GRC girls win in Ohio; boys take down Commodores with second-half dominance

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023

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Whether playing top-ranked opponents or those that have given them trouble previously, both the Cards and Lady Cards of George Rogers Clark High School are ready for battle.

This fact proved itself this week.

The Lady Cards beat a premier Indiana high-school basketball opponent, and the boys roared to a convincing win over a determined Tates Creek team.

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After a loss on Saturday against the elite DuPont Manual Crimson, the Lady Cards found themselves traveling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Specifically, they made the trek to Pickerington, OH – approximately 20 miles away from Columbus – to participate in the Classic in the City at Pickerington Central High School.

Pitted against the Spartans of Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, IN, the Lady Cards didn’t falter as they came out with a 48-42 victory with several Division 1 level coaches present.

Their record improved to 12-5 for the season, while Homestead fell to 13-4.

At the event, Ciara Byars – being recruited by several Division 1 schools as only a sophomore – stood out by scoring 25 points and was awarded MVP honors.

The Lady Cards converted 12 of 17 free throws for 70.6% and outscored their opponent despite being without a three-point conversion.

Byars led the way with 12 rebounds, while the team had 35 altogether.

The Lady Cards dropped a close contest, 73-66, to Frederick Douglass in Lexington on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the Tates Creek Commodores came to town to take on the Cards (13-4).

Though a 6-9 record entering the contest may not have indicated it, the Commodores were determined to play even with the Cards – as they did in a game late last season before GRC pulled away in the second half for a convincing 18-point victory.

In a case of deja vu, the Cards pulled away with a 42-point second half en route to a convincing 72-50 win.

The Cards led 30-20 at halftime.

“Our bench came in and brought some energy,” said Cards’ head coach Josh Cook said.

In an elite play, one bench player – J.P. Gaines – made what might be considered the season’s top play so far.

With the ball headed out of bounds, Gaines retrieved it and, looking to keep it in play, threw it behind his back.

Waiting for the ball was Reshaun Hampton, who promptly hit a three-point shot to give the Cards an insurmountable 21-point third-quarter lead.

While the bench was strong, the starting lineup could not be overlooked.

Jerone Morton led the Cards with a game-high 26 points, while Reshaun Hampton added 19.

“Everybody plays their best against us just because they want to beat us…because we got a big target on our back from being a good team” Morton said. “We just got to stay focused, stay us, and we’ll be alright.”

Both teams are back at GRC Arena to play Paris on Friday night. The girls play at 6:00 p.m., and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Cards finish the weekend with a 4:30 p.m. matchup on Saturday against McCracken County (19-2) at the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic at Mercy Academy High School in Louisville.