Cards ride explosive offense to historic 10th Region quarterfinal victory
Published 2:10 pm Friday, March 3, 2023
Some nights, it has been said, everything seems to go your way.
So was the feeling when the George Rogers Clark Cardinals (25-5) boys basketball team took on the Augusta Panthers (18-14) Thursday evening.
The defending state champions shot 62.3% from the field – including 50% from the three-point line – en route to a dominant 108-53 win in the 10th Region quarterfinal matchup at Mason County Fieldhouse.
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“[We were] playing at a fast-paced, moving the basketball, and taking what the defense gives us,” head coach Josh Cook said. “It helps us when we can create some turnovers, and get some easy buckets in transition.”
With the victory, the Cards play the Harrison County Thoroughbreds (27-6) in a 10th Region semifinal matchup on Monday, March 6th, at 7:45 p.m.
On their way to a season-high 108 points, the Cards started the first quarter by scoring quickly and often.
Ending the period with a 35-9 lead, Sam Parrish scored half of his 25 points in the opening quarter by breaking out with 13 points, while leading scorer Jerone Morton had 9 of his 28 points.
All 28 of Morton’s points came through three periods of play.
Relying on the three-point play, the bulk of the Panthers’ offense in the first half came from behind the arc.
Of Augusta’s 28 first half-points, 24 were three-point baskets as they connected on eight occasions.
Keeton Bach collected nine points off a trio of three-point baskets while leading scorer Kylan Hinson would also hit a pair en route to a 15-point night.
However, the three-point basket most memorable came from the Cards’ Tyleik Maxwell.
With less than one second remaining, Maxwell received a pass from guard Reshaun Hampton.
Spinning to his right for a deep three-point attempt near midcourt, he connected with the basket as time expired.
The Cards’ fanbase applauded the improbable shot that gave GRC a 30-point, 58-28 lead at halftime.
With momentum, the Cards wasted little time finding the scoreboard in the third quarter as they scored the first 14 points.
Defensively, they limited the Panthers to three three-point baskets.
Eventually, their 55-point margin of victory would equal the largest in 10th Region Tournament history.
The 108 points scored by the Cards are also the second most in a single game in 10th Region Tournament history, as the team got scores from ten different players.
While the team is his focus, the victory was also a personal milestone for Coach Josh Cook.
Against only 87 losses, Coach Cook won his 300th career game and 185th as GRC head coach.
Before arriving in Winchester, head coaching stops included time at June Buchanan School, Lawrence County High School, and Mercer County High School.
“I’m blessed to be around good teams, and have the opportunity to coach some great teams,” Cook added. “[I’m] truly thankful for that.”