Cards and Lady Cards continue climbing ladder toward success
Published 12:33 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024
The George Rogers Clark Cards and Lady Cards each had a week to end January that many could consider busier than others.
However, the success that made each team a Top 15 contender in the state of Kentucky according to most experts continued.
Both defeated their 10th Region and 40th District rival Paris on Friday night, while the Cards also toppled opponent Franklin County on Tuesday evening.
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In the first matchup of the week, the Cards (22-1) stayed at GRC Arena to take on the Franklin County Flyers, who came to Winchester holding a 13-7 record.
However, a pregame infraction created drama before the opening tip-off.
Following a technical foul called against the Flyers, presumably due to dunking in the presence of officials, GRC opened the game with two free throws and the possession.
After sophomore Malachi Ashford connected on both, GRC scored again to take a 4-0 lead before Franklin County had even touched the basketball.
The Cards’ offensive rhythm continued throughout the evening.
Increasing their lead to thirty-six points at one time in the game and totaling their second-highest amount of points in any game this season, GRC moved on to a convincing 89-65 victory.
“We really wanted to work on increasing our tempo and trying to make basketball plays at a fast pace with high intensity,” said GRC head coach Josh Cook.
While seniors Breland Morrison scored a season-high 25 points and fellow senior Reshaun Hampton added 21, Ashford had 17 of his own – including nine in the opening quarter.
“We shared the ball well,” Ashford said. “[We] got the ball out in transition [and] got plenty of layups.”
Less than twenty fours later, coming off only their second loss of the season in a narrow defeat against the Butler Bearettes in Louisville, the Lady Cards took on the Lady Hounds in Paris.
The Lady Hounds (4-15) – led by nine points from Brooklyn White – scored the first points of the game.
From there, however, the Lady Cards would take control. Jumping out to a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter, GRC (21-1) moved on to a convincing 70-13 victory.
The team saw scoring from ten different players, including 16 points from Jailenn Green.
They also held the Lady Hounds scoreless in the third quarter, and to just three points in the fourth.
“Defensively, we came out and got some turnovers. [We] did a much better job in the second half of finishing off our turnovers,” said head coach Robbie Graham. “Ball movement [on offense] was really good.”
“We were communicating a lot and we were making sure we were in help defense and making sure we were guarding and pressuring the ball,” said senior Makili Tabor. “We share the ball. That’s how we get our points.”
Immediately following the Lady Cards’ game, it was the Cards’ turn to take on the Greyhounds (6-13).
Establishing a double-digit lead themselves by the end of the first quarter, the Cards wouldn’t look back.
With four of five starters scoring in double figures, the Cards won by a convincing 69-53 score.
While senior Breland Morrison led with 16 points, fellow senior JP Gaines – who scored 14 – brought the crowd to its feet with a steal and slam dunk as time expired in the opening quarter.
“I stole it and Malachi [Ashford] said ‘Dunk it.’ So, I went up for it,” Morrison said. “We’re just trying to get it out in transition, run, [and] get some points.”
The Cards also shined on defense early, keeping the Greyhounds off the scoreboard until nearly halfway through the opening quarter.
“Defensively, we’ve been working on some zones, and mixing up some different half court traps,” said GRC Head Coach Josh Cook. “It was overall pretty effective.”
Each team continued its season Friday night.
The Cards traveled to Taylor Mill to take on Scott (11-11) at 7:00 p.m. The Lady Cards played at GRC Arena against Fleming County (13-5) in a 7:30 p.m. matchup.