied 14 
assists with 5 steals against 11 turnovers.
    Up next for Wayne County was a Saturday date with Lynn Camp, a team 
that was coming off a disappointing 85-72 loss to tournament host 
McCreary Central.
    "We know we have four games in four days and we'd certainly like to 
have more depth and use our bench more, so we know it's a challenge. 
We have another opportunity to get better tomorrow against a pretty 
good team that I'm sure is upset with how they played today," said 
Woods.
    Details on the matchup are in a related story inside this edition of The Outlook.

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