GRC eyes first title game in 3 years

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The George Rogers Clark High School boys basketball team hasn’t been in the tournament championship game since 2014 in the competitive 40th District.

But tonight, the Cardinals face rival Montgomery County with a chance to end that streak. Pehaps fitting the chance would come against the Indians — earlier in the season, GRC (19-11) ended a 11-game losing streak to the Indians.

A victory tonight would be the third straight against Montgomery for the Cardinals, who carry a 4-2 record into their opening round meeting. The Indians, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, were 1-5 in the district and 7-22 overall.

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The Indians have suffered through some bad luck this season, missing their top two scorers by game average for large parts of the year.

Jerryd Jones, who scored 10.8 a game, has played just seven games this year. He played in both regular season meetings with GRC, but hasn’t played the  past four games.

Brennan Canada, averaging 17.4 a game in just 10 games this season, hasn’t played since  Dec. 17.

The Indians will likely lean on Pharaoh Davis, who posted a double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds) in Montgomery’s 62-46 win over Harrison County in the season finale.

But GRC will counter with a double-double machine — Will Philpot, who averages 11.4 points a game and 9.4 rebounds a game. Philpot has 10 double-doubles on the season, including one against the Indians.

Clark also gets 13.8 points a game from Ryan Cooper, 11.8 from Jordan Graham and 8.4 from Chase Taylor.

The rivals tip off at 7 p.m. tonight at Paris High School. The winner will move on to the championship game Friday night.

This year’s All ‘A’ state champ Paris (23-7, 6-0) awaits the winner.

The Greyhounds were 75-46 winners over Bourbon County Tuesday night in Paris.

Paris cruised through all seven of its district contests this year, except for a 58-55 win over GRC Jan. 3 in Winchester. The Feb. 9 rematch was an 81-67 win in Paris for the Greyhounds, but the Cards were without Grahan and Philpot.