Cards, Lady Cards triumph in district clashes

Published 10:23 am Monday, January 29, 2024

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The highly ranked George Rogers Clark Cardinals and Lady Cardinals were back in action this week. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 23rd, each team traveled to Bourbon County High School following a 10-day layoff due to inclement weather. 

From the get-go, the Lady Cards showed no signs of slowing down. 

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GRC (20-2) broke out to a 28-point lead at the end of the first quarter – ending on a 26-0 run – and cruised to a 79-15 victory over the Lady Colonels (4-15).

On a night when twelve different players found the scoreboard, Kyleigh Chestnut led the team in scoring with 17 points. 

“It feels amazing. I think, tonight, I really proved something,” Chesnut said. “We all were mentally locked in and ready to play.” 

“We’ve been working hard on our transition offense,” added GRC head coach Robbie Graham. “We wanted to get a quick start, get some early turnovers, and get some easy baskets. I felt like we did that.” 

Next, the Cards took the court against the Colonels. 

An improved Bourbon County squad (8-11) featured leading scorer Kade Hilander (12 points) delivering two early three-point shots to limit the Cards to only a 1-point lead at the end of the opening quarter. 

However, the team would pull away beginning in the second. 

Led by senior Breland Morrison’s game-high 20 points, the Cards held an eight-point lead and built it up further in the second half en route to a convincing 76-39 victory. 

“We came out slow off a ten game break, but after halftime we got it together and played how we should have played,” Morrison said. “I just stick to…playing my role and playing as a team.” 

Three days layer, the Cards (20-1) were in action at GRC Arena. 

Facing a determined rival in Montgomery County (8-13), the Cards’ home winning streak of over 30 games was in jeopardy as the Indians – led by 15 points from Luke Fawns and 14 from Breccan Decker – came back from a double-digit second-quarter deficit and held a two-point lead with just over six minutes remaining. 

However, senior J.P. Gaines made arguably the play of the game. 

After stealing the Indians’ inbound pass attempt, he delivered an assist to fellow senior Reshaun Hampton (23 points) for the tying score. 

The Cards ended up going on a 16-0 run that involved multiple points off turnovers and – after outscoring their opponent 29-11 in the fourth quarter – came away with a 73-56 victory that was much closer than the final score indicated. 

“We battled all throughout the third quarter, and then in the fourth quarter we just turned it on,” Gaines said. 

“Our guys showed some toughness toward the end and [were] able to get a great win,” said GRC head coach Josh Cook. 

While the Cards’ game started later than expected, it was for good reason. 

That same night, the Lady Cards – who had traveled to take part in the Republican Bank Louisville Invitational Tournament – took on the Assumption Lady Rockets (15-9) in a quarterfinal matchup. 

Early and often, they were able to find the scoreboard as they rolled to a convincing 77-43 victory behind a game-high 19 points from Jailenn Green. 

On Saturday morning, the Lady Cards took part in an LIT semifinal matchup against the Butler Bearettes (15-6). 

Despite Green once more leading the team in scoring with 21 points and the team rallying from an early 12-point deficit to take a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter, victory would not be on their side. 

Led by 20 points from Mariah Knight and 19 from Ramiya White, Butler held on for a 61-58 win. 

While the Cards return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 30th, at home against Franklin County (13-7), both teams will play at Paris on Wednesday, Jan. 31st, at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. against the Lady Greyhounds (3-14) and Greyhounds (6-12).