Cards and Lady Cards put opponents on lockdown

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022

They say that offense wins games, yet defense wins championships.

Though it’s early in the season, this week’s performances from the Lady Cards and Cards are worth gaining confidence over.

Playing against two teams with undefeated records, the GRC girls’ and boys’ basketball teams held their opponents to a combined 70 points.

Email newsletter signup

The Lady Cards defeated Madison Central 57-36 Monday night at GRC Arena, and the Cards defeated Harrison County 71-34 Tuesday evening in Cynthiana.

“Defensively, we’re getting better,” said Head Girls’ Coach Robbie Graham. “Defensively, we’re working, and we’re a work in progress, but we’re getting better.”

GRC Head Boys’ Coach Josh Cook said his team was hungry to play defense.

“We just wanted to guard,” said Cook. “We’ve been playing well, but we wanted to make sure that we guard and deny. That was our challenge tonight.”

Madison Central came into Winchester unintimidated and, after GRC took an early 8-3 lead, came back to trail just 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Lady Cards’ offense would break out for twice as many points in the second quarter to give themselves a 30-23 halftime lead.

An unlikely heroine, Maddie Settles, came off the bench to score 8 of the team’s 20 points in the quarter.

The Lady Cards’ bench saw valuable playing time in the first half, with KeAsia Parker also scoring.

“You’ve got to keep grinding away and be ready when your number’s called,” Graham said. “We’re excited for those kids that come off the bench and help us and give us a lift.”

In the second half, the Lady Cards put the game away.

Allowing only 13 points while outsourcing their opponent by 24, sophomore Ciara Byars – who most recently received a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville – connected for 12 of her 16 points.

“We know there’s going to be hard times, especially a rough first quarter,” she said. “We picked it up…We know we have to take every opponent seriously [and] respect everybody, but at the end of the day we have to play our game as a team.”

A crowd of Thoroughbred supporters in boys basketball awaited the Cards as they went to Harrison County to take on the previously undefeated squad.

Jumping out to an early lead, the Cards never trailed and connected on 12 three-point shots that accounted for 50.7% of the team’s offense.

Reshaun Hampton was the first to make a three-point shot for the night.

He connected four times from beyond the arc, ending the night with 14 points.

“The team trusted me, and then after I hit the three, the team started feeling it,” he said. “I think it was just a good all-around shooting game for us.”

His 14 points tied Sam Parrish for second-most for the team, while Jerone Morton led with 18.

However, along with a bonanza of three-point shots, the Cards’ defense created trouble for Harrison County.

The Thoroughbreds mustered just 19 points through the first three quarters, while 6’11’ Will Furnish was limited to 6 points throughout the game.

“I think our team defense was pretty good,” Hampton added. “Coach Cook gave us a good defensive game plan.”

As the holidays approach, it’s tournament time in Kentucky high school basketball.

The girls will participate in the White, Greer, & Maggard Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic High School, which takes place from Saturday, Dec. 17 through Thursday, Dec. 21.

An originally scheduled game on Saturday against the Butler Bearettes was canceled, meaning the Lady Cards will play the winner of a contest between Christian Academy-Louisville and South Warren on Sunday, Dec. 18. Game time is to be announced.

The boys will participate in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament that also takes place from Saturday, Dec. 17, through Thursday, Dec. 21.

They will begin with a game against Louisville Male High School on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Fairdale High School in Louisville.

Though both teams will be away from Winchester, the spirit of gratitude remains strong.

“Happy holidays to all the GRC students, and faculty, and staff,” Graham said. “We appreciate all the support…Everybody enjoy [and] be safe. God bless everybody. Enjoy time with your families.”