Strong 2nd half lifts Cards over Indians

Published 11:15 pm Sunday, January 29, 2017

MOUNT STERLING — The George Rogers Clark High School boys basketball team held Montgomery County to just 10 points in the second half to win for the second time in as many games in the rivalry.

The Cardinals were 53-37 winners Friday mostly thanks to a strong defensive effort in the second half that kept the Indians from mounting a comeback on their own floor.

The contest was tight through the first quarter. The Indians nearly came away with a tie after the first period despite outplaying the Indians through the first eight minutes.

GRC missed a handful of point-blank shots that rolled off the rim.

“Some of those were obvious fouls in my opinion, but that’s something you have to deal with,” GRC coach Josh Cook said. “You have to go ahead and finish strong and not worry about the foul. Sometimes a call will be missed.”

Tied at 13, Will Philpot was fouled on a layup and made the free throw to give GRC a 16-13 edge.

The Cards were up 30-27 at the halftime break.

The Indians tied the game at 30 with five minutes left to play in the third quarter, but the Cards allowed just seven more points the rest of the game.

“Defense was definitely better,” Cook said. “We didn’t trap as much in the second half. We sat back and concentrated on just being solid defensively.”

The Cardinals also opted to front Jerryd Jones, who had a game-high 17 points but just five in the second half.

Philpot finished with a double-double —14 points, 13 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

Ryan Cooper and Chase Taylor each scored 10 points apiece. Taylor finished seven rebounds and six assists. PJ Williams put in nine points.

Jordan Graham had a lucky-looking line with seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

JJ Johnson pulled down five boards.

The win moves the Cards to 16-9 on the season. The Indians fall to 6-16.

The Cardinals won’t play again until Feb. 3 when they travel to Mason County.

“We’re going to get back in the gym and work on some things,” Cook said. “We’re going to do some reconditioning to get ready for the stretch run.”