Cooper’s 3 gives Cards road win at Harrison

Published 11:56 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The George Rogers Clark High School boys basketball team was facing a finally healthy Harrison County team on its own floor. The Cards were down by a bucket with less than five seconds to go.

The ball came into junior guard Ryan Cooper’s hands. He’d  struggled throughout the game but ball-faked to clear some space and sank a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give the Cardinals a 61-60 victory Tuesday.

“It was a courageous shot,” GRC coach Josh Cook said. “That’s how we drew it up. Cooper was open, he ball faked, he paused for a second and we all held our breath.

Email newsletter signup

“Cooper had missed some shots. He missed his free throws. But he stayed in it. I am very tickled for him.”

The game had a back-and-forth flow. The Thorobreds were up 17-14 after the first quarter, but the Cards bounced back with a 18-7 second quarter to take a 32-24 lead. But Harrison, which has just two wins on the season but finally got its full roster available again in its previous game, opened the second half with a 14-3 run.

GRC weathered the storm to hold on to a 46-42 lead going into the fourth quarter. Things started to look grim when the ‘Breds tied the game at 55 and Will Philpott fouled out with 3:10 left.

Harrison took the lead at 60-58 and blocked Jordan Graham’s shot that would have tied it, giving the Cards an inbounds play under the basket with 4.3 seconds left, setting up Cooper’s heroics.

“These are the types of games that get you ready for February and March,” Cook said. “This is what Kentucky high school basketball is all about. You see a kid and a team step up and make a big play.”

The win improves GRC to 10-7. The Cards are back in action this weekend at home against Montgomery County Friday.