Madisonville North Hopkins got their first loss of the season, falling to Christian County, 82-66, at home Tuesday in a tough battle that saw more than 40 fouls called.
The game was a back-and-forth affair until a late run by the Colonels put the game out of reach. The duo of Kenny White and Ksuan Casey where the big scorers again for North, tallying 20 and 19, respectively.
“Our team never backed down, we just ran out of gas and focus at the end,” said Madisonville North Hopkins Coach Matt Beshear.
The first quarter was highly physical, fast-paced game, with the teams trading baskets and hits. The quarter ended with 13 fouls between both teams and Colonels leading by a point, 17-16.
White kept the Maroons in the game, scoring 7 of the team’s first-quarter points.
The trading of baskets continued in the second quarter, with neither team being able to create space until the final four minutes when Christian County finally found fruit to their constant pressure. The Colonels finished the half on a 14-6 run to go up 38-32.
After the run to end the half, the Maroons played from behind the rest of way, cutting the lead down two at various times just to have the Colonels rebuild a little cushion. Maroons were great at handling the pressure of the Colonels, but never found the key defensive stops to get the lead.
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“We had our chances, but every time we got close, they would speed us up,” Beshear said. “We were aggressive, but we’ve got to learn how to be poised in those situations.”
Christian County made another run at the end of the third to push their lead to 50-57. The game was 49-51 until the 1:30 of the period.
Then, the game was 52-60 when Colonels’ Deterion Ware got an open dunk but hung on the rim to draw a technical foul. That fueled the Maroons, who got the next four points were emotionally back in the game. They got it back to a three-point game on an 8-3 run until Christian County called a timeout.
The timeout worked for the Colonels, as they quickly regained the lead they lost. The quick spurt included a huge bomb three by Ware to make the game 62-70. After that dagger, the Maroons just couldn’t get back up, scoring just 2 points the rest of the way.
Ware blew up offensively at the end. After the technical, he scored 16 points down the stretch and was the main reason the Colonels were able to pull away. He finished the game as the high scorer with 37 points.
“He is an outstanding, very explosive player. He has improved so much and gotten in shape,” Beshear said about Ware. “He is going to be playing Division One somewhere.”
Next up for the Maroons is a trip to Butler County on Thursday for a 7:30 tip-off.