Cards blowout Polar Bears to advance in 10th Region tourney

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The George Rogers Clark Cardinals tipped off the first round of the 10th Region tournament against the Bracken County Polar Bears Tuesday and came out with a 81-44 victory.

GRC got off to a shaky start after turning it over on their first two possessions.

After Bracken had taken a 3-0 lead, the Cards turned up the heat and went on an 8-0 run with three pointers from K.J. Rucker and Jared Wellman and Brennan Canada added a basket to force a Polar Bear time-out.

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GRC went on to outscore Bracken 20-5 from that point for a 20-8 first quarter lead and extended the lead in the second 41-24 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Cards continued to hammer Bracken’s hopes into the ground in the second quarter by going on a 7-0 run with two and-ones from Canada and Jenkins plus another bucket from Jenkins and GRC led by nearly 30 after the end of the quarter to put the nail in the coffin.

Jerone Morton added 15 points and Lincoln Bush posted 10 points while both players came off the bench.

Leading the way with 24 points, Canada said he’s happy his team gets to advance deeper into the tournament.

“I thought we played well overall,” he said. “We got off to a rocky start and started off slow, but that’s how it always is in the region. Overall, I thought we played well.”

Canada said his team was able to get out of the slump by turning up their intensity.

“We decided we needed to stick to our intensity on defense,” he said. “We had to focus on that first and once we did, the rest of the game came to us.”

GRC will face Scott High School in the semifinals Friday.

Canada said the team will focus on Scott’s offense and continuously watch film until game day.

“We’re going to definitely watch film,” he said. “We’re going to go over their sets and make decisions on what we need to do to stop them or make it harder for them on the defensive end.”

Canada said there are still a couple parts of the game he wants the team to improve on before the match up against Scott.

“We need to box out and rebound on both ends of the floor,” he said. “Free throws and communication is going to important for us, too. We need to be talking the whole game.”

Tipoff against Scott will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mason County.