The Wayne County Cardinals traveled to SWHS Gym, last Friday night to face the homestanding Warriors, in an important 48th District matchup for both teams.  Wayne County entered with a 13-9 record on the season and 1-1 district mark, coming off a 56-53 win at Knox Central earlier in the week.  Southwestern also owned a 13-9 record overall but with a 3-0 district mark could clinch the number one seed with a win and automatic spot in next month's 12th Region Tournament.  The contest marked the 58th meeting all time between the two schools and the Cards enjoyed a 32-25 all time series advantage, despite Southwestern rallying for a 69-64 overtime win, on December 13 of this season, at the Rodney C. Woods Gymnasium.

    Wayne County claimed the lead in the opening minute of the game and 
would never trail again, as Thomas Spencer led a balanced attack with 
22 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds, as the Cards claimed a 75-70 
district win.  Spencer, a 6-4 senior, was 7 of 11 from the floor and 
7 of 12 from the free throw line, while fellow senior Kameron Gehring 
added 14 points with 5 rebounds and a game high 5 assists.  Gehring 
was 3 of 6 from the field, which included 2 of 4 from 3-point range 
and converted on 6 of 7 free throw attempts, as the winners improved 
to 14-9 overall and 2-1 in district play.
    The win coupled with a win Friday night against McCreary Central 
would assure the squad of the number one seed and a bye in the 
opening round of the tournament.
    "This was a big game and a big win, but it really doesn't mean 
anything if we don't follow that up with a win against McCreary 
Central.  That game is now a much bigger game than this one but 
credit our guys we worked hard to prepare for a very physical 
Southwestern team.  We practiced a little longer on Thursday in 
preparation for this game, but we did a lot more talking about 
assignments and such.  Some coaches downplay games like this, but we 
knew it was a big game and would have a big game feel, credit our 
guys for making winning plays," said Cards head coach Rodney Woods.
    Bryson Tucker, a 6-4 senior forward, shot 4 of 5 from the field and 
that included 3 of 4 from 3-point range plus made 3 of 4 free throw 
attempts to net 14 points with 3 rebounds.  Chandler Humble made 6 of 
8 from the charity stripe and 2 of 6 from the floor to post 10 points 
with 5 boards, while Brody Weaver tallied 7 points with 5 rebounds, 
both were praised for their efforts on the defensive end.
    "Chandler and Brody both really did an outstanding job on defense in 
the post, to hold Sims to just 7 points.  He's very capable of having 
a 25-point type game, both of those guys really battled for 32-
minutes, so credit their effort.  Bryson hit some threes early and 
then hit a big one late, which gave us some momentum to push the lead 
back out.  The hardest thing to do after a big lead is to answer 
their run and regain control, which I thought we did in the fourth 
quarter," said Woods.
    Freshman Mason Burchett marked on 2 of 5 3-pointers and 2 of 2 free 
throws to post 8 points with 2 rebounds, as all six Cards that logged 
minutes, etched the scoring margin.
    Southwestern, which dropped to 13-10 overall and 3-1 in district 
action, was in the game most of the night due to the 44-point 
performance of Cole Dysinger.  The 5-8 167 lbs. senior, was 16 of 25 
from the field, which included 6 of 9 from 3-point range and a 
perfect 6 of 6 from the free throw line, with 3 rebounds.
    "We once again put Thomas on their best player and we really wanted 
to make him work and I wasn't sure he was going to miss.  He takes 
some tough shots and more than a shooter he was a maker in this game, 
but we really didn't allow anybody else to get going which was big," 
said Woods.
    Brayden Sims, a 6-4 senior, was 2 of 9 from the floor and posted 7 
points with a game high 9 rebounds, while Hunter Coffey and Andrew 
Jones both totaled 6 points each.  Andrew Smith scored 4 points and 
Chase Eastham netted 3 points, as six different Warriors scored in 
the matchup.
    Six different Cards scored in the opening minutes as Wayne County 
made 4 3-pointers and raced to a 21-10 first quarter lead.
    Thomas Spencer had 9 points in the half and Bryson Tucker added 8 
points, as the Cards used a 19-16 second period to own a 40-26 
halftime advantage.
    Six different Warriors scored in the third frame, which sparked a 
24-14 run, as Southwestern closed the gap to 54-50, after 24-minutes 
of play.
    Cole Dysinger exploded for 17 points in the closing stanza, but the 
Cards answered by connecting on 16 of 22 free throws down the stretch 
and used a 21-20 edge to claim a 75-70 road win.
    Wayne County, which claimed a 26-23 rebounding tilt, shot 21 of 38 
overall for 55 percent and that included an 8 of 18 mark from 3-point 
range for 44 percent.  The winners made 25 of 35 free throw attempts 
for 71 percent and totaled 13 assists with 1 steal against 7 turnovers.
    Southwestern shot 26 of 54 overall from the floor for 48 percent and 
that included a 6 of 13 clip from 3-point range for 46 percent.  The 
squad was 12 of 18 from the charity line for 67 percent and tallied 5 assists with 7 steals against 3 turnovers.

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