GRC stuns Scott with late comeback

Published 12:21 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

The George Rogers Clark Cardinals had just enough gas in the engine to prevail in crunch time and overcame Scott 60-57.

GRC defeated the Eagles in the 10th Region semifinals Friday in overtime to send the Cards to the 10th Region championship.

The Cards trailed the entire game until Jared Wellman nailed two free throws with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead until Scott regained the lead.

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After pushing the ball the length of the floor, Jehdon Jenkins helped retake the lead by one-point once again.

With the clock winding down and trailing 53-50, the Eagles drilled a deep three-pointer with 8 seconds left in regulation.

GRC turned the ball over at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

The Cards helped firmly onto the lead to seal the victory.

Jordan Graham led the way with 15 points, Jared Wellman pitched in 13 points and Brennan Canada added 12 points despite fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Head coach Josh Cook was proud of his team for not giving up and continuing to fight.

“It was heart and effort,” he said. “We made some mistakes at crucial times, but I thought we hung in there the entire time. We got into a little bit of foul trouble and we adjusted. We found a way to do it.”

Cook said the team was able to pull off the comeback because of how bad they wanted to be in this position.

“We got down to Henry Clay in our last regular season game, we came back when we were down to them and sent the game to overtime,” he said. “For us, that was a good game for us to play it through and adjust. I’ll be honest, our bench keeps stepping up. Our main guys are trying to lead, but our bench is stepping up and giving us minutes when we need it which is why we’re in the position we are in now.”

The Cards will face the Campbell County Camels Saturday for the 10th Region championship.

GRC lost to Campbell on the road early in the season and Cook said both teams have improved significantly since the second game of the season.

“Most importantly, we want to be there,” he said. “Game-plan wise, we will put one together and have a shoot around tomorrow (Saturday). Our guys are very familiar with Campbell. Campbell is one of the top teams in state. We know we have to do something with Reid Jolly. We know other teams have been struggling with him so we will have to do something to contain him. Drew Wilson plays point and we have to do a good job of limiting his looks as well.”

Cook thought his team did a good job of defending in the fourth quarter before the three was made to send the game into overtime. He said that was just a player who made a big time play when his team needed it.”

“We froze for a minute,” he said. “It was a play we were familiar with and we guarded it correctly. Once they swung the ball, our guys kind of got paused and he shot it from about 30-feet so credit to him.”

Cook said the experience of his team playing through difficult situations helped seal the win in overtime.

“I told them to just keep competing,” he said. “We’ve been in this situations before. It’s crazy, but I think they’re comfortable in that position. We may make some turnovers, but I think we’re comfortable. Credit to our guys.”

Tipoff against Campbell County in the 10th Region championship will be 7 p.m. Saturday at Mason County.