Entering the 3rd Region Tournament at the Sportscenter, in Owensboro, the Ohio County Eagles were tabbed as co-favorites to take the title, along with Owensboro.
Last Tuesday against Grayson County, they did little to dispel that notion as they thoroughly dismantled the Cougars 64-40 to end the Cougars’ season. Grayson County finished with a record of 11-19.
The Eagles dominated from the outset, scoring the first 11 points before the Cougars got on the board, but it is hoped that the younger players will remember how the Eagles closed out the game. Ohio County left their starters in nearly until the end of the game, giving them time to work a spectacular, but totally unnecessary play.
Leading by 17 points with just a little more than a minute to play, the Eagles’ Preston Lambrich stole a ball near mid-court and took it toward the basket. Lambrich put the ball off the glass for the trailing Jonathan Wortham, who then slammed it home for a meaningless basket. At that point, the Eagles subbed and brought in the bench players.
The Cougars are expected to be pretty good over the next few years, so some payback could be in order down the road sometime.
Regardless, the Eagles are a very good team and they could be a team that makes it to Lexington. They held the Cougars to just four points in the first period and led 16-4 heading into the second quarter.
A three-pointer by Lambrich with 55 seconds left in the second period gave the Eagles their largest lead of the first half, 18 points at 29-11, but Talon Gary beat the buzzer at the end of the period with a three of his own and the Cougars trailed by 15 points, 29-14.
A Gary three-pointer at the 3:37 mark of the third quarter capped a 12-7 Cougar run that cut their deficit to 10 points, 36-26, but they would never get closer. Ohio County scored the next seven points to lead 43-26 with 1:49 left. The Cougars trailed by 14 points, 43-29 as the final period began.
The lead hovered between 14 and 17 points in the final period before the Eagles scored the last seven points of the game to pad their win.
Ohio County put four players into double figures, led by Lambrich, with 20 points. B. J. Morse had 12 points, while Wortham and Young had 10 each.
Gary led the Cougars with 12 points and added four rebounds. Braxton Williams had eight points, including two from behind the arc. Three players, Tanner Tyra, Bret Johnston and Lane Rackley had four points apiece, and Johnston led the team with four assists.
Rance Whobrey finished with three points, Wyatt Skaggs and Logan Ramsey had two apiece, and Zac Williams had one to close out the scoring.