The Wayne County Cardinals traveled to 48th District rival McCreary Central, last Friday night in an important district matchup for both teams, as the number one seed was still up for grabs for all three teams in the district.  Wayne County entered with a 9-7 record on the season and 0-1 mark in the league, coming off a 65-54 home loss to South Laurel earlier in the week.  The Raiders were 7-11 on the season and 0-1 in district play, looking to snap a four-game losing streak that included a 60-45 loss at Russell County, in their last outing.  The contest marked the 110th meeting between the two schools with the Cards owning an 82-27 series advantage, that included a current 23-game winning streak highlighted by a 53-51 win on February 21, in the championship game of last year's 48th District Tournament, at Raider Gym.

    Senior guard Kameron Gehring scored 5 points in the final minute of 
play, including a 3-pointer in the final seconds to force overtime 
scored 7 more points in overtime to pace Wayne County to a 71-64 
district win.  The 5-10 senior finished 3 of 7 from the floor and 9 
of 10 from the free throw line to net 16 points with a game high 6 
assists, while Thomas Spencer added a game high 33 points with a game 
high 9 rebounds.  Spencer was 13 of 25 from the field and 7 of 9 from 
the free throw line, as the Cards improved to 10-7 on the season and 
1-1 in district play.
    "Our kids just kept battling and we were able to execute much better 
late in the game, than we have in some previous games.  We had a 
situation just like this in Florida and screened the wrong way, this 
time we got it right and Kam drained it.  He brings it every day in 
practice and plays so hard, just a joy to coach.  Thomas continues to 
play at an extremely high level as well, 70 points in two games this 
week, but we had a lot of guys step up down the stretch," said Wayne 
County head coach Rodney Woods.
    Mason Burchett shot 4 of 10 from the floor, which included a 2 of 6 
mark from 3-point range for 10 points, plus added 7 rebounds with 3 
steals.  Bryson Tucker totaled 8 points, all in the second half, 
while Chandler Humble posted 4 points with 5 rebounds, as seven 
different Cards logged minutes, as junior forward Brody Weaver made 
his return from injury.
    "Brody was going to just go through warmups and get him back in the 
flow, but when we had foul-trouble we put him out there a bit and he 
did some good things.  He was in a position he hadn't played all 
summer, but it was nice to get him out there for a bit," said Woods.
    The squad also received word that senior Reese Sexton could also be 
back in the mix within the next month.
    "Happy to get Brody back, he's still has a long way to go 
conditioning wise and such, we also would love to get Reese back as 
well.  It would be nice to have the guys we played most of the summer 
with, but we'll just keep working," said Woods.
    McCreary Central, which dropped to 7-12 overall and 0-2 in league 
play, placed three scorers in double digits led by the 14 points of 
senior guard Brandon Longmire.  Longmire was a perfect 4 of 4 from 
the field, which included two 3-pointers and was 4 of 5 from the free 
throw line, while senior Blake Corder added 12 points with 3 
assists.  Corder, just returning from a summer knee-injury, was 4 of 
7 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free throw line, while Alex 
Heath posted 11 points.
    "McCreary Central only loses experience when they sub, as they have 
some younger guys that step in and are good basketball players, as 
their depth was a concern going into this game.  They will play nine 
or ten guys and lately we've been playing just five or six," said Woods.
    Trent Conaster provided 8 points with 3 boards, all in the fourth 
quarter, while Connor Campbell chipped in with 7 points.  Trey Davis 
netted 6 points, Kyle Stephens tallied 4 points with 5 boards and 
Evan Kidd scored 2 points, as eight different Raiders marked the 
scoring margin.
    Wayne County opened 7 of 10 from the field and used the 7 points of 
Mason Burchett to claim a 15-13 first quarter edge, as the Raiders 
opened 5 of 11 from the floor.
    Four different Raiders scored in the second stanza, as the hosts 
used a balanced approach to take a 12-9 tilt to claim a 25-24 
halftime advantage.
    Thomas Spencer led all players with 9 points in the third frame, to 
offset the three 3-pointers of McCreary Central, as a 17-17 draw left 
the Raiders with a 42-41 edge after 24-minutes of action.
    Spencer added 9 more points in the fourth quarter and Wayne County 
used a Kameron Gehring 3-pointer just before the horn to knot the 
score at 60-60, at the end of regulation.  Wayne County made 6 of 7 
free throws down the stretch and the Raiders made 8 of 11 from stripe 
as the 19-18 scoring edge was just enough to force overtime.
    Gehring was 7 of 8 from the charity stripe in the bonus period and 
the Cards ended the game with an 11-4 run to claim a 71-64 win.
    Wayne County was 25 of 50 overall from the field for 50 percent and 
that included 4 of 14 mark from 3-point range for 29 percent.  The 
winners converted on 17 of 20 free throw attempts for 85 percent and 
totaled 10 assists with 6 steals against 9 turnovers, with 6 of those 
in the opening quarter.
    McCreary Central finished 23 of 47 overall from the field for 49 
percent and that included a 5 of 11 clip from 3-point range for 46 
percent.  The squad connected on 13 of 18 free throw attempts for 72 
percent and tallied 10 assists with 5 steals against 11 turnovers.
    Up next for Wayne County was a trip to Rockcastle County on Tuesday, followed by four games in the Toyota Classic, in Georgetown.

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