The Wayne County Cardinals returned to play last Friday night, traveling to 14th Region foe Perry County Central, to face the homestanding Commodores, at the "Punkin" Combs Gymnasium.  Wayne County entered with an 8-6 record on the season and were coming off their most impressive win of the season seven days earlier, a 66-61 win over Rowan County in the Patriot Classic, at Lincoln County High School Gym.  Perry Central was a disappointing 4-11 on the season and was coming off an 81-64 home loss to Harlan County, earlier in the week.  The contest marked the third meeting all-time between the two schools with the Cards winning the previous two, including a 66-48 home decision on January 4 of 2019.

    Wayne County erased a 10-2 early deficit with a 44-20 run to end the 
first half and placed all five starters in double figures, to roll to 
an 80-64 win.  The squad shot a blistering 71 percent from the field 
and made a season best 25 of 29 free throw attempts, in notching 
their second straight win. Senior guard Kameron Gehring scored a game 
high 25 points with a career best 13 assists, plus registered 3 
steals, finishing 6 of 8 from the field, which included 4 of 5 from 3-
point range and 9 of 10 from the free throw line, while logging all 
32-minutes of action.  Thomas Spencer made 8 of 10 field goal 
attempts and 1 of 4 from the charity stripe to post 17 points with 7 
rebounds, as the winners improved to 9-6 on the season.
    "If you take away the 17-turnovers this would have been by far our 
best game of the season.  We shot the lights out from the field, the 
3-point line and the free throw line.  All five guys were in double 
figures and Kam was outstanding with 25-points and 13-assists.  It 
was a long trip but really proud of the way we handled our business 
in a tough place to go win.  Perry County Central has great tradition 
and was picked to win their region before the season started, so to 
go to their place and leave with a win is solid," said Cards head 
coach Rodney Woods.
    Chandler Humble, a 6-1 230 lbs. senior inserted into the starting 
lineup with the injury to Reese Sexton, added 13 points and 7 
rebounds, in his second start of the season.  Humble was a perfect 7 
of 7 from the free throw line and 3 of 5 from the field, while Bryson 
Tucker was 3 of 5 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the foul line to 
post 13 points with 4 boards.  Freshman Mason Burchett totaled 12 
points with 3 assists and 3 rebounds, as five different Cardinals 
scored in the win.
    "This was a good road win and this was a team effort.  Really liked 
the way we've shared the basketball the past two games," said Woods.
    The Commodores, which lost their third straight to drop to 4-12, 
were led by the 15 points each of Dylan Cornett and Rydge Beverly. 
Cornett shot 5 of 10 from the field with two 3-pointers, while 
Beverly, an eighth grader, was 7 of 13 from the floor and both 
players tallied 3 rebounds each.  Senior DeAndre Reed finished 4 of 
12 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free throw line to net 12 
points with 3 rebounds and a team best 5 assists.  Dawson Duff 
tallied 11 points, as seven different Perry Central players marked 
the scoring margin.
    Perry Central dominated the opening two-minutes with a 10-2 run, 
before Kameron Gehring responded with three 3-pointers and 14 total 
points in the first quarter, as the Cards ended the frame with a 
22-11 run to claim a 24-21 period edge.
    Mason Burchett led all players with 8 points in the second stanza as 
Wayne County continued the run with a 22-9 surge to own a 46-31 
halftime advantage.
    Dylan Cornett led the Commodores with 7 points in the third frame, 
to offset the 10 points of Thomas Spencer, as Perry Central used a 
19-14 clip to close the gap to 60-49, after 24-minutes of action.
    Wayne County converted on 14 of 15 free throws down the stretch and 
used the 7 points of Chandler Humble and 6 points of Bryson Tucker to 
end the game with a 20-15 surge to cruise to the 80-64 road win.
    The Cardinals, which enjoyed a 26-20 rebound advantage, shot a 
season best 24 of 34 overall from the field for 71 percent and that 
included a 7 of 10 mark from 3-point range for 70 percent.  The 
winners tallied on 25 of 29 free throw attempts for 89 percent and 
totaled 19 assists with 6 steals against 17 turnovers.
    Perry Central countered with 23 of 54 shooting overall for 43 
percent and that included a 6 of 20 clip from 3-point range for 30 
percent.  The squad connected on 12 of 14 free throw attempts for 86 
percent and tallied 10 assists with 9 steals against 11 turnovers.
    Up next for the Cards is a Monday night home date with longtime 
rival South Laurel followed by a district road game on Friday at 
McCreary Central.
    "A huge challenge coming up on Monday against South Laurel.  It will 
take our best effort of the year to come out with a win.  It 
certainly will be nice to come home after being on the road the past 
month.  Friday at McCreary is very big as well and that's another 
tough district matchup, so a big week for our team," said Woods.
    Details on both games will appear in next week's edition of The Outlook.

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