The Wayne County Cardinals opened their 2019-2020 home season, last Friday night at the Rodney C. Woods Gymnasium, hosting Garrard County in a matchup of two of the better teams in the 12th Region. Wayne County was coming off a 72-56 loss at Warren Central, while the Golden Lions opened their campaign with a 64-48 win over Wellspring Guardians of Richmond. The contest marked the nineteenth meeting all time between the programs with the Cards owning a 15-3 series advantage, including an 85-60 win on November 30 of 2018, at Garrard County.
Wayne County battled thru a sluggish start to tie the game at 20-20
at halftime and ended the game with a 16-9 fourth quarter run to
claim a 53-44 win. Senior forward Thomas Spencer shot 7 of 13 from
the floor and 6 of 7 from the free throw line to post a team high 20
points with a team high 8 rebounds, before fouling-out late in the
contest. Senior guard Kameron Gehring made 5 of 7 field goal
attempts, which included 2 of 5 shooting from 3-point range to net 13
points with 4 boards and 3 assists, while Reese Sexton made it three
winners scoring in double digits with 11 points and 3 rebounds,
finishing 3 of 6 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.
"We didn't get off to a very good start and I have to do a better
job of getting us more ready to play emotionally. We came out really
flat and our timing was off with Thomas not practicing or playing
since Warren Central game due to a foot injury. Our senior
experience showed down the stretch and I was pleased with how we
handled situations down the the stretch in the fourth quarter,' said
Cardinals head coach Rodney Woods.
Mason Burchett chipped in with 5 points and 3 boards, while Bryson
Tucker managed 2 points with 6 rebounds. Chandler Humble totaled 2
points, off the bench, as six different Cards marked the scoring column.
Garrard County, which dropped to 1-1 on the season, was led by the
game high 28 points and game high 9 rebounds of 6-3 senior guard
Brayden Sebastian. The senior All-State candidate finished 12 of 19
overall from the floor, which included 2 of 4 shooting from behind
the arc and 2 of 3 from the free throw line. Junior Ethan Wall came
off the bench to post 7 points with 3 boards and 2 steals, while
Hudson Cornett shot 3 of 7 from the field to net 6 points with 3
rebounds, as five different Lions scored in the contest.
Sebastian dominated the early minutes totaling 10 points, to answer
the 6 points of Kameron Gehring, as the Lions roared to a 13-10 first
Four different Cards scored in the second stanza, including a key
three by Reese Sexton as the hosts responded with a 10-7 surge to
knot the score at 20-20 at halftime.
The senior trio of Gehring, Sexton and Spencer scored 5 points each
in the third frame, as Wayne County used a 17-15 tilt to own a 37-35
edge after 24-minutes of play.
Two of the region's top players in Thomas Spencer and Brayden
Sebastian battled it out down the stretch as Spencer scored 8 fourth
quarter points to answer the 9 points of Sebastian, as Wayne County
made 10 of 14 free throws to seal the 53-44 home win.
"It was good to get the win, but we know that we have a lot of tough
games the next two weeks and we need to play much better,' said Woods.
Wayne County, which claimed a 27-26 rebounding edge, finished 17 of
36 overall from the field for 47 percent and that included a 4 of 13
mark from 3-point range for 31 percent. The winners connected on 15
of 19 free throws for 79 percent and tallied 7 assists with 3 steals
against 12 turnovers.
"Three-point shooting was one thing we did the best all fall and in
our first scrimmage, but since then it has been a struggle. We're
getting good looks, we just need to make some soon,' said Woods.
The Golden Lions shot 19 of 49 overall for 39 percent and that
included a 3 of 16 clip from behind the 3-point arc for 19 percent.
The squad shot 3 of 7 from the free throw line for 43 percent and
totaled 5 assists with 6 steals against 8 turnovers.
Up next for the Cards is another two-game week as the squad hosts
Lincoln County on Tuesday in the Jack Upchurch Classic and follows
that up with a home tilt with 48th District rival Southwestern on
Friday night. Details on both games will appear in next week's edition of The Outlook.
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